A Labour Government will compensate the generation of women born in the 1950s, who were betrayed by the Coalition Government’s decision to accelerate the equalisation of the state pension age. For many women of this generation – some who have worked since they were 15 – the rapid change to the pension age meant that they were unable to fund their retirement. This is a historic injustice which Labour will address.
This announcement comes as the Conservatives have refused to support women who have seen their retirement plans scuppered – during a BBC Question Time debate, Boris Johnson made a u-turn on his own pledge to consider the issue, dismissing a question from a WASPI campaigner by saying it was ‘very expensive.’
Labour’s plan is to compensate 1950s women with a weekly redress, based on the number of lost weeks of their pension and the amount of time they had to prepare for the changes. For those worst affected, the compensation will amount to £31,400.
Labour’s Candidate for Bishop Auckland Constituency, Helen Goodman, has supported 1950s women for many years. She said:
“I know from the hundreds of stories that local women have shared with me that the Government’s decision to accelerate the rise in the women’s pension age has had a devastating impact. Many of these women have been working since they left school at 15, many faced pay and pension descrimination in their early working life. They have more than earned their pensions.
“The way that the change was handled was totally wrong. These women were not able to prepare, and many had already made financial decisions based on being able to get the state pension at 60. It is only right that they get compensation, and I’m delighted that my party have made a powerful commitment on this.”
This pledge recognises the historic injustice which is still being addressed through the courts. It is estimated that around 3.7 million women will benefit.
Barbara Bates, one of the 1950s women who will benefit from Labour’s pledge said:
“I’ve just got up to the wonderful news that Labour will address the plight of 1950’s women, after all these years of campaigning we have the chance to get some justice. Labour have backed us all the way, and Helen Goodman has been behind me and all the 1950s women right from the start.”
If you have been affected by the state pension rises, you can see how Labour’s policy could help you with this free WASPI calculator.