From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Women disappointed by Court of Appeal State Pension Age ruling may have another route

    Women disappointed by Court of Appeal State Pension Age ruling may have another route

    • Women’s State Pension Age ruling is disappointing but not entirely unexpected. 
    • All hope is not lost. 
    • Injustice felt by so many women may be due to maladministration rather than discrimination. 
    • Government may have misled many women and caused them hardship which they had no idea was coming or could not avoid.

    The Court of Appeal’s clear ruling today that the sharp increases in women’s State Pension Age did not discriminate against women affected. The judges expressed sympathy for their plight, but the legal conclusion was a victory for the Government against the women who challenged the changes and wanted their State Pension Age returned to 60.

    I have long considered that the increase in women’s State Pension Age ma have created injustice and hardship, but it is not clear this qualifies as discrimination.

    I believe there is a strong case for women who have been badly impacted, because they did not know their pension age had changed, many of whom are seriously ill or retired to care for loved ones, expecting to receive their State Pension sooner than the law allowed.

    The problem seems to me to relate more to maladministration and misinformation, rather than gender discrimination. Successive Governments since the 1990s failed to properly inform the millions of women facing a State Pension Age rise, that they would not be able to receive any of the State Pension they may have been relying on at age 60. Women, especially those already in their later years, have much lower pensions than men – both in private and state pensions. For the majority, receipt of State Pension is a crucial part of their retirement income. Any delay in the starting date is likely to be more serious for those who have little or no private pension.

    So what did Governments do wrong? I do not believe it was wrong to increase State Pension Age for women, so that it would be equalised with men, but if Government is making such a fundamental change, it surely has a duty to ensure the women affected are aware of what is going to happen, so they can adjust their plans for the future. This is where the problem seems to me to lie.

    When Pensions Minister, I saw copies of letters written by the Government to millions of these women in 2003 and 2004 about their State Pension, which failed to clearly highlight that their pension would not be paid at age 60. These official letters failed to clearly highlight that these women’s pension would not start being paid at age 60. IT merely informed them what State Pension they might receive when they reached State Pension Age, but they did not tell them what that age would be! In fact, receiving a letter from the Pensions Department about their State Pension, which did not urge them to check what their State Pension Age would be, may have lulled them into a false sense of security that they would receive it from age 60 – just like all the other women they had ever known.

    This looks like maladministration. It is certainly the case that the Government seems not to have realised that many women had no idea their pension age would not be 60. Of course, the officials and Ministers writing the letters all knew, but they failed to appreciate that those women they were writing to had never been directly told.

    The original increase in State Pension Age was legislated in 1995 when those affected were only in their forties or younger. There were some newspaper articles that mentioned the change in the law, that would see women’s pension age start to rise in 2010, to reach age 65 by 2020, were assumed to be widely known, but they were just not communicated properly to those who needed to know over the years. Indeed, Government websites also failed to alert women to the impending increase and, even worse, when I became Pensions Minister in 2015, I discovered that official websites still wrongly stated that women’s State Pension Age was 60. This careless approach to an issue that is so vital to many women was rather surprising.

    This failure of the oversight of the State Pension information, and the damage to women’s pension prospects, was then compounded by the decision in 2011 (which I vigorously opposed at the time) to accelerate the already planned rises in Women’s State Pension Age, so it would reach 65 in 2018 and increase to 66 in 2020.

    This second rise caused further hardship and added to the problems faced by many women who desperately needed their State Pension and had no time to change plans they had already made. The Government did try writing to women in 2009, but that was so close to the 2010 start date for the pension age increases and then, shortly after they received those letters. The next Government decided to delay their State Pension even further. Governments are legally entitled to change the terms of State Pensions, but surely they also have a duty to ensure those affected are made aware of what the changes are going to be.

    Appeals are already in progress to the Parliamentary Ombudsman and, if maladministration is confirmed, perhaps there can yet be a resolution to this problem. I have not supported a return to pension receipt from age 60, but I do think there is a strong case for Government to help those women – and men – facing hardship caused by delaying receipt of State Pension. Whether this is in terms of access to Pension Credit, or early access to State Pension for people who are seriously ill or caring for others.

    77 thoughts on “Women disappointed by Court of Appeal State Pension Age ruling may have another route

    1. Thank you for your input Ros. I know you have received some unkind comments, but I think you are a decent individual, who did what you could to help 50’s women when you were Pensions Minister. A woman against the establishment, it cannot have been easy for you either. Your continuing comments suggesting things could have been differently addressed to make the outcome better for 50’s women is appreciated. Best wishes.

    2. I had heard that the pension age was changing but I thought it would only affect me slightly. What a shock when I received a letter giving me 2 years notice of a 6 year increase. Devastated to put it mildly. Hope the Ombudsman can also see the injustice but not holding my breath.

