United Kingdom

Payout hope for women born in the 1950s hit by pension age change

Tens of thousands of women born in the 1950s could be entitled to compensation because they were not given enough notice that they would have to wait years longer for their state pension age.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is investigating claims that the Government bungled its communication about the rise in the state pension age for women from 60 to 66.

Many of those affected didn’t find out they wouldn’t get the pension money until they were about to retire, and had to work for longer and use savings to get by.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is investigating claims that Government bungled its communication about the rise in the state pension age for women from 60 to 66

The Ombudsman began an investigation in 2018 but this was paused when campaign group Back To 60 launched legal action against the Government, which was unsuccessful. 

The Ombudsman has now resumed consideration of the case brought by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). 

A leaked report of its provisional findings revealed it believes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to act promptly after research in 2004 showed its awareness campaign wasn’t reaching the women affected.

In 2006 the DWP proposed writing directly to women to tell them of the change, after a survey revealed nearly half still thought they would receive their state pension at 60. 

Yet no letters were sent until December 2007. The Ombudsman’s provisional report said it believed ‘maladministration’ caused the delays.

Baroness Ros Altmann says: ‘Tens of thousands could be in line for compensation but it depends on the Ombudsman’s assessment of the evidence.’

A final ruling is expected next month. Former pensions minister Steve Webb warns: ‘These provisional findings do not necessarily mean large amounts of compensation for large numbers of people.’

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