NEWS
Please also check out our Media Coverage page

WELSH ASSEMBLY -20th MARCH

Welsh Waspi local group co-ordinators, who work very closely with Welsh MPs/AMs, and their respective group members from across South & West Wales attended the debate at the Senedd on Wednesday 20th March.

Agenda item 9:- To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Recognises the continuing women against state pension inequality campaign.

2. Calls on the UK Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6 April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the
increase to the state pension age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to make representations to the UK Government in support of the WASPI campaign.

4. Calls on the Counsel General to consider what action the Welsh Government could take in relation to the expected litigation against the Department for Work and Pensions for the alleged mishandling of raising the state pension age for women born in the 1950s.

Pamela Judge, Ceredigion Waspi group co-ordinator, said:- "
Yesterday’s rally at the Senedd was certainly a day to remember. It was a wonderful boost for our morale to hear the Assembly Members talking about the loss of our pensions with such feeling and authenticity. Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru A.M. for Mid and West Wales, who put the resolution to support our campaign, had certainly done her homework. She knew all about how 1950s women have been affected by the loss of our pensions and stressed the importance of registering a maladministration complaint. It was also wonderful to see AM Leanne Wood wearing a WASPI rosette!”

Huge thanks to Plaid Cymru for their ongoing support in the quest for justice for all 1950s born women for  the Waspi Campaign itself.

Welsh Waspi women who attended were interviewd ITV Wales and BBC Wales who covered the event.

Visit our Facebook Page for photos and updates

WASPI BUDGET DAY PROTEST

What another eventful and successful day for the Waspi Campaign.

We stopped the traffic, we stormed College Green, we formed an alliance with protesting Hackney cab drivers, we raised a further awareness of our fight for justice.

We spread the Waspi word!

Good to have a large male presence too. Thanks to all who attended to make it the success it was.

Many supportive Tweets from MPs  Here and Visit our Facebook page for more photos.







INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY/WASPI LOCAL GROUP's DAY OF ACTION

Numerous local WASPI groups celebrated International Women's Day by staging events around the UK. Sending out a loud and clear message to the Government that we are not going away until Justicde is achieved! 

Here's a few snapshots - visit your local Waspi group page and the Waspi Campaign 2018 our Facebook page for more!

SCOTTISH PROTEST

What an resounding success the Scottish rally, organised bythe Glasgow Waspi Group, on Saturday 23rd February was. The protest was held to demonstrate against the changes to State Pension Age, how the National Insurance fund is now being used to pay the National Debt and the denial of the report on Austerity in the UK by the UN special rapporteur.

Many thanks to guest speakers and all MPs, MSPs, representatives from organisations that joined the rally. These included Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black, Chris Stephens, Patricia Gibson and Humza Yousaf, Baroness Bryan, Deputy General Secretary of Aegis Union nationally and a spokesperson
from the STUC.

Many thanks also to photographer Billy Knox whose incredible photos captured the essence of the day and the figthing, determined spirit of Waspi women who will not give up until justice is achieved. You can see them HERE

Follow us on  FACEBOOK f or daily updates of news, information and articles.

AMBER RUDD PROPOSAL

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd's call for company bosses to face up to seven years in prison if they mismanage employee pension schemes has caused outrage. Esepcially among Waspi women and their families.

She wants a new offence of "wilfully or recklessly" mismanaging funds. What about the mismanagment of the money intended for our state pension?

Many Waspi women have already written to their respective MPs and media asking if the Govt will be held to the same standards.

TONY LYNES - N.I. ARTICLE

This is a must read. Written as a basis for a National Pensioners Convention factsheet by Tony Lynes, writer and campaigner in the field of social security and pensions  (1929 – 2014

One of the most, if not the most, comprehensive articles you'll read about misuse of the National Insurance Fund that deprived 50s women of their state pension. Many thanks to investigative journmalist David Hencke for "uncovering" this article.  Please share far and wide.        

https://bit.ly/2HMQbVk

EARLY DAY MOTION

Congratulations to Ceredigion WASPI who are to receive  recognition in Parliament!

Stauch supporter Ben Lake MP has tabled an Early Day Motion recognising their work.
Early Day Motions are used by MPs in the Commons to draw the attention of the House to a particular issue, event or campaign.

Many thanks to Ben, to Ceredigion WASPI, and all of our Waspi Local group co-ordinators, who work tirelessly in promoting the campaign and our fight for justice

Link to the motion https://bit.ly/2MAxG54

DEBATE ON THE 31st JANUARY

Huge thanks to Tonia Antoniazzi MP (Labour) for Gower for securing this adjournment debate on the 31st January. Watch it HERE

"An adjournment debate is a way in the Commons of enabling a debate to take place but without a question which the House must then decide.

An adjournment debate is held on the motion 'that the House (or sitting) do now adjourn. Further information on adjournment debates here:- https://bit.ly/2TfdGHI

There was a Waspi Campaign presence at the debate.

WASPI PRESENCE AT WOMEN'S MARCH

Both the London Waspi Group and Essex County Waspi Group are suitably proud of
their campaigning achievements this month, and quite rightly so!


Their most recent action saw them at the forefront of the Women’s March on Saturday 19th January 2019. They featured in the media - newspapers/TV and on social media. 