      1. When did you first hear about it? I heard in 1995, from the TV news, and 2 newspaper articles I read. I didn’t know when my own SPA would be so rang the, then DSS, to find out and they told me over the phone, when I told them my DOB. I never got one of the 2004/5 letters and leaflets, as I moved house around that time, but I saw friends get them.

        1. Norma, I believe you work or worked in the pensions/finance sector. Is that right? In which case that gives a different slant to you knowing about the SPA rise.

    3. On the one hand you talk about the injustice against ALL women born in the 1950s, but in the next you say that the govt should make amends to those in particular need. Of course, but what about those of us who are ‘just managing’. Those who struggled on in part time, minimum-wage jobs and survived, but are nonetheless disadvantage. Those whose husbands have had to carry on working to support them with all that that implies etc etc. An injustice is an injustice .

    4. There was also the problem that we were told that we were entitled to full pension after 30 years. It was then changed to 35. In the meantime the rules had been changed so that it was not viable to make extra more expensive contributions to make up the difference by the time we were informed. I also think that many pension arrangements were made eg by settlements at the time of abolition of the GLC and ILEA on the basis that women’s retirement age was 60.

      1. I have 47 years contributions on my record. I still will not get the FULL new SPA when I reach pension age of 66 in 2023!!!! Please double check with national insurance as I’m sure I am not on my own with this. Its disgusting! Not only robbed of 6 years SPA but not entitled to a full pension. Work till you die seems to be the new mantra!!!! Women of our age were not allowed to even join works pension schemes whilst working part time until years had gone by. We have no chance and now the government are bailing everyone else out we will never be recompensed.

    5. I think it’s more than maladministration. There must be government employed actuaries or analysts who should be looking at this every year, working on births and numbers expected to retire in X years’ time. When I was born, the clock should have been ticking towards my expected retirement age of 60, there should have been annual reviews and projections, and as time went by if the fund wasn’t meeting expectation, then I should have been informed and offered solutions such as additional contributions. What actually happened is that they did none of this, and dipped into the pot for other things, then expected us at the last minute to work an extra 6 years, and just give up that 6 years’ worth of pension. I worked and I paid in. Somebody’s job was to ensure I could retire at 60, they failed, that to me is gross misconduct, fraud and misadministration of funds.
      My comparable would be that of a woman aged 30 taking out a 30-year repayment mortgage. She pays exactly the right payments every month and rightly expects to pay her mortgage off at the end of the 30 years. In year 25, the mortgage company tells her that she has to make her mortgage payments until the end of year 36. They give no explanation as to why the money she had paid in had not reduced her balance as expected. This is the same kind of thing as the pension debacle. The money should be there for us, and as we are being told it isn’t, I think we need to sue the actual persons responsible for the planning of our pensions. I’m sure they could have adjusted NI
      contributions many years ago to avoid this.

      1. You are very astute and your use of the mortgage anlhy is spot on. The whole judgement stinks.
        And the judges know it stinks.
        I’m 65, my life savings are gone, and I’m claiming universal credit. I swear to god I’d I didn’t have a house to sell I’d kill myself.

        1. Yes same with me – I started work at 15 and will have to work until I’m 66! The MP Mims Davies said in parliament back in January of this year that she is going to have to work until she is 67!!!! Yes Mims and as you only started work when you were 22 that means a maximum of 45 years………..

      2. Barbara Smith, Your mortgage analogy is spot on. I hope WASPII can use it during their next stage of the fight and, of course, in their PR. It’s a very, very strong message/explanation and one that everyone will understand

      3. As you probably know our NI isn’t saved for us & when it is paid in it’s used to pay the SP of pensioners at that time. Low/med earners only pay enough NI to cover about 5 to 7 years of SP, if they draw for longer the difference is paid from the NI of high earners, and those who die before state pension age, in fact, SP relies on a percentage dying and not drawing their SP to enable it to function. If we all drew a SP NI would go bust! This scheme was set up in the 1940s and it used to work fine, but over the years, thanks to NHS, better food, housing etc, we now live longer, so more are reaching SPA and drawing for longer. At the same time the pill/abortion laws of the 1960s have meant a lower birthrate, so fewer workers paying in to pay for the SP. More drawing out+fewer paying in=trouble, hence SPA rise. As you say, they must have seen this coming years ago! Had they increased NI rate and/or increased SPA much sooner, perhaps in 1975, when equal pay came in? And included 40s born women, maybe? We would have all been used to women getting their SP at the same age as men – in short, they left it too late to act! Probably scared of a backlash at the ballot box, as they knew it wouldn’t be popular! At least the Conservatives had the guts to do what should have been done 40 years ago! And I say that as someone who has never voted Conservative!

    6. I agree with all you say … except.. why only certain people to maybe helped ….if they were wrong … they were wrong …. and everyone effected should be compensated

      1. But they weren’t wrong, it’s just that some didn’t know it had happened. I think the idea is that equal SPA with men is fair, and it was done legally but, because some didn’t know, some are struggling, financially, and some feel they should be helped? The problem is working age benefits too, many women end up on them, or are deemed not to need them, as what the working age are expected to live on is very low, as little as £60pw in some cases! So if you have a pension of £75pw or your partner is getting the SP, you are judged to have enough to live on! Same with savings everything over £6k can reduce the amount of help you are entitled to.

