Who are the Waspi women? Perth and Kinross Council calls for immediate action

WASPI is a campaign group, operating under the acronym for ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ (AFP via Getty Images)
WASPI is a campaign group, operating under the acronym for ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ (AFP via Getty Images)

Women who were impacted by changes to the state pension age and were born in the 1950s have unanimously called for compensation from Perth and Kinross Council.A resolution was presented by SNP councillors Michelle Frampton and Mike Williamson on Wednesday, May 15, during a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council.

In a letter to the secretary of state for Work and Pensions and local MPs, council leader Grant Laing will now demand that the UK government "act now with an immediate compensation payout scheme" for individuals impacted.

This comes just before an accountability session this week, where the Work and Pensions Committee will question Mel Stride MP, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, about the Department's operations as well as recent announcements and policy changes from the UK Government.The cross-party group of MPs will meet on Wednesday, May 22 at 9.25am.

Previously, a report from the Parliamentary and Health Service (PHSO) Ombudsman stated that thousands of women may have suffered financial loss as a result of a failure by the government. The report looked into how increases in retirement ages may have affected women and found that the government failed to adequately inform women that the state pension age had changed. An Ombudsman spokesperson stated that they should therefore be compensated.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) estimate that millions had their retirement plans “plunged into chaos” after the DWP increased the state pension age from 60 to 65, and then to 66.

The group is campaigning for compensation after retirement plans were harmed by the change. Read on for more details about the group known as Waspi women.

Who are the WASPI women?

WASPI is a campaign group, operating under the acronym for “Women Against State Pension Inequality”.

The group was set up in 2015 as the result of the state pension age for women shifting from 60 to 65, in a bid to match up with men.

What are they campaigning for?

A major part of their campaigning is centred around arguing for the government to provide transitional payments to women born in the 1950s who received their pension after the age of 60.

In addition, with the results of the recent report, WASPI are calling for compensation to be paid out to the millions of women affected by its results.

What did the report find?

Specifically, the report states that the DWP’s handling of the changes meant some women would have lost opportunities to make informed decisions about their finances.

PHSO Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath, said in a public statement: “The UK’s national Ombudsman has made a finding of failings by DWP in this case and has ruled that the women affected are owed compensation. DWP has clearly indicated that it will refuse to comply. This is unacceptable. The Department must do the right thing and it must be held to account for failure to do so.

“Complainants should not have to wait and see whether DWP will take action to rectify its failings. Given the significant concerns we have that it will fail to act on our findings and given the need to make things right for the affected women as soon as possible, we have proactively asked Parliament to intervene and hold the Department to account.

“Parliament now needs to act swiftly, and make sure a compensation scheme is established. We think this will provide women with the quickest route to remedy.”