Skip to main content Home News Paying in Leaving Retiring Retired About the Scheme
< Back to news

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) and the State Pension

The WASPI campaign was launched in 2015 by a group of women born in the 1950s who were adversely affected by the changes to the State Pension Age (SPA). Due to a recent ruling by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), it was found that there had been maladministration. The report highlighted failings in the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated changes to the women's SPA.

How the SPA changed

When the State Pension was introduced in 1948, the SPA for men was age 65, and for women it was age 60. In 1995, the government brought in the Pensions Act to make the SPA equal for men and women. It stated that the SPA for women would gradually increase to age 65 from 2010-2020. However, in 2011, the government revised this plan. It shortened the timeline for increasing women's SPA by two years, as well as raising the SPA for both men and women to age 66 by October 2020.

What it meant for women

These changes, implemented by the UK government, resulted in many women having to wait longer than expected to receive their State Pension. The campaign argues that the lack of sufficient notice and transitional arrangements left these women with little time to prepare for the financial impact of the delayed SPA. It suggests a lump sum in compensation should be given for the lack of notice received, equivalent to the degree of loss suffered.

Latest ruling

The PHSO, who is responsible for investigating complaints against government departments, has said the government failed to adequately inform thousands of women regarding the changes to SPA. They also said that women should be compensated.

It has recommended payments of between £1,000 – £2,950 which is less than what WASPI wanted. However, it's important to note that the PHSO can't enforce the compensation. The report mentions that the DWP have indicated that it'll refuse to comply, and it has therefore asked Parliament to intervene.

The government have now said they will consider the report, but there is no timeline on when they'll respond, how much any compensation would be and how this would be applied.

Financial implications and support

If you think you might be affected by this issue, or you'd like help with your pension income or your finances more generally, visit MoneyHelper where you can get free, impartial government-backed guidance.

If you're over SPA and on a low income, Pension Credit could also help you. This is separate from your State Pension.

We will provide any further relevant updates on this in Pensions News 2024, your annual newsletter.