    7. My situation was that I wrote to DWP in 2010 for forecast while making financial decisions on whether I should retire to France permanently. I received forcast, no mention of increasing age expecting pension in 2017, there for moved to France.
      2013 received letter telling me I now receive pension in 2023. How can that be fair ? Can’t move back, can’t claim any social benefits as not paid in in this country. Savings that I had calculated to live on gone. Literally have no money coming in. Thank you DWP what am I supposed to do?

      1. Did it give you your SPA as 60, or did it just say “women’s SPA is…” Or words to that effect? All I’m thinking is the increase didn’t start until 2010, so, if you got this forecast before it actually started rising, then women’s SPA would have still been 60? If you asked for your OWN SPA then they should have told you what yours would be, not what the SPA was for women at that time! Have you still got it? If you have ,you should apply for compensation on the grounds of maladministration!

      2. If you have that letter from 2010 when your State Pension age was 65 from the 1995 Act then that is 100% maladministration.
        File a case ASAP.

        1. I applied for and received my SP forecast in 2010.
          It said that I had NIC of 28 years and needed 2 more years to receive full SP.
          After that, I didn’t check again as I knew I had to pay 2 more years NIC to bring me up to 30yrs contributions.
          It was only by pure chance that I heard it had increased to 35yrs.

    8. What can be done to rectify the inequality that men were given automated credits on NI contributions, if they weren’t working, till 2018 but women have had to buy those extra years?

      1. Quite correct. During the 80s/90s/00s, men aged 60 and over could apply for ‘autocredits’, which often meant they didn’t even have to ‘sign on’. Now we’ve got the ridiculous situation where women aged 63/4/5 are being ‘advised’ to retrain if there are no suitable jobs for them.

    9. I heard nothing about my pension age increase officially, just hearsay amongst family and friends. I received a letter in 2004 and nowhere did it state that my age to receive pension had changed but a prediction of what I could expect to receive. I was a carer for my husband from 2008 and did not receive carers allowance until after 2009, I was unable to contribute anything to a private pension from this date. In December 2016 my husband died, in January 2017 I became 60 and had to start looking for work as I wasn’t entitled to any benefits after my bereavement allowance would end in December 2018. I also have health issues of my own but have to work 30 hours per week on minimum wage just to exist.

    10. I agree that there is maladministration and huge lack of communication issues involved in this issue. I for one never received any communication regarding the pension date being changed to 65 for females. In fact when I realised …years after the decision was made I contacted the DWP to be told that it had been widely covered in the press and media?.? As someone who does not buy a newspaper or have a tv I’m astonished that this was allowed to happen. Every other change had been communicated by mail up until this point……..This is a massive Cover Up! Unjust and illegal….

    11. State pension is not a benefit. Anyone affected by this should receive automatic compensation not have be means tested. I was not informed, my letter stated an amount and the date which I would receive it. No further information was sent to me. I had got to the maladminstration stage to which my case was due to be reviewed and because of the back to 60 court case my claim was closed. I have paid in from age 15 for a pension I feel I’ve been robbed of. This is surely criminal. A private company would not get away with robbing employees of a pension they have paid in for.

    12. Totally agree with most of what you say but nevertheless I was very very angry with your response when you were pensions secretary, disgraceful you were unable to stand up as matter of concience to Iain duncan Smith when he stated “do not communicate with waspi group, if you ignore them they will go away” …..what kind of person in high position would say such an unfeeling and utterly derrogatory comment, it just epitomised the disdain the government held against waspi 50s women. I have always thought that maladministration was the best route to take as I was not convinced back to 60 group would be successful however I commend everything they have done and continue to do but believe 2 groups weakened our cause. I was born 1955 and part of waspi campaign group, I continue to work 2 days a week but feel absolutely knackered and in bad health being ashmatic but have to work on, I am lucky I have a job, many cannot work because of health issues or cant get a job because of unofficial age discrimination, i most certainly would have finished work at 60 but did not recieve any notification by any means from dwp or any source to say in 1995 and 2011 that state pension for women had increased and then accelerated in 2011, words mean nothing to this government. Since you are now standing up for our plight to secure justice waspi would I’m sure be delighted if you put yourself forward as our ambassador or figurehead of truth to fight for us, I’m sure there are many more secrets you could help us with….of course you are in the house of lords so probably other barriers to supporting your fellow womens plight…but might be wrong!

    13. I feel sure that what is an injustice as these women paid their contributions that the very least the government should pay their pensions immediately but not with back pay as clearly that money has long gone. Also why did it have to be six years that could easily have been fazed in in yearly increments which would have been fairer.

