Justice for women born in the 1950s

by WASPI – Anne, Celia, Lin and Marion

Justice for women born in the 1950s

by WASPI – Anne, Celia, Lin and Marion

The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age from 60 to 65 so that it was the same as men’s. But because of the way the increases were brought in, hundreds of thousands of women born in the 1950’s (on or after 6th April 1951) have been hit particularly hard (**including us!!!!**). We are angry that we have been treated unfairly and unequally just because of the day we were born. Significant changes to the age we receive our state pension have been imposed upon us with a lack of appropriate notification, with little or no notice and much faster than we were promised – some of us have been hit by more than one increase.

Funded
on 02nd July 2015
£6,010
pledged by 394 people

The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age from 60 to 65 so that it was the same as men’s. But because of the way the increases were brought in, hundreds of thousands of women born in the 1950’s (on or after 6th April 1951) have been hit particularly hard (**including us!!!!**). We are angry that we have been treated unfairly and unequally just because of the day we were born. Significant changes to the age we receive our state pension have been imposed upon us with a lack of appropriate notification, with little or no notice and much faster than we were promised – some of us have been hit by more than one increase.

1950’s women unfairly prejudiced by State Pension Age changes


The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age from 60 to 65 so that it was the same as men’s.

But because of the way the increases were brought in, hundreds of thousands of women born in the 1950’s (on or after 6th April 1951) have been hit particularly hard (including us!!!!). We are angry that we have been treated unfairly and unequally just because of the day we were born.

Significant changes to the age we receive our state pension have been imposed upon us with a lack of appropriate notification, with little or no notice and much faster than we were promised – some of us have been hit by more than one increase.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of us are suffering financial hardship, with not enough time to re-plan for our retirement. Women are telling us that they can’t believe their retirement age has increased by 4, 5 or 6 years and they didn’t even know about it!!

With no other source of income (until the 1990s many women weren’t allowed to join company pension schemes, many of us are carers or in poor health) securing work is proving impossible and zero contract hours or Job Seekers’ Allowance is the only alternative for many.

We want to put this right – the next step is to find out if we have a legal case. But we need your help!

So how have 1950’s women been treated unfairly and unequally?


1950’s women have been singled out for unfair and unequal treatment because of the way the increases to our state pension age have been brought in.

In fact, Anne started a campaign and petition on this issue after receiving a letter from the Department of Work & Pensions to say that her expected retirement age had been increased - only 18 months before her 60th birthday!

Issues that have come to light after we looked into the matter include:

Recommendations to give fair notice were ignored

  • The Turner Commission recommended 15 years notice, and Saga recommended 10 years. Yet many women report receiving little or no notice.

We weren’t appropriately or personally notified of the first changes in 1995

  • Steve Webb said to Anne in an email that: “ …many women were not aware at the time of these changes (1995). Although there was – not surprisingly – widespread media coverage of the issue, for women in their mid 40s at the time, pensions might not have been a subject of great interest. Unfortunately, this means that when we contact people now to let them know their state pension age they are often learning for the first time about the 1995 Act”

  • Ros Altmann, current Pensions Minister, said in Money Observer in May 2013: "until recently, many of these women were expecting to receive their state pension at age 60, since they were unaware of the changes made in 1995”

  • but, MPs, Judges & Civil Servants received 10 years’ transitional protection from any rise in their Occupational Pension age

and

  • In future, at least 10 years’ notice will be given for changes to State Pension Age (Pensions Review 2014)

Some of us have been “hit” for a SECOND time – when in 2011 further increases to our state pension age were brought in faster than the Coalition had promised – again with little or no notice to re-plan for our retirement.

Women of a similar age have to wait disproportionately longer for their pension - a ONE year difference in birthday can make an almost THREE year difference to state pension age

We talked to lots of women. Read more in our blog post, or listen to a couple of representative stories here.


What we are trying to achieve


We are doing everything we can to achieve a just outcome for ourselves and other women like us. We are hoping to be able to use the law to protect our rights and achieve fairness and equality.

What we are raising and why


We believe that the Government has a duty of care to its electorate and that it is reasonable to expect to be personally notified and given sufficient notice about matters which have such far-reaching consequences to people’s lives.

So morally we know we have a strong case, but we’re not sure whether we have a legal case. The odds are stacked against us!

But if we do have a case, the outcome will affect hundreds of thousands of women, maybe you, a member of your family or a friend who is finding life difficult as a result of this unfairness and inequality. Your support, £5 or £10 or whatever you are able to give, may be the difference between finding out whether we have a case, or just accepting our lot. Please pledge now and let’s find out together!!!

We are raising £6,000. This will pay for initial legal advice from our lawyers Deighton Pierce Glynn and a barrister, to help us assess what the legal options are for us and other women affected by these increases. Depending on what the outcome of that advice is, we may end up doing additional crowdfunding for the next steps in our case. However we are taking this one step at a time and this is the first step to accessing the courts!

About the claimant

We are a group of five ordinary women personally affected by the changes to the State Pension Age who didn’t know what we could do about it –- until we found Anne Keen's petition. After that, everything changed. Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) was formed and pre-election we sprang into action - attending local election debates, taking part in radio interviews, writing and meeting our MP’s, contacting newspapers, Facebooking and tweeting and much, much more. It has been a hard slog but we are seeing glimmers of light … More and more women (and men) have been spurred into action – signing Anne’s petition, writing to their MPs – things are happening!! A little more about us: ##ANNE My name is Anne Keen, optimist and activist. I’m married, have 2 children and one grandchild. I have worked since I was 15 and retired when I was 60 in 2013 albeit without a State Pension. My shock at finding out I would not receive my State Pension at 60 prompted me to create the 38 Degrees petition “Reverse the State Pension Law” which currently has over 65,000 signatures - The comments left by those who have signed my petition highlight the devastation, despair and distress the changes to the State Pension Age have caused. ##CELIA I am 60 years old, single with one son. I currently have 3 part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. Although I work full-time hours, I do not qualify for the company benefits that so many others take for granted, such as sick pay, holiday pay, redundancy etc. but at my age, I have to be grateful for any employment. If I were unfortunate enough to become ill, I would have a real problem. There is nothing that fires me up more than injustice so I will be fighting this all the way to the Courts. ##LIN Hi, my name is Lin, I am married with 2 children and three gorgeous grandsons. I have always thought that I would have my state pension by now, to treat them, retire and spend time with them. I’m losing out on precious time with them that I will never get back. I wanted to be part of the campaign because I believe that the government had a duty of care to notify me personally of any changes to my retirement age ##MARION Hello I'm Marion; I'm passionate about animal welfare and help animal charities by raising funds to support them. I train, walk and care for dogs ... Oh - and I care about people too!!! I signed Anne Keen's petition, when it became apparent I won't be able to retire with a state pension until age 66 - I wasn't notified. I joined Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) when hearing so many women say they too, hadn't been notified and didn't know they would have extra years to work. The rise to State Pension Age came as such a shock to many, shattering retirement plans.

Fast facts

### What's at stake Because of the way the increases to State Pension Age have been brought in, women born on or after 6th April 1951 face financial hardship as they have had no time to make alternative plans. ### What we are trying to achieve – Lin explains ![Lin](https://www.dropbox.com/s/k4tuualfxxgnih0/Lin.png?dl=1) “We are doing everything we can to achieve a just outcome for ourselves and other women like us. We are hoping to be able to use the law to protect our rights and achieve fairness and equality.” ### What's the next step We are at the very first stage! We’re seeking initial legal advice to assess whether we have any legal options.

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