Parliamentary group consults on bill to aid Waspi women

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has tabled a bill proposal to review pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s, it has been announced.

Following a meeting between State Pension Inequality for Women APPG officers and consultation respondents, the APPG revealed on Friday 27 April, that an “almost unanimous” decision has been made to call on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey to review pension arrangements for 1950s-born women affected by changes to the state pension.

The parliamentary group has called for the following solutions: non means-tested, no strings attached, payment for all women aged 63 and over from the day of approval until they reach state pension age; as well as the equalisation of women’s pensions so that everyone receives a full state pension, £159 a week, regardless of the number of years of National Insurance contributions they have accrued.

In addition, the APPG has called for the extension of pension credit for women who have been worst affected by the changes and have no other income or private pension available to them.

Representatives from Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) local groups were given copies of the APPG’s report on the findings of its consultation and next steps were discussed to come to a consensus.

The second reading of the bill has been deferred to 15 June 2018, with any further changes available on the APPG website.

Considering the campaign, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers trade union voiced its support for the Waspi and APPG’s efforts last week. Usdaw general secretary elect Paddy Lillis said: “It is not an exaggeration to say that some women have had their retirement plans shattered. Many have had to seek employment again to cover this gap, starting over in new jobs at a time when they should have been enjoying their retirement.

“It's important to recognise that the campaign is not asking for the retirement age to be lowered to 60. What they are asking for is a bridging pension to provide an income until the women affected reach the state pension age and for compensation for those women who have now reached the state pension age but were affected by the changes in 2010.

“The union supports the Waspi women and their campaign. We have supported the all-party parliamentary group led by Carolyn Harris MP and have highlighted the work of the Waspi campaign on our website. We believe this is an injustice that the government needs to correct before time runs out.”

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