    14. A very sensible article. Personally, I too have not supported a Backto60 stance as it is unpractical and the government would never agree and I think it is equitable to have the same pension age for men and women. It is however the maladministration of the pensions that have affected so many women. No notice at all. If the DWP are asserting that they informed individuals of the changes please can they repost the letters?! Grossly misinformed and waiting for 6 years to get a pension having worked all our lives is NOT acceptable.

    15. I am one of the 50’s women but also an Equalities Academic. Maladministration/ lack of individual communication is definitely the case we should be taking. I can only speak for myself and my friends; having never received any letter about change at all, just read it in the media. Clearly, the Government should have informed each women individually and noted the exact impact that this would have on their individual future. I am very lucky to be self employed after a career in Education, but not so many have this option. So many women in their 60s have ill health, disabilities, caring responsibilities or just can’t get work.
      If the WASPI ladies go down this route, the Government will need to show evidence of individual contact with each WASPI women. That is the case; it was never done.

      1. ‘lack of individual communication is definitely the case we should be taking’
        The problem is that it’s not against the law. No law has been broken.
        Morally and sensibly, of course they should have directly informed us and there’s no doubt about that. And this is re-inforced by the fact they are sending letters now.
        But the bottom line is that GOV have not broken the law and as such there is no charge to answer to.

    16. This is exactly what it is.I received nothing from DWP , I was 17 when I got married , paid “The married woman’s” stamp because in 1971 married women claimed joint pension, I did not start working full time until 2000 , it was too late then .

    17. Dear Ros ,
      Are you not being just a little disingenuous here ?
      Firstly , both Judicial Review court judgements made perfectly clear that in their view , the communication of the 1995 Act was adequate , and was carried out as effectively as it could possibly be , given the infrastructure and methods of communication then available.
      Secondly , not unlike the average Waspi campaigner , you reference the newspaper and other media notification at that time in such a way as to suggest it was sparse. And yet , if you read the evidence supplied to the court , you will know that is far from being the case , and that the coverage was comprehensive and widespread.
      Thirdly , and probably most importantly , you refuse to acknowledge what has been referenced in court , which is that the harsh reality is that many people , be they 50’s born women or otherwise , simply do not read anything relating to retirement planning , and have an innate ability to bury their heads in the sand , procrastinate , and only worry about such matters when it is far too late. This characteristic in people , and in particular in the 50’s born women’s campaigning cohort , should not be dismissed as readily as you and others appear to do.
      But finally , when you touch upon the unfairness caused to many by the 2011 Act ( not all 3.8 million mark you Ros ! ) we touch ground upon which all reasonable people can agree. And I stress the word ‘ REASONABLE ‘ .
      That then begs the question Ros as to why Waspi and other campaign groups have not simply focussed upon the 2011 Act , and sought to improve upon the £1.1 billion concession ?
      I think we both know the answer to that one , don’t we ? It wouldn’t provide something for ALL 50’s born women , and especially not for the vast majority of them who are far from falling into that impoverished , downtrodden category that Waspi and the Back To 60 Group are so fond of portraying to the press and to impressionable , vote seeking MPs.
      Surely , given the debacle of the Back to 60 campaign , it is time for some frankness and realism , rather than a continuing saga which seeks to reward all 3.8 million of them , when in fact only 16% of that number , according to the statistics supplied by the INS fall into the category of pensioner poverty , with those same set of statistics showing that 45% of them rank among the wealthiest in our society ?

      Kind regards

      1. Patrick, your response to Ros Altman seems a very well thought out, and measured response. However, allow me to point out one or two things that you may not be aware of. Firstly, the WASPI campaign was never abour reverting the SPA to age 60, recognising that it was neither feasible or affordable. Secondly, (not sure what age you are – probably some young whippersnapper in your late 50s, lol!) you may not appreciate what actually DID happen to most (not all, obviously) 1950s women. We (yes, I AM one!) mostly were married by age 20, and had completed their families by age 25. OK, so then we wanted to return to work. There was little or no state-run childcare, no breakfast or after school clubs, so childminding was undertaken by dear old mums. Most of us had to take part time work, to fit in with school times, ergo were mostly paid less. Works pension schemes were often not even available to part-timers (the majority of part timers were women – funny that!). Promotion possibilities? Virtually zilch. And don’t even get me started on equal pay!! The Equal Pay Act became law in 1970 – yet even today, 50 years later, cases keep appearing in the media highlighting the disparity between men and women’s wages. Oh, and did I mention we were expected to look after the house, bring up the children, then take on the care-giving role when our parents became elderly? Thought not 🙂

        Finally, I consider myself fairly ‘au fait’ with financial matters. I’m also an avid reader – I can even recall ads in women’s magazines fronted by Marje Proops regarding FIS (Family Income Supplement), & have always read newspapers. I can honestly say I never once saw anything in the media regarding womens’ SPA increasing. I didn’t receive a letter until the second escalated increase in 2011 – less than 4 years before I expected to retire. Certainly not long enough to make other plans.
        Needless to say, I also disagree with your assertion that the % of 50s women are not in pensioner poverty, while 45% are among the wealthiest in our society. The expression ‘there are lies, damned lies and statistics’ springs to mind. I know from my 30 years working for DWP how easy it is for stats to be ‘manipulated’.