Waspi is grateful to them and all Waspi Campaign groups whose hard work keeps our profile out there! More photos on our Facebook page

PHSO UPDATE FROM BEN LAKE MP's OFFICE

Jackie Gilderdale, co-ordinator of the Pembrokeshire Waspi group, and Pamela Judge, co-ordinator of the Ceredigion Waspi group have been in contact with Ben Lake MP’s office to ascertainwhat they thought about the merits of carrying on sending in complaints to the PHSO or waiting until after the JR decision.

One of Ben’s caseworkers has a legal background and actually used to work for the PHSO. His view is that it is probably best to hold off on PHSO complaints until the outcome of the JR.
The PHSO have confirmed that they will not be processing any complaints until after the JR decision. Further he advised that the outcome of the JR could significantly alter our approach with regards to the contents of any future complaints.

Ben’s Senior Communications & Community Engagement Manager (our main contact there) added ”I would argue that the best course of action over the next few weeks is to encourage campaign supporters to spread the word amongst 1950s women, campaign locally, work with the County Council and public service organisations to raise awareness, and get as many women into the DWP initial complaints process as possible".

Pamela Judge commented "as far as I know (based on a couple of Ceredigion WASPI women who contacted me) the DWP are still processing complaints which haven't yet reached the ICE stage".


Many thanks to Ben's office for this useful information.

INAUGURAL CEREDIGION WASPI GROUP MEETING

The inaugural meeting of the  Ceredigion WASPI group was held on the 19th January. What a great turnout. It was packed to the rafters!

Ben Lake MP and was one of the guest guest speakers who gave an impassioned and motivational speech.

Many thanks to Ben for his ongoing support in the quest for justice for Waspi women.

DATE FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW SET

The historic hearing into whether 3.9 million 50s born women have been cheated out of their state 
 pension by the government has been set by the High Court for June the 5th and 6th (the date has changed since it was first announced).

The date is later than expected because the Department for Work and Pensions expected to win the hearing for permission to bring the review on November 30 brought by BackTo60 campaigning group and thought they would stop the process in its tracks.

Visit our MEDIA page for the full story. https://waspicampaign2018.co.uk/media-coverage

ALISTAIR CARMICHAEL MP

On Friday 11 January Alistair held a public meeting on the effect of changes to the State Pension Age for women born in the 1950s. The Waspi Campaign would like to thank Alsitair for his support.
                                                                                                                                                  Further information of the meeting  here :- https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2019/01/1 1/pensioners-fuming-over-government-theft/?fbclid=IwAR2maaTem-tejeSK-7FIKuAX3SPKiuZXXj-UTYU2Z9pV3JBQ0YJJ59uSFpI

NEW YEAR WISHES

The Waspi Campaign would like to wish you all a happy New New and thank you all for your incredible support. We hope that 2019 will bring us justice we deserve. We will certainly do our utmost to ensure it does!
                                                                                                                                                   Onwards and Upwards !

ANNA MCMORRIN MP - ICE ETC.

Shared on another pension group page. Many thanks to Anna

"High Court Judicial Review.
I wanted to get in touch with you about the latest developments with the campaign against the injustice of changes to women's state pension age, and lack of warning, information and support given to you.


The good news is that the High Court has recently granted permission for a judicial review into how the Government implemented changes to the state pension age, including how the changes were communicated. The Court has said that the hearing will take place in the first half of 2019 and I am hopeful that they will recognise the unfair and unjust way in which this UK Government has treated women born in the 1950s.
However, I wanted to get in touch with you because it does mean that the Ombudsman will pause its proposal to investigate a sample of six complaints about the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Independent Case Examiner (ICE) about how the changes were communicated. I know that a lot of you wrote to them about this as you weren't told what was happening, or you were told about one change but not another, making it almost impossible to plan your future and retirement. As well as the financial loss I also understand many of you have experienced a negative impact on your health, emotional well-being and living situations as a result of poor communication.

So, for now we wait and see what the High Court decides in the New Year. Once the case is over, I will then push for the Ombudsman to continue with their investigation, especially as I expect that evidence about complaints about maladministration will become available during High Court case which will be helpful for you. I will update you again when I have more news".

BEN LAKE MP - ICE MOTION

One of our staunchest supporters Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion, has tabled the written Parliamentary questions below.

We believe that he also tried to table one about why cases have been closed rather than suspended but was told that questions about open judicial matters can only be raised verbally in the House. He will try to do this in the New Year.

Motion: "To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints of maladministration from 1950s women about the change in their State Pension Age have been submitted to his Department’s Independent Case Examiner in each of the last 5 years?"
"To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints of maladministration from 1950s women about the change in their State Pension Age submitted to his Department’s Independent Case Examiner have been a) resolved, b) rejected, c) closed for other reasons".

You can see them at https://bit.ly/2Gr5Lp8  The Waspi Campaign thanks Ben Lake for his unwavering support in our quest for justice.

PENSIONS COMMITTEE ENQUIRY

The Parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee is investigating why complaint cases from women affected by state pension age changes  have been closed ahead of a judicial review. 

Read the full story here:- https://bit.ly/2UWMwa5

LETTER FROM ICE

The ICE is sending letters letters to those who have made a maladminsitration complaint in relation to the DWP.  You should consider writing back to ask whether this is their final response and that you would like it confirmed in writing within 15 days.
A further point to make is that the JR ruling is to do with “Inequality” and the WASPI "case" is all to do with the DWP “Maladministration”.

