A national campaign set up to fight for the rights of women who have seen their state pension age increased by up to six years has been launched for women living in Huntingdonshire.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is not against the government’s decision to bring pensions in line for men and women, it wants to highlight the unfairness of the speed of the changes, which have left some women struggling to make alternative arrangements. The group is also angry that some women were not notified, others have been hit by more than one increase and many, whose pension age has increased by four or five years, are suffering financial hardship.
The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age from 60 to 65 and because of the way the changes were implemented, those born in the 1950s, on, or after April 1951, have been hit particularly hard because they have less time to make adjustments .
The national WASPI website says: “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 four or five years.”
The Huntingdonshire WASPI group has joined forces with other groups to campaign for a fairer transition period for those who will either have to work longer or use savings or private pensions to bridge the gap before they can claim their state pension.
The group was set up in July by Heather Cook, Debbie Hawkes and Sue Hesk who have been campaigning in the area to raise awareness of all the issues.
“Nationally WASPI has managed to gain support from across the political spectrum and secured a parliamentary debate in February,” said
“Some of the Huntingdonshire WASPI Supporters Group recently took part in WASPI’s Local Action Day and gathered on the Market Square in St Neots to collect signatures for a petition which will be presented to Theresa May in October. We also wanted to raise awareness for women affected by the changes to their pensions. There are still many who are unaware they could lose in excess of £40,000.”
INFO: The Huntingdonshire WASPI Supporters Group meets on the third Monday of each month at the Tesco Community Room in Barford Road, St Neots at 7pm.
To find out more or get involved, join their Facebook group: Huntingdonshire WASPI Supporters Group, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – or go to: www.WASPI.co.uk.