        1. Well let me first put your mind at rest. I’m 50’s born , in fact bang in the middle of that decade. I am therefore well aware of the conditions affecting society during those important years that we are discussing . I am also a former IFA , having retired in 2008 . I am therefore better placed than most , to hold a view on the innate ability of many , both female and male , to ignore important matters of financial planning until it is far too late .
          I have also been a student of the 50’s women’s campaign groups , and am very familiar with the standard of many members therein. I have fallen victim on many occasion to the ‘ blocking ‘ tactics employed by each group , most notably Back to 60 , but Waspi also being no exception . It appears that the women controlling these groups have no appetite whatsoever for alternate views and opinions to reach the attention of their members , neither do they enjoy factual information being imparted which destroys the many myths that they rely upon to maintain the anger and the interest ( and the fees and the crowdfunding ) of their members.
          One such myth , which you yourself appear to have bought into hook , line and sinker is the…. ‘ it wasn’t covered in the newspapers , and if it was , then it was in the FT only…etc ‘ . I respectfully suggest that you read the transcript from the outcome of the first Judicial Review , wherein the court heard evidence , which they fully accepted , that there were more than 600 mentions of the changes made via the 1995 Act in the press between 1993-2006 , covered in both tabloids and the broadsheets. I won’t quote the full list of evidence here , but it is on public view within the court verdict which you , or any Waspi woman can see . In short , the court accepts that any suggestion that the changes were not publicised and made available to any individual WHO WISHED to see them and to plan her financial future accordingly , is simply without foundation.
          As for those individuals both female AND male who perhaps , for periods in their lives had no access to or eligibility for Occupational Pension membership , well that is where the availability of Personal Pensions came in handy . I was marketing them to my clients , both male AND female from when I started my career in 1985. No excuse whatsoever for a 50’s woman not to have had a Personal Pension if she had wished to .
          Finally , as to your assertion regarding statistics provided by established , independent sources of note ; well of course you may doubt them if you wish , but should you require simple , anecdotal evidence of the wealth enjoyed by many 50’s born women , drive to your nearest golf club , mid-week , and look for the Lady Captain , her car of choice and her playing partners. Or easier still , check out the Facebook profiles of many of those 50’s born women who head up campaign groups or who shout the loudest . It really isn’t hard to do , and nobody with an ounce of sense of a semblance of a grip upon reality is ever going to buy the line that 3.8 million women born in the 1950’s are impoverished and in need of further State support . Time to get real I would suggest !

          1. Patrick, re your comment ‘but should you require simple , anecdotal evidence of the wealth enjoyed by many 50’s born women , drive to your nearest golf club , mid-week , and look for the Lady Captain , her car of choice and her playing partners’ maybe it would be a good idea to take into account the cities. You don’t need to drive in the back streets of those cities, the main shopping street will often do.
            If you’re going to cite golf clubs, I don’t for a moment doubt it’s the rich or well off 50sWomen you’ll find there.

        2. Lindyloo, I’m sure your experience is one that you have experienced and perhaps that of your friends. However it’s not mine nor that of my friends, colleagues and family. Therin lies the problem of generalising a whole decade. We all lived very different lives and those born in the 2nd half of the decade are very different to the first half.

          I’m a 50s’ born woman. I always had equal pay and equal opportunities at work, much the same as many of us who held Public Sector jobs. I was even able to be in the scheme as a part timer. Many of our decade are indeed amongst the wealthiest in society. You only have to look at the golf courses and cruiser liners to see that. No-one is suggesting we all were but neither should anyone suggest we all are not.

          As to you not seeing it in the media, all I can say is that it was very difficult to miss following the first announcement in the Budget speech of 1993. It was all we talked about the next day at work.

          As to families your experience is not mine and not one experienced by most that I knew. Very few of us married at 20 and families completed by 25. More like 5 years later.

          The 2011 Act was wrong and unfair. Caught many out as we had retired already based on our 95 Act SPA. Thank goodness for the Protest against 2011 group which at least got me a 6 month concession. The only group to ever achieve something and a campaign that Ros was part of.

        3. Totally correct plus l had to give up full-time work to be a carer following a serious RTA my husband was involved in and having an Autistic child despite this l did continue to work part-time and always paid the full NI stamp. I now have serious health issues of my own and have already paid over 45yrs of NI payments. Seeing as the requirement is 35yrs that should be all that is required for male, female or whatever. I am sick of explaining the issues that affected women unfairly during our working lives and still do today.