Remember to contact your MP as well as, as the letter states:- "If you remain dissatisfied with the service provided by this office (ICE) you may wish to approach a Member of Parliament to assist in referring your case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman"

We hope this helps.

JUDICIAL REVIEW GRANTED

WASPI women all over the UK are celebrating today as the Backto60 movement has won the case for a formal judicial review over the mishandling of raising the pension age for women born in the 1950s.
Following a court hearing today, it has been declared that the campaigners will proceed to a judicial review.

Barrister Michael Mansfield QC supported the movement before the Royal Courts of Justice and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the two-hour hearing today.
The case was supported by a report from University of West England law professor Jackie Jones, who highlighted the injustice suffered by those affected.


WASPI Campaign spokesperson/co-founder Anne Keen commented:
"The WASPI Campaign is delighted with the outcome of today's judicial review hearing. This is a milestone in the quest for justice for 1950s born women whose retirement plans have been shattered by the inadequate/lack of notice in relation to the changes to the State Pension Age.


The Government will now be held to task for their refusal to engage with campaigners and the distress and devastation this has caused. They have treated us with contempt.


WASPI will continue to campaign for justice leading up to and beyond the Judicial Review, and would like to take this opportunity to thank Backto60, David Hencke, Michael Mansfield and other key campaigners, in this collaborative process".

UNVEILING OF EMMELINE PANKHURST STATUE


The Waspi Campaign held a procession through Manchester and had a presence at the unveiling of Emmeline's statue in Manchester on Friday 14th December.

It was an honour to be there.

JUDICIAL REVIEW 30th NOVEMBER

The Waspi Campaign extend best wishes and thanks to Back to 60 and Michael Mansfield QC on this very important day in the quest for justice for 1950's born women.

The Judicial Review hearing would not be happening if it were not for the perseverance of Back To 60. 

Hoping for a positive outcome.

PATRICIA GIBSON MP - WASPI DEBATE

Huge thanks to Patricia Gibson SNP MP for securing the Waspi debate on the 22nd November. Quote from Patricia (22nd November):-

"In advance of the debate I secured and led on WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign today, I was pleased to appear on the Victoria Derbyshire show this morning, to talk about the hardship facing those affected.

The treatment of the WASPI women by the UK government is shameful, pushing 1950s born women into dreadful financial difficulty.
These women have had to deal with the pensions they expected to receive vanishing over the horizon, often with little or no time to prepare for this".

WASPI DEBATE – SUMMING UP 

"The response of the UK Government to my WASPI debate yesterday was hugely disappointing. Once again they failed to acknowledge the dreadful financial impact upon the women affected by this unexpected change to their pension arrangements".
Watch Patricia's summing up of the debate  https://youtu.be/qFqJVn1sRoc

UN RAPPORTEUR PHILIP ALSTON

Philip Alston, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. was in London on Tuesday 13th November. Waspi women have contributed to the interim report.

There was a peaceful presence of some of our London Waspi group outside the venue with a contingent inside.

Philip spoke with several of the London Waspi group, he is aware of the Waspi and other pension group campaign for justice. His interim report will be published shortly and the full report will be published in March 2019. Please visit

Many thanks to Prof Philip for highlighting the injustice imposed upon 1950s born women and thanks to those women who contributed to his report.

WASPI BUDGET DAY PROTEST

WASPI Women staged an extraordianory protest in the HoC yesterday after Phillip Hammond delivered his Budget Speech that totally ignored the plight imposed upon women born in the 1950s.

Labour and SNP MPs gave a standing ovation and cheered.

WASPI is disappointed that the Chancellor failed to bring forward anything in the Budget to ease the plight of the3.8 million women born in the 1950s whose State Pension Age was increased by up to six years with little or no notice.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1057013078791995393
https://bit.ly/2zfOetb

SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #ONE VOICE NATIONAL RALLY

What an incredible day it was!    The Waspi Campaign, Back to 60, We Paid In,You Pay Out and other Women’s pension groups joined together in the 'Shoulder to Shoulder' as #OneVoice  at a rally in London on the 10th October. A watershed moment in our quest for justice.

Waspi chose this date because of its significance, in this very significant year. It was on this date in 1903 that Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Suffragette movement.

Speakers at the rally are key figures in the political and legal dispute, gave inspiring speeches at the Reformers Tree in Hyde Park. They were:-
David Hencke, - investigative journalist and writer, named 'Political Journalist of the Year' at the 2012.
Yvette Greenway -  Co-founder of SOS Silence of Suicide.
Sophie Walker - Leader of the Women's Equality Party.
Jean Rogers – Equity and TUC Women’s Committee, Chair BECS.
Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu - Lawyer, Founder of Women in Leadership publication and Political & Women's Rights Activist.
Sam Smethers (CEO Fawcett Society) also attended and was interviewed from the rally. Many thanks to them all.

The rally continued in Parliament Square were further speeches were made and political figure/MPs attended in support.

The day finished on a high when protesters blocked the road outside Parliament for an hour and a half. Very empowering!  Many thanks to Ziggi Golding and team for organising  the rally.

Many thanks to Ann Syers, Waspi photographer

Sign the Petition!

"In 1986 the UK government ratified the UN Convention on the Eliminationof all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It gives rights to UK women & obligates government to advance women's lives, recognising past inequalities & remedying them. Its provisions must become part of domestic law".

