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Quarter of a million women died waiting for pension justice

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More than 220,000 women have died in the seven years since a huge campaign was launched for pension compensation, saving the government £4bn in payments, analysis reveals.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have fought for the three million women born in the 1950s to get compensation over failures to inform them about the state pension age moving from 60 to 66.

They have campaigned since 2015 for pension justice for this group, claiming the state pension age changes weren’t properly communicated after they were legislated for in 1995. As such, it meant they couldn’t adjust their retirement plans accordingly.

Since then, analysis has revealed 220,190 women have died waiting for pension justice. Statista revealed that these deaths are likely to have saved the government £3.8bn in compensation.

WASPI’s own figures revealed that over the course of the pandemic, one in 10 women who died was affected by the lack of communication.

And while the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has found that the Department for Work and Pensions is guilty of maladministration, “the government is choosing to wait for further reports before taking any action”, they claim.

The WASPI campaign is calling for an immediate one-off compensation payment of between £11,666 and £20,000, with the most going to women who were given the shortest notice of the longest increase in their state pension age.  Some were given only one year’s notice of a six-year delay to their retirement, they said.

‘Grim reaper saving’

Angela Madden of WASPI, said: “The government’s strategy of delaying inevitable compensation payments is a cynical attempt to time women out of what they are due.

“The chancellor is effectively banking on the grim reaper saving him more and more money each year, leaving women struggling to pay their bills in retirement and lacking in trust in government.

“Since the Ombudsman has already found that women born in the 1950s were mistreated, the right thing to do is to put in place a compensation package right away.

“Doing so would end the agony for millions of women who have been emotionally, physically and financially affected by mistakes made in government.”

‘Justice is long overdue’

Andrew Gwynne MP, joint-chair for the All- Party Parliamentary Group for State Pension Inequality for Women, said: “These figures are absolutely shocking. 1950s born women have been found to have been victims of DWP maladministration in a wide-ranging investigation conducted by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

“They were not properly informed of changes to their state pension age and were not given the tailored and targeted information they required to make reasonable adjustments to their retirement plans.

“Despite these findings, the government continues to turn a blind eye and prevaricate on the issue.

“Enough is enough. Their justice is long overdue.”

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