    18. I do not believe we will ever get what we are entitled to. I have no recollection of receiving any notification of these changes because I would have tried to carry on working longer. I retired at 62 and hopefully I will live long enough to receive my state pension next August. Some days are a real struggle but government doesn’t care. If this had affected men in the same way it would be a different outcome.

    19. Thank you. I agree with your comments and think you are right in that it was maladministration rather than discrimination and that is where the fault lies. It is also the legal stand point that the case would have been fought from. I live in hope as one of the many 50’s women affected by this change.

    20. I agree with everything you say and have always said I do not have a problem with the pension changing to 65 in line with men. My problem was how it was done and the second change in 2011 which seemed to be sudden. I took early retirement at 50 from working as a financial advisor. I rang to find out what I would be eligible to receive and when and I eventually received a reply but had not received a letter before that time. Just an awareness it would not be at 60 gained from the financial press. Most women would have had no idea

    21. Gov website still stated SPA was at 60 in 2018 – 3 yrs after you became Pensions Minister and 23 years after the law changed. It had never changed in our lifetime, so how were we to guess that it would now? Too little info, too late.

    22. Maladministration. more like sheer incompetence. If I mis-managed the admin in my firm to this degree I would have been fired. Has anyone from DWP been fired? I doubt it. Also is it true that civil servants still get their pensions at 60? because they wouldn’t have had enough time to adjust. One rule for some and the rest of us can go to the devil

      1. Completely wrong. Civil Servants get their STATE pension at exactly the same point as other mortals. Not a day earlier, nor a day later. I suspect you’re confusing works’ pensions with the State Pension.

    23. I am 66 yes old in june 2021, I am still working full time. I have sent in letters to the Dwp stating I was not informed of change of my retirement age, but only to receive letters back saying that I was informed, I dont feel the age should be changed back to 60, but feel we all should be compensated for the missing years in our pensions.

    24. Hi Ross
      1950s ladies who lost there pension at 60 yrs need your support many thanks I received a letter 2013 and was due to retire in 2017 I see on the waspi website the 2014 pension Act states the government must give a minimum of 10 years notice of pension age change this didn’t happen this should be unlawful do o you agree also if the pos confirms maladministration all women who lost there pension at 60 yrs without notice given in the 2014 Act of law should be compensated.
      Julie wainwright

    25. I am not in any hardship but I was made redundant at 50 from a well paid job and only had low paid work since then. I haven’t worked at all for a while now but have relied on my husband to keep me. I do not think I am any less deserving of compensation than any other women born in the 1950’s, we have all been wronged whatever our financial circumstances.

    26. A pension is a personal working contribution I started work when I was 15 and paid national insurance since I received a letter when I was 58, that sure didn’t give me many years to make up the difference 35yrs contributions was all that was needed for my pension but ending up paying in for 50yrs. I was partly lucky to be able to get a lighter job which I’ve been able to do for last 14yrs
      I agree with Lynne above DWP should repost the so called letters they insist were sent
      Now I’m really tired

    27. I was fortunate enough to have a final salary pension and retire in my 50’s. I took all the necessary advice and support in pension planning and income forecasting. I decided to retire 2 years before the government made the latest change. As a result I now have to wait until I am 66, instead of 62 to receive my government pension. I am not destitute, nor suffering financial hardship. However, this expedited change has left a large hole in my financial planning which I have not been able to fill. The DWP and government should have taken into consideration the length of time it would take anyone to make up this shortfall in projected income. I agree with equal retirement dates. Many men are still retiring early based on there pension forecast and understanding the governments retirement date. However, this has been taken away from the women born in the 50s. They have either been left with a large shortfall in their income after taking early retirement before the change was announced, or have been forced to wait until they are 66 to retire because they have not had time to adjust saving plans to retire early. Neither of these is acceptable.

    28. I am not certain the route you suggest will work.
      The Ombudsman will require a high standard of evidence for maladministration – and the DWP as in the court case will argue they did all they could.Even if they win it looks as though compensation could be very low- say £100. I have heard of two people who bought individual cases earlier and got offered £30 or £50 each.

      1. Whatever the way forward might be David , would you not agree that accurate information and realistic ‘ expectation management ‘ is key ?
        On the assumption that you do , then I trust that at an early stage you will take the opportunity to correct the errors you have made with your.. ‘ Rape of the NIC fund ‘ and your.. ‘ Mens Auto Credit scandal ‘ pieces on your blogs , neither of which are accurate , neither of which were given even a moments consideration or credence by the 2 Judicial Review courts , but both of which have lead to fanning unnecessary anger among women who deserve facts rather than baseless myths.
        I do hope , given the part you have played to date via Back to 60 , you will reverse your stance , and begin to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem .

        1. Well said in all of your comments Patrick. Particularly this one to David Hencke! He has openly admitted now that the JR and subsequent appeal never was about Back to 60! Such deception by this campaign and to towards the many women who donated to crowd funding. Crowdfunder has no accountability as to what over £250,000 raised was used for! Anyone who asked gets blocked!
          His £271 billion rape of the NI fund and the men’s Autocredits are a disgrace! As an investigative journalist I am not impressed. He has been a huge part of the deception, helping tocreate a cult where women were miss fed information myths and anyone giving correct information were blocked, including myself! My crime? Sharing the SP Acts and timetable! Such a fundamental part of understanding what occurred.
          In each of his articles and within the groups this should have had prominent position.

    29. First I was told I would be 62 when I would receive my state pension which was fair enough to wait 2 years- then I was told I would be 64 – but they changed it again and I didn’t receive my state pension until I was 65 and 9 months old – the acceleration was disgraceful – I had very little chance to plan

    30. I left work at 60 believing that I would get my state pension at 63. Shock horror to find I won’t get it until I’m 66. It’s been a real struggle. I took the advice once and tried to sign up for benefit, but it was so demeaning I just couldn’t cope.

    31. A finding of maladministration would be a very hollow victory. We might be able to say “I told you so”, but that’s about all. The Ombusdman is not able to recommend that lost years of state pension should be reimbursed, or that women should receive their state pension early. They can recommend compensation – but even if this is agreed, it would only be a few thousand pounds at most.

    32. Ros – you mention the Automatic Pension Forecasts sent out from 2003 to 2006 where you say that the letters did not contain the increased State Pension Age.

      However enclosed with these letters was a booklet which explained the rises and who it would affect. The letter itself reference that booklet on at least 3 occasions. If anyone had read the letter then they would have read the booklet too. If they did not then I’m not sure that’s the fault of the DWP. There have already been FOIs that have contained the information on these APFs so the DWP would certainly have passed them to the PHSO.

      However the biggest problem is that the Acts laid no obligation on the DWP to supply personal letters. They certainly had to ensure that any information provided was correct and I have not yet seen any evidence that shows it wasn’t. The Government Gateway site that you mention still showing age 60 in 2016 was not something anyone would have found in the normal use of the site and was removed as soon as it was noticed.

      I think we have to be realistic and also have to be careful with what is being said. Many have already been misled into thinking it will all be easy and money from age 60 will soon be arriving. The PHSO has still to decide on its 6 test cases but it certainly won’t bring back pensions to age 60 and the PHSO has made that very clear. Anyone with proper evidence of maladministration should be compensated but that will not be the majority whose only complaint was that they didn’t receive a personal letter.

      1. I received one of those letters in 2005. It tells me in the first paragraph that knowing my state pension amount is especially important for me , as women often have less money in retirement than men. Remember, it says, it is never too late to plan for your retirement. It goes on to give a personalised forecast BUT does not give me my state pension date. This piece of information is absolutely crucial to the plan they are asking me to make so ask yourself: Why would they not put the date on there?
        That was all they had to do! 2005 was in good time. It would have enabled proper planning for the thousands of pounds of shortfall from our budgets. All this fuss would have been saved. We would have been informed. But no. I still can’t believe the stupidity of it: to send out a personal letter to women and not tell them their new state pension date. Maybe they were trying to hide something?
        So, then we check the leaflet that was sent out with the letter. It has a useful looking heading: What is State Pension Age? and goes on to inform me that ‘pension age is between 60 and 65 depending on your date of birth. But from 6 April 2020 state pension age for both men and women will be 65.’ Well I was expecting to retire in 2014, 6 years before the pension age was due to be changed so I thought I would be well clear. And if I was affected by a year or even two, then I could manage.
        So I was mislead, perhaps I was being dim, but it would have been so easy for the DWP just to put the date on the letter instead of leaving me guessing.
        Funnily enough, I see that in the report to the ‘Communication of State Pension Ages 2015-16, that very leaflet has been reproduced as evidence that information was given to women. But I see that this paragraph has been changed. Now it says What is State Pension Age? …Between 60 and 65 for women born between 6th April 1950 and 5th April 1955. This simple change, if only it had been in the leaflet they sent me, clarifies the situation. Now it is obvious that with a date of birth in late 1954 I’m going to be affected badly. Ask yourself what happened here? Did they realise that the first wording was misleading and so rewrote and reprinted the leaflet? Why didn’t they send the revised booklet out to those who had received the misleading one. Were they hiding the information or were they just making a hash of it? Either way it’s caused a lot of hardship.

    33. I feel it is a outrage that my wife has been made to struggle on for another 6 years and me another one year after the changes to the state pension age. I have estimated that together we have missed out on £64,000 of pension payments. That’s one big hole to cover at our age . In Belgium they get nearly double the pension we get in the uk , and in Germany 3 times as much . Seems the government of Cameron and nick cleg stitched up the pensioners . Why the age gap could not of been fazed in is beyond me. Born in 1950 retire at 61 ,born in 1960 retire at 62 and so on . Would of been a lot fairer . Instead of the theft of money and enjoyable retirement life snatched away for thousands of us. The government should rethink this quick . It might solve a lot of the unemployment problems they are about to get .

