Labour pledges to 'recompense' Waspi women and scrap pension age rises

22 November 2019

A Labour government would compensate women born in the 1950s hit by the rise in state pension age

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Labour has promised ‘recompense’ women born in the 1950s hit by changes to the state pension age.

In its 2019 manifesto, the Labour Party pledges to compensate women born in the 1950s for the failure of the government to adequately notify them about changes in the state pension age.

The manifesto reads: “Under the Tories, 400,000 pensioners have been pushed into poverty and a generation of women born in the 1950s have had their pension age changed without fair notification.

“This betrayal left millions of women with no time to make alternative plans – with sometimes devastating personal consequences.

“Labour recognises this injustice and will work with these women to design a system of recompense for the losses and insecurity they have suffered.”

The Pensions Act 1995 increased the state pension age for women, bringing the qualifying age in line with men by 2020.

The government then decided to accelerate its plan to increase the state pension age in 2011.

The state pension age for women was raised last November to 65 – the same as men – for the first time.

It has been steadily rising from 60 since 2011 and in 2020 the age for both sexes will rise to 66.

Campaign groups such as BackTo60 and Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) argue that many women born in the 1950s were not sufficiently warned of the changes and have suffered financial hardship as a result.

Debbie de Spon, a spokesperson for Waspi, welcomed the announcement but said a clear framework on how it would be implemented needed to be developed.

She says: “As a campaign, we are calling for a bridging pension to provide an income from age 60 to the new state pension age, combined with compensation for those women affected who have already reached their new state pension age.

“We are pleased to see the Labour Party recognise the current hardship and make commitments to resolving it, however, this needs to go further.”

The Liberal Democrats have also pledged to compensate women born in the 1950s over state pension increases, while the Green Party has proposed the delivery of a Universal Basic Income.

Pledge to scrap pension age rises

As part of its manifesto, Labour has also pledged to keep the state pension at 66 and not raise it in the future.

After the current state pension age rises to 66 next year it is then due to increase to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2039.

Labour has also promised to maintain the triple lock, guaranteeing new state pension increases by either 2.5%, average wage growth or inflation.

However, pension experts have criticised the policies for the impact they would have on taxpayers.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, says freezing the state pension age is a “gargantuan promise” from Labour with “enormous ramifications for those affected, society as a whole and long-term government spending”.

He says: “It’s also important to remember that planned state pension age increases to 67 and 68 are not just based on the last few years’ data, but decades of life expectancy improvements.

"If state pension increases are to be permanently shelved, Labour needs to explain who will pay the extra cost in the long-term.”

Comments

Men need compensation

Typical Labour buying votes with our money, women were aware the pension age was changing to bring them equal to men. My ex-wife was caught up in it but we were fully aware it was going to happen when they first announced it in the 90s. It was only the final dates that were available later. Are all men going to get compensation for not getting their pension from 60 to 65 and their 5 years NI contributions back to make them equal to women who retired at 60? Everyone should get their state pension they are due to 50 years after starting full-time employment and start contributing. If you spend years playing at uni, you have to wait longer as it's not work.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Womens pensions age 60

I always understood the reason for women getting their pension age 60 was to compensate for the years of sex discrimination where they only received half the pay of men even if they were doing the same job. The recent changes seem to me to Condone this historical wrong and could cost up to £42,000 in lost pension rights. To those most affected.

Pension equalisation

As a woman myself and believing in equality of the sexes if at all possible, I thought the decision to equalize the pension age was correct. This was first announced in 1995 under pressure from Europe. I was one of those affected but cannot agree that we did not receive enough warning since we were given 15 years notice as it did not start taking affect until 06/04/2010. The information was out there and I cannot understand why some women were not aware of this. We are an aging society and the question, as always, is where will the money come from if women are to be re-compensated? Will men also get re-compensated now the State Pension age has been increased to 66?

comments re Labour proposals fir state pension

Not at all surprised by the adverse reaction from the pension experts quoted. Their director's report from 2009 confirms they are Tory Party donors!

Pension recompense

It's a madness as women born in 1960 also have been robbed of six years pension as is someone born in 1970. I will work 51 years to receive a pension starting work at 16, yet over half of today's kids don't start paying tax until their mid-20s. No wonder we have to work longer. Where is the fairness in that labour?

1960 birthday (11 days short of 6 April 2020 date as my birthday

Would I get any compensation if Labour get in as I would have been retiring next April by the old rules of 60 years? It seems so unfair I will have to wait until I’m 66 years old now. My health will never allow it but I can’t afford to retire early because of my lack of funds.

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