Please share this link via Social media and for those of your family and friends who are not on social media email it to everyone in you address book.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/230451

Chris Stephens MP

Chris Stephens MP:-

"This post is to try and reach those women in the Glasgow South West  constituency who have not been in contact and may be thinking there is nothing they can do.


Please know there is a case being fought by me and my colleagues and by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). but we need you all to stand together.
If you know of any women who are being denied their pension when it was due, please ask them to contact my office.

They should also join WASPI Glasgow etc.by emailing [email protected] "

BBC INSIDE OUT 8th OCTOBER

You can watch Inside Out - South East, that was screened  8th October on iPlayer  https://bbc.in/2CrK6Kq  to see the impact "equalisation" has had on Monica who became homeless due to receiving occupational pension of £149/ month. It will shock.

You can also read Monica's full story on our  Personal Stories page .

PAUL SWEENEY MP MEETING

"It was an honour and privilege to co-facilitate last night's local meeting (19th September) in Dennistoun on WASPI with Rosemary Dickson and to listen and learn from the amazing campaigners involved.
                                                                                                                                                     If you are affected by this issue and think I can be of help, please email me at [email protected] "

Visit Paul's Facebook page to see video of Paul with Rosemary Dickson and Aileen McDermott:  https://www.facebook.com/pauljsweeneymp/

GED KILLEN MP MEETING

The meeting at the Cambuslang Institute (37 Greenlees Road, Cambuslang, G72 8JE) with the Glasgow and Lanarkshire branch of WASPI on Thursday 20th September was an overwhelming success.

Over 500 Waspi women braved storm Ali and packed out the hall.

BEN LAKE MP MEETING

Another great turnout at the meeting on the 28th August. New WASPI group in the pipeline and a third meeting was planned for later in the month, where the following will be dicussed.

  **  Learn more about the Waspi Campaign (Women Against State Pension Inequality
  **  Discuss how we can campaign together against this injustice
  **  Find out how Ben Lake MP and his team can porvide help and support by contacting his
       office.

THE WASPI CAMPAIGN/BACKTO60 JUDICIAL REVIEW

01/08/2018

The Waspi Campaign would like to congratulate fellow pension activists group, Backto60 on lodging a claim for a Judicial Review at the Royal Court of Justice on 30th July 2018 which will be heard on 30th November.

The Waspi Campaign wishes to extend or sincere good wishes to Backto60.
Although we are separate groups with different approaches and respective 'asks', we
recognise the huge contributions that other groups are making to our battle for pension

justice and will seek to support and collaborate with them in the future to secure justice for all 1950s women and their families.

We wish Backto60 every success!

THE WASPI CAMPAIGN

Since our announcement on the Friday 27th July there appears to be some confusion as to the future of the WASPI Campaign. We hope this will clarify matters.

The WASPI Campaign had already been established for 18 months before the company was formed and will continue regardless. Although we are no longer involved with the company Women Against State Pension Inequality Ltd. we can and will continue as the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Injustice) Campaign. It will continue go from strength to strength. See more
WASPI DIRECTORS

On the 27th July 2018 the Directors names  were removed unilaterally from the Companies House Register by the former directors (who resigned in February), making the 120th change in names this year.
 
They gained online access to the site, and have removed our online ability to register Directors, the company address or deliver accounts and filings and they changed the Company Address.
As a result we are unable to show on the Companies House Site that we are your current Directors. Everything else flows from that and we will not now be able to control finances or deal with external bodies. See more​

1950'S WOMEN’S PENSION GROUPS WORKING TOGETHER 

Today, 19/07/2018 ,  the WASPI campaign and WepaidinYoupayout group have reached an agreement to find ways to work together towards a fair resolution of the injustice experienced by 1950s women in the moving of their state pension ages.

While the groups have different approaches and answers to the issue, they agree that they are fighting for justice and that they can collaborate in a number of ways. We remain separate campaign/action groups.

The Directors are delighted to be exploring ways of working together with other groups and improving the impact of all our efforts. We have been thoroughly heartened by the goodwill that this group and other groups have extended.

The WASPI Campaign have 1000s of complaints going forward to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

WepaidinYoupayout are a group that have highlighted the impact of the changes in state pension age and benefit cuts on women born in the 1950s.

WASPI NATIONAL REGIONAL RALLY DAY 14TH JULY 2018
The day was an overwhelming succes with lots of media/TV coverage - BBC and locally.

Rallies took place in the:
  • Midlands - Birmingham
  • North West - Manchester
  • North East - Durham (presence a Miner's Rally)
  • Scotland – Falkirk
  • South East - Ramsgate
  • Southern Counties - Southampton 

WASPI BOARD MEETING WITH SHADOW CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER

The then Board of Directors met with John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Coventry MP Jim Cunningham on the 10th July.

We discussed a range of options from our Policy Paper to right the WASPI injustice.


After a productive discussion, he agreed to commission detailed work which will be refined and finalised shortly at further meetings, to find a fair solution for all WASPI women.

UPDATE - STEPHEN LLOYD MP / PARLIAMENTARY OMBUDSMAN

Stephen Lloyd MP - "As many of you will know, I sat down with the Parliamentary Ombudsman a couple of weeks ago to discuss the issues around the age changes for women to receive their state pension. They confirmed to me that they would be beginning their preliminary procedural checks in the coming weeks. And that the key outcome available to them, if that is what's found, would be maladministration, with recommendations that could include financial compensation.

I’m pleased to inform you, my Facebook friends, that I have just secured the commitment of my Party's Leader, Sir Vince Cable, to support - as Liberal Democrat policy - whatever findings and recommendations made by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
This is important as, because their conclusions are not binding, we need to build a groundswell of political support at Westminster to ensure the Conservative government implement the Ombudsman’s conclusions.
As a Party of just 12 MPs this may not sound as though it will carry much weight in parliament but with your help we can now persuade the other political parties to do the same.

So if you are, or if you know, an affected WASPi woman living in a Labour, SNP or DUP constituency, I urge you to share my post far and wide to WASPi women across the UK and ask they write to their MP urging them to join the Lib Dems in backing the Ombudsman's eventual recommendations. If Labour, as the Official Opposition in particular, join our call it will put the government in the spotlight and make it much harder for them to ignore the Ombudsman's findings.

Working together in Parliament on this will, I hope, lead to genuine progress for affected WASPi women.
Help me keep pressing the issue.....

WASPI BOARD UPDATE - pre resignations in July

Publicity:

Over the last week we have completed a great deal of work on the political front and we have had several articles in the national press; this included an article in the ‘I’ and yesterday, FT online covered our weekly Silent Protest and published an open letter to Theresa May. Plans for our Regional Day of Action on the 14th July are in place and press releases have been sent out to a variety of media outlets, including Central TV. The day will emphasize our Intergenerational Focus, which is increasing the impact of our campaign on public awareness.
Waspi Homelessness Film

We are working with a film producer on a project that will highlight the plight of Waspi women and homelessness and we are delighted to report that significant progress on that important project has been made this week. Further filming took place outside Westminster with our Silent Protestors band by a different BBC team and a vlog of their march to Downing Street has also been published.

Politics - Policy Meetings with Political Parties

The Board of Directors was in Westminster yesterday to secure the policy positions with the different political parties. Meetings are taking place between the Board of Directors and key political figures with responsibility for creating policy, in order to work on a set of activities including: the writing of Parliamentary Questions and collaborating with policymakers and their teams in the future to inform policy. We made great headway yesterday on those tasks plus advancing other opportunities for the future.

Legal Advice

We are developing a plan to move towards a position where we can hire legal counsel once again.

Parliamentary Ombudsman
Cheryl Sloan reported on the latest position with the Parliamentary Ombudsman, which will be looking at representative samples shortly and announcing a process for dealing with them in the autumn.
Stephen Lloyd MP (LibDem) for Eastbourne, confirmed today that he has now held his meeting with the Parliamentary Ombudsman and that they (the PO) have committed to completing a thorough investigation into our issues starting next week and initially focusing on the service provided by the DWP.

Dispute

We have written again to the ex-directors to pursue an arbitrated settlement of the dispute, as we have not heard from them for two weeks. We continue to urge them to enter into a process of resolution, but in the meantime we will press on with additional/alternative plans to secure the campaign’s legal representation, reflect the wishes of the membership and end their dispute


INTERGENERATIONAL PLEDGES CAMPAIGN

We are delighted to announce the WASPI Intergenerational Campaign with a report of a very productive meeting recently between Rosemary Dickson, WASPI Campaign Director, and Mhairi Black.

Rosemary reports "She will be asking questions regarding the ICE procedures in Parliament, prepared by our fabulous members, Wendy Millar and Sandra Gibson. Who else could be better to sign our first pledge, as her own Mum is affected !! It has pride of place on her mantelpiece now."
"Interestingly, the stone commemorating the first liability case in the world, is next door to her office, which I hope bodes well for our maladministration case!" Rosemary added.

Click here for a template . Please get your pledges signed and send the photos to our WASPI Facebook inbox. **Please ensure that you have permission to post the photograph of the person in question.

UNISON STATEMENT ON WOMEN AND PENSIONS


UNISON is proud to support the WASPI campaign for fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s. 

Many UNISON women are adversely affected by this change to their state pension arrangements.  The increase in the state pension age has left them bereft of income they expected in retirement at age 60.  The lack of adequate notice of this detrimental change have left many working longer and living in poverty.

UNISON continues to work on WASPI related issues – campaigning for fair transitional arrangements remain a key priority.  Members are actively involved and continue to engage with their local WASPI groups assisting members with their complaints and raising public and political awareness of the negative impact of this policy.

Our Union is also working on the wider issue of state pension ages for all age groups.  The current attack on good pension provision is particularly affecting the low paid, a high proportion of them are women.

Pensions Training
UNISON is refreshing our campaign to protect good pension provision through engaging, organising and providing pension training for our members.  Integral to this campaign is our regional training programme on both state and workplace pensions. This training has already been provided for at least 2 regions.
 
We will also be looking at issues related to the gender pension gap and what actions are required to close this gap.

WASPI BOARD RESPONSE TO APPG PROPOSALS

Women Against State Pension Inequality Ltd. thank the APPG for their report on “Transitional Arrangements for 1950s-Born Women Affected by State Pension Changes”. We are grateful for the continuing support of the APPG in highlighting the hardship faced by WASPI women and in working towards a solution for those affected by this injustice.
However, we were surprised and disappointed that our ask of a bridging pension and recompense for those affected did not feature in the proposals put forward in the report. The WASPI Campaign has been acknowledged as the most successful women’s campaign this century, and our ask has been endorsed by a huge number of MPs from across the political spectrum.