      1. Hi Alex,
        As a 50s woman, born 1955, I understand how you feel and I too am left in a very poor financial position and unable to reconcile the fact that my sister born 5 years before me gets her SPA at 60 while I have to wait until 66.
        However, about the higher rate of pensions in other countries, usually their contributions are much higher. For example, Spain is about 280€ a month, depending on age so that’s why they get more.

    34. Thank you sir for your clarification
      However your proposal of possible pension credit would not presumably
      Cover those retired outside the uk
      Needs to be fair to all
      Although I live abroad in Africa it has affected me greatly

    35. I was born in 1959. In 1995 I received a letter from the Government to say the pension age would change in 2020. I believed that I would get my pension in 2019 so was not concerned. That gave the 15 years notice of change which I believed was a requirement under law. I did not and still have not received a letter from the Government to say when I will get my pension.
      Bearing in mind recent pension court cases and the structural inequalities faced by the women born in the 50’s, from educational opportunities, wages, employment rules, divorce settlements to name a few, the implementation of the pension changes shows maladministration beginning with the Coalition Government, which has been continued by successive Governments.
      What happened to the money set aside to pay these pensions for women and also men who are affected?

    36. It is well worth pursuing this further route Ros and thank you for your continuing further support. So many of us are affected in so many different ways. For myself, 11 years ago aged 52 after 25 years of marriage and indeed a good previous career, my financial split/agreement was based on me receiving my state pension at 60. As soon as my divorce came through, the goal posts moved. I am fortunate to still have a job but I’ve had to use a huge amount of my intended pension pot to supplement my single life and it’s nearly all gone. Had this all been known I’d have negotiated for another £30,000 +++ which is what it’s cost me so far. Let’s all hang on in there, keep in the limelight and take all help and measures to move forward.

    37. I will have paid into the state pension for 51 years before I am now able to get my state pension at 66. I work practically full time in education, which is fast paced and exhausting. I can be physically harmed at times. I have arthritis in my hands and knee. I’m paid a low wage, with no partner to help financially. Knowing I’ve have to somehow continue for another 2.5yrs is getting me down more each month and I cannot see a way out. I found out in 2012 when I moved jobs that I’d have to work until 66. I was 55 and thought I’d be able to get my state pension in 5 years, but to find out I had to suddenly work for another 11 years was bewildering. For the first time in my life, since 2012, I’ve been paying into a private pension, but 11 years on a low salary, it’ll only be a top up on the state pension for me. I cannot draw on it early as it’s such a small pot.
      I know there are many ladies in this exact same situation due to the governments lack of, or no communication, as well as bringing forward the age rise quicker.
      To know the different governments in charge care nothing for us ladies, gives me little hope anymore.
      For them to understand they’d have to walk in our shoes, as they have no real understanding , do they?

    38. Why did they not use the legal school leaving age of 16 years to start the increase instead those of us born in 1954 have had to work longer, paid less due to lack of qualifications and no prospects of joining pension schemes and paid full stamp from the age of 18 (went up a few shillings from10’6d). Leaving school at Easter in the 4th year, Year 10 in todays money meant unlike the 16 year old leavers girls had no chance of getting on as we were told we get married and leave to have babies!!!
      My sister is 13 months older than me and got her pension 16 months before her 66th birthday not fair

    39. Given the massive costs of coping with C19 how on earth could the country cope with the costs of paying pensions from the age of 60 to fifties born women. It would be a massive burden to put on the shoulders of younger working generations and , I suspect, of generations still to be born.

      1. I don’t know what BackTo60, WASPI or any other group have up their sleeve at the moment.
        However, I think that after the potential Supreme Court case with BackTo60 (if it goes ahead), we need to take stock.
        I vote for challenging the 2011 Act as being unfairly used against the same women and we apply for back pay of any dues owing relative to that Act.
        Yes, it’s a lot less than many were hoping and none for some but it’s realistic and almost everybody agrees it was totally unacceptable.

    40. The first official notice I got was in September 2013, five years before my 60th birthday. Nothing at all before then. I’m told it was advertised in women’s magazines… what an insult. Like advertising a change to men’s pensions nowhere else but in Playboy and Nutz.
      Please don’t forget that women born in the Fifties started work in an age when (despite legislation) it was still acceptable for employers to discriminate through several ways on women’s wages, and that early slight has had a knock-on effect throughout our careers – our private pensions are considerably lower than our retired male colleagues, and are now set back to achieve ‘equality’ in timing with theirs.

    41. Sadly made redundant in August due to Covid-19 as I worked in events/hospitality. Applied for a couple of jobs in a similar role where I am more than qualified but both applications asked for my age. So at 63 I didn’t get an interview even though I met all of their requirements. The most recent one a 22 year in HR was completing the paper sift. Didn’t stand a chance.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *