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WASPI: ‘Deeply concerning’ as fake pension compensation claim forms circulate

WASPI: ‘Deeply concerning’ as fake pension compensation claim forms circulate
Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak
Posted:
20/06/2024
Updated:
20/06/2024

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is warning people to beware fake online compensation claim forms offering up to £3,000 in a bid to steal personal details.

The campaign group has seen a number of unofficial websites pop up, encouraging women to apply for compensation of up to £2,950 if they’re impacted by the well-documented short-notice state pension age increase.

They appear to originate outside of the UK, with WASPI flagging these two websites for women to avoid:

 

They claim women born in the 1950s can get payouts by submitting claim forms, but really they’re looking for victims to share their personal details.

Angela Madden, WASPI chair, said this was a “deeply concerning” development, adding that any announcement of a compensation scheme would come directly from the UK Government.

However, a decision on this has yet to be taken, and as such, no compensation scheme currently exists.

WASPI campaigns for justice

More than 3.6 million women born in the 1950s were impacted by the Government’s state pension changes (the 1995 Pensions Act) that saw the age rise from 60 to 65, then to 66 to bring it in line with the men’s state pension age (2011 Pensions Act).

However, for many, they were unaware of this major increase, meaning they were unable to make informed decisions on their financial plan for retirement.

According to WASPI, which has been campaigning for justice for these women for over a decade, the worst impacted women received just 18 months’ notice for a six-year increase to their state pension age.

Thousands were plunged into poverty as a result, while it’s estimated that one of these affected women dies every 13 minutes before they could see justice carried out.

In March this year, a landmark and final report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) ruled that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to provide women with “adequate and timely information about areas of state pension reform.”

It said that Parliament now needs to “act swiftly” to reimburse the women affected, with figures suggesting compensation in the region of £10bn.

In May, the Work and Pensions Committee called on the Government to bring forward proposals for a compensation scheme ahead of the summer recess, as it revealed its suggested model for redress based on feedback received.

Since then, the DWP has yet to respond to the report and its findings. And, now that the general election has been called for Thursday 4 July, both Labour leader Keir Starmer and PM Rishi Sunak have been urged to back WASPI’s calls for fair and fast compensation.

‘Urgent need for compensation but vulnerable women at risk’

Madden said: “It is deeply concerning that a number of webpages have appeared in recent days, encouraging those impacted by state pension age changes to provide their personal details through fake claim forms.

“The need for compensation is so urgent that it is the most vulnerable women who are most at risk and the Government’s continued dithering is now opening up a space for scammers to target them.

“Any official announcement on compensation will be made by the UK Government. Anybody who has given their personal data to a potentially fraudulent website should contact Action Fraud.”

The number to call is 0300 123 2040.