Along with representatives from other pension groups the WASPI Campaign’s local group Co-ordinators were invited to submit their individual responses as evidence to the APPG consultation They did so, reinforcing our ask of a bridging pension and recompense for those women who are now in receipt of their state pension.
Overall, our campaign’s international and local groups submitted 101 individual responses, making up the vast majority of the 116 responses received by the APPG.

The sheer number of responses supporting our ask should have resulted in it being included among the proposals for consideration. As this is not the case, we are concerned that the input of 101 WASPI groups has been overlooked.

Our ask calls for a fair solution for all of the women affected by the mismanagement of changes to the State Pension age. However, we are concerned that whilst the report itself acknowledges that most WASPI women are opposed to a means-tested solution, many of the proposals put forward include just that. We recognise that there are countless women who are in need of immediate financial assistance, however they should not be subjected to means-testing. We feel strongly that the proposals put forward by the APPG require further clarification, and hope to see more detail in due course.

We recognise that there will be small steps along the way in achieving fair transitional arrangements for all WASPI women and WASPI will continue to campaign both nationally and with our local groups across the country to achieve our ask of fair transitional arrangements for all women affected.

We have plans for ongoing engagement with members of the APPG and our supporters from all political parties to fight for our cause and look forward to with working with them to achieve justice for WASPI women.

MEETING TO TACKLE PENSION UNFAIRNESS FOR STROUD'S WOMEN,THURSDAY 3 MAY 2018 


Over 500 women from across Stroud attended a St Laurence Church, Stroud on Thursday 3 May to discuss unfair changes to pension age. Watch the video here

JAMES FRITH MP - MEETING

James Frith MP (Labour - BuryNorth):- There was standing room only at the WASPI meeting hosted by James Frith on Thursday 26th April 2018.


The meeting was held " to help determine my future work in Parliament on this issue, rest assured that I will continue to champion this cause and support al attempts in Parliament to secure a fairer deal for WASPI women"
BBC DAILY POLITICS

Thank you BBC Daily Politics and Jo Coburn for an objective report on this grave injustice.

Thanks also Philippa Whitford SNP and Sarah Pennels for your support and input.

Great interviews from WASPI Director Lila Bennett, Barbara Allen (Liverpool co-ordinator) and members Hilary Dunn and Janine Sayed.

Watch here! (40 mins in)
CHANGES TO WASPI BOARD - March 2018
 
We are pleased to announce that new Directors have been appointed to the WASPI Board at a crucial time in the campaign following the resignation in February 2018 of a number of former Directors.
 
Since the resignations the Board has worked hard to build on the excellent political momentum WASPI has gained over the past two years.
 
The new Board has:
  • Appointed an interim Operational Team;
  • Created a new post of Company Secretary to manage the changes;
  • Begun discussions about widening the membership of the Board so that WASPI reflects all our members;
  • Continued work on the new website;
  • Begin discussions with UNISON to continue their fantastic support;
  • On-going political engagement with the help of our political media consultants Connect; who are continuing to work on our behalf to ensure the campaign is at the forefront of the political agenda. They will also continue to get the campaign media coverage in local and national press and periodicals such as YOURS magazine and much more.
 
During this is a time of change, the new team will continue to drive the campaign forward, with ongoing political and   legal activity. ***** Sadly, the board of directors resigned on the 27th July 2018 *****

WASPI RESPONDS TO LABOUR PARTY PLANS FOR REDUCED STATE PENSION AT 64

The WASPI campaign has responded to proposals put forward by Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams to allow WASPI women to retire up to two years early.

Responding to the announcement,  a WASPI spokesperson said:
We are disappointed and concerned by the announcement made by the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at Labour Party Conference this afternoon and the details provided in the media in advance of it this morning.

This morning it was reported that the proposal due to be announced would only apply to some WASPI women. This is no better than the actuarial reduced pension suggested some time ago and rejected by the WASPI Campaign because it pushes women into pensioner poverty.

We released a short statement earlier today explaining how concerned we were with this suggested proposal which would include elements of means testing and does not include any level of compensation for those who have lost such significant amounts of their State Pension.

We have since met with many Labour MPs and campaign supporters at the conference to raise our concerns quickly and directly. While the proposal reported this morning was very disappointing we have taken comfort that Labour MPs and our supporters close to the Labour Party shared our concerns. The announcement has come as a shock to many of those MPs, some of whom sit in the Shadow Cabinet.

The speech that has followed this afternoon provided less information that initially reported. We hope this is because those who support our campaign raised their concerns immediately with the leadership of the Labour Party.

Although this means we remain unclear as to what the Labour Party position is, we are grateful for their pledge during the General Election to work directly with WASPI women to identify and deliver the transitional arrangements WASPI women need. We will continue to work with Labour MPs to find a solution which properly recognises the injustice for WASPI women and does not pit us against each other.”
WASPI MAKING AN IMPACT!

A group of cross party MPs, including Conservatives, has sponsored a bill aimed at forcing the government to review the current pension arrangements for WASPI women, born in the 1950s.

The bill, which was presented in Parliament in September, is the start of movement to persuade the Government to look again at the changes to the Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011.


Support for WASPI had been expressed by 37 Tory MPs before the general election, including former children’s minister Tim Loughton and Caroline Spelman, the former party chairwoman.The Scottish National Party are also in favour, as is the Democratic Unionist Party, May’s partner in a deal to pass key votes. This full cross party support means that there is a real possibility that the government could be defeated on the WASPI issue. WASPI groups are increasing the pressure by contacting their MPs again before Parliament returns to business next month.
 
The message is KEEP WRITING TO YOUR MP. If you’re unsure what to say there’s a template letter here . Other ways you can help the campaign can be found there too. Everyone can do something. Do whatever you can. This is the time for WASPI Women to push forward for justice.

WASPI RESPONSE TO THE IFS REPORT

The WASPI Campaign has welcomed the Institute for Fiscal Studies report (01.08.2017) on the female State Pension Age, household incomes and Government finances.

The IFS’ principal finding that increases to the female State Pension Age has already boosted the Government’s finances by £5.1bn per year, is particularly shocking when the fall in household incomes caused by the reform have pushed income poverty among 60 to 62-year-old women up sharply.

View Report
Commenting on the report, a Waspi spokesperson said:

Once again, this shows that the Government has implemented State Pension Age reforms without adequately considering the full impact of these changes on the women affected.

Whether it is the 3.5 million WASPI women who were not given sufficient warning of rises to their State Pension Age, or the sharp rise in income poverty among 60 to 62-year-old women, the Government needs to sit up and start realising that its changes have devastating consequences on the women affected.

Yet again, it is women who are paying the price for the Government’s pension reforms. This simply isn’t good enough when the UK already has one of the biggest pension pay gaps in Europe.

WASPI DEBATE 5TH JULY 2017

WASPI thank the MPs who spoke so eloquently in the Westminster Hall Debate, and welcome new MPs to the discussion. The position of the WASPI women was put factually and with passion. The Minister's response was wholly inadequate and did not in any way properly address the injustice suffered by women born in the 1950s.

The Campaign remains focussed. Please make your complaints of maladministration. To find out how visit the Action page for a how to guide and template letters to follow.
Watch Debate
WASPI WOMEN RESPOND TO THE QUEEN’S SPEECH

The WASPI Campaign has today (22.6.17) responded to the Queen’s Speech and written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke calling for urgent action to resolve the issues arising from the lack of notice to 1950s born women about the changes to their State Pension Age.
  
The WASPI general election campaign called on all election candidates to pledge to work in Parliament to help the 3.5 million women affected by these changes. It secured the support of 480 candidates, 190 of whom are now in Parliament.

​​​WASPI spokesperson said:
“We were very disappointed that the Government made no mention of WASPI women in the Queen’s Speech yesterday.

“In the run-up to the General Election we were delighted that so many candidates pledged to work in Parliament to find a solution. This included a number of Conservative MPs who have pledged to support our campaign.

“Since then, however, there has been no recognition from the Government of the severe financial hardship faced by women across the country because of the mismanagement of changes to the state pension age.

“We have received support for our campaign from all of the political parties, including an enhanced commitment from the Labour Party to deliver transitional arrangements, and were particularly pleased with Westminster SNP Leader, Ian Blackford’s comments yesterday, raising the WASPI issue in Parliament. However, this is not enough.

“We need to take forward discussions on WASPI as a matter of urgency, and have today written to the Secretary of State with a request to meet with us to discuss how we can achieve fairness and justice for all women, regardless of their background and financial situation.”

The Westminster Leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford said in response to the Queen’s Speech yesterday, “it is utterly disgraceful that some of the worst affected women were given 14 months written notice of an increase in their pensionable age.”
WASPI RESPONSE TO THE LABOUR MANIFESTO
 
“We welcome the Labour party’s commitment to WASPI women and their understanding that we deserve both recognition for the injustice we have suffered and compensation. We look forward to reviewing their actual proposals as soon as possible. 
 
“We also appreciate their recognition of the breach of trust between WASPI women and the government by their intent to change the law so no other group of workers will suffer as we have.
“Although it is positive that they are committed to exploring options for further transitional protections, we would like to see the Labour party commit to implementing a ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income from age 60 until State Pension Age for all women affected.

“Our campaign is about fairness and justice for all women, regardless of their background and financial situation.  Around 3.5 million women are affected, we must fight this injustice together.”

OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO LIBDEM MANIFESTO:

"We are very disappointed that the Liberal Democrats have decided not support WASPI women in this manifesto.
Around 3.5 million women deserve fairness and justice, regardless of their background and financial situation. To ignore this many women is a huge oversight by the Lib Dem leadership.
We must work to fight this injustice together. We are pleased to have received individual support from Liberal Democrat candidates across the country, and we hope they will stand up for us and convince the wider party to back the WASPI women's campaign".

OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO:

"We are very disappointed that the Conservative Party has chosen to ignore the voices of 3.5 million women who have lost out, unfairly, because of pension changes unreasonably introduced by successive governments. 
We are fighting for fairness and justice for all women and want recognition of the mismanagement of the changes to the state pension age. 
Our votes are likely to significantly impact the election results. We had hoped that the Conservatives would choose to fight this injustice with us, particularly given that Conservative candidates have pledged to support WASPI women in the next Parliament"




YOUNGEST WASPI CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER

WASPI are proud to present Charlie White who, aged only 10, has a great career in politics ahead of him. Hearing about the WASPI women's fight he asked to lobby his MP and did.  

Here's Charlie with his signed certificate from the WASPI Board. We wish him all the best and thank him for his interest.

As well as politics and important issues Charlie is keen on football and plays for Hull United Whites Under 10s. Well done!

Is he the youngest WASPI Campaign Supporter?

LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Please follow the link here to see the letter Bindmans have sent to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to coincide with International Women's Day.

It states we are seeking redress for the injustice suffered by women in the 1950s resulting from the substantial changes to state pension arrangements that were not properly communicated.

WASPI Crowdjustice
CONNECT COMMUNICATIONS

We are pleased to announce that we have retained Connect Communications to work with us on our political campaign.  The generous grant from The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust has enabled us to do this and Connect will be working closely with us to enable us to make our voices heard by the decision makers in government.

Connect is a well respected firm with experience in supporting clients to deliver high impact political communications and an ethical approach to public affairs.

SUPPORT FROM JOSEPH ROWNTREE REFORM TRUST LTD

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) are delighted to announce that they have just been awarded a large grant by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.

The grant will further enable WASPI to engage in effective national level political campaigning in its bid to secure fair transitional pension arrangements for the all women born in the 1950s who have been affected by changes to their State Pension Age.


The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd (JRRT) supports political campaigns in the UK to promote democratic reform, civil liberties and social justice. 

Jane Cowley, Fundraising Director of WASPI said, “We are enormously grateful that JRRT have given us these funds which will cover the expenses of our political campaign for the next six months. Having this funding means that we can get the support we need to get our point of view heard by decision makers at government level.”
SUPPORT FROM UNISON

Over the past months we've been working with Gloria Mills MBE, National Secretary Equalities, UNISON & President, European Trade Union Confederation Women’s Committee. We’re now delighted to let you all know that UNISON have pledged support for WASPI at national level. ​This is accompanied by a generous and considerable financial donation to go towards the campaign's running costs as well as practical support at local branch level.

WASPI TAKES ADVICE FROM LEADING QC

WASPI have had a constructive conference with their legal counsel and are now taking the next steps in their potential legal challenge whilst at the same time pursuing maladministration complaints to the DWP regarding the changes in state pension age for women born in the 1950s.

Advice was given by leading QCs John Turner and Gerry Facenna, supported by rising legal star Daisy Mackersie, instructed by Bindmans, on the next steps in their potential challenge.
WASPI Legal Director  commented: “We had a very helpful discussion with counsel and are pleased that we shall be taking the next steps in the legal process.  As I am sure our supporters will understand, I cannot provide further detailed information, as that information is legally privileged and it would be harmful to our case to reveal it at this stage.  We will, of course, provide further details as soon as we are able.”
 
Work is ongoing and it is not expected that there will be a further update on the potential judicial review challenge until late January at the earliest, although support for making the maladministration claims to the DWP should be issued earlier in the New Year.
VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED
   
We have a great new team working really hard to push the campaign forward.  We now need to complement our team by recruiting additional volunteers to help us with important activity over the following months. 

To us, your time is priceless. Whether you can volunteer for a few hours every so often or a regular weekly shift, you’ll play a crucial part in keeping your Campaign progressing. Find out more here
WASPI NOT GOING AWAY!
    
The WASPI campaign gaining remarkable attention from the success of the local group demonstrations and events right across the country on Friday 16 September. There have been articles on radio, TV and in the papers in all regions.

Perhaps not surprisingly in the fact of this widespread support, Richard Harrington, the pensions minister, felt he needed to make a statement to the effect that the government was not diverting from its usual line of “no plans to revisit the arrangements”.
​​Sadly for him, it’s clear from the response on social media that this statement has only served to stiffen the resolve and determination of WASPI women to continue their fight for a fair resolution to the pensions debacle.​​

In fact, the government must now begin to see how isolated it is becoming on this issue.  Over 30 local and county councils have passed resolutions in support of WASPI, often with Conservative councillors voting in favour too.  Many Conservative MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group and WASPI local groups continue to work hard to persuade other Tory MPs to support the campaign.
 
We recently saw the Scottish National Party launch a piece of research they had commissioned regarding the costs of making fair pension arrangements for 1950s women.  This was aimed only at putting right the failings of the 2011 Pensions Act, and thus fell short of the aim of the WASPI campaign, which is for a fair outcome for all women affected by both the 1995 and 2011 Acts.  However, it was a useful first step in showing the Government that, despite their statements to the contrary, money is available in the National Insurance Fund for 1950s women’s pensions and that they have been mistaken in their calculations as to how much various solutions could cost.
 
The number of local WASPI groups continues to grow and they are making a very positive difference to the impact and reach of the campaign.  Women out and about on the National Day of Local Action on the 16th September received thousands of signatures for a petition which was handed in to Parliament on the 11th October and they continue to raise awareness through a whole range of different local initiatives.
 
WASPI has chosen Bindmans to represent them in pursuing a legal challenge, funded via our  crowdjustice appeal. 


Building the new Strategy Group is nearly complete, and again, more information about the structure and format of the group will be with you in the near future.
 
Letters to to the DWP are continuing, with a view to making a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman once the DWP’s complaint procedure is exhausted.  Legal advice is being sought before the next letter in the series is sent, to ensure that all the bases are covered properly.
 
These are exciting times for the WASPI campaign.  WASPI is the only campaigning group which supports all 1950s women, whatever their date of birth.  Perhaps because of this, the number of our supporters is growing every week and we now have just short of over 47,000 people following the Facebook page: far more than any other group.