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Amber Rudd “sceptical” Waspi women hit by state pension age rise will get additional support

18th July 2019 11:52

Stephen Little from interactive investor

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It comes a week after Boris Johnson said he would look at the issue if he becomes Prime Minister

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has said she is “sceptical” that women affected by changes to the state pension age would get additional funding, according to a report in The Mirror.

The news comes after Boris Johnson said last week that he would take another look at the issue if he were to become Prime Minister.

The decision to raise the state pension age for women has meant that nearly four million women have had to wait longer to get their pension.

Campaign groups such as BackTo60 and Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) argue that many women born in the 1950s were not warned of the changes and have suffered financial hardship as a result.

Speaking at POLITICO’s Playbook Live event in London on Tuesday, the UK work and pensions secretary told the Mirror: “I’m slightly sceptical at holding out hope for any additional support for WASPI women."

"People who feel they have lost out by the rising pension age and claim, believe, they haven’t been told in time about it.

“At the moment the Treasury has been very resistant to supplying any additional funds.”

She said that she was not aware of Mr Johnson’s comments and that she would wait until next week to see if the new Prime Minister takes a different view.

Secretary of state for work and pensions Amber Rudd

Speaking to his constituents last week, Mr Johnson indicated that he would look at the issue.

He said: “And I must say the answer I’ve got back from the Treasury is not yet satisfactory.

“But I will undertake – if I’m lucky enough to succeed in this campaign – to return to this issue with fresh vigour and new eyes and see what I can do to sort it out."

Debbie de Spon, a spokesperson for Waspi, says: “The Waspi campaign is disappointed to note that the pensions secretary has poured scorn on Boris Johnson's suggestion that he will look again at the Waspi issue.

“We were heartened by his statement, and that of Jeremy Hunt that they will both revisit the situation that finds women born in the 1950s waiting up to an extra six years for their state pension without having received sufficient notice.

“There has been considerable evidence to show that the DWP failed to adequately provide information, and the result for women affected is loss of financial independence and security as they face their retirement. As a campaign we will continue to seek compensation.”

Moneywise has spoken to a number of women born in the 1950s hit by the state pension changes, many of whom have no just suffered financially, but emotionally as well.

Some women stopped working after expecting to receive a pension, but the changes have left them with little time to make alternative plans.

While the government insists it did enough to notify affected women of the changes, many disagree.

The state pension age for women was raised last November to 65 – the same as men – for the first time.

It has been steadily rising from 60 since 2011 and in 2020 the age for both sexes will rise to 66.

Backto60 took the government to the High Court last month for a judicial review.

Two women - Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 62 - argued that raising the pension age unlawfully discriminated against them “on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined”.

A final judgment is due within weeks.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

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