Haven IFA Supports WASPI’s Campaign for Fair Pension Transitions

It’s not often we come across a campaign that really captures our attention – WASPI being a rare exception to the rule. The Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign group has been hitting the headlines across the United Kingdom and beyond over recent weeks, having gained a significant and growing following up and down the country. Nevertheless, there remains a great deal of misunderstanding with regard to what it is the group stands for, along with what its members are demanding.

Contrary to popular belief, WASPI is not in fact pushing against the equalisation of state pension ages for men and women. Many believe that this is in fact the case, with WASPI having allegedly set its sights on reversing government legislation with regards to minimum state pension age for women.

Instead, what WASPI is actually campaigning for is fairer transition for women affected by changes in pension policy.

“We are calling upon the Government to make fair transitional arrangements for all women affected,” the group writes.

“WASPI agree with equalisation, but don’t agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little/no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts), faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and no time to make alternative plans. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences,”

“WASPI appreciate your support in campaigning against the unfair changes to the State Pension Age (SPA), imposed upon women born on or after 6th April 1951 (and how the changes were implemented). This includes both the 1995 and 2011 Acts,”

“To be clear, WASPI do not want to “undo the 1995 Pension Act”. Our requests for “fair transitional state pension arrangements”are being dismissed and taken out of context.”

Roughly translated, WASPI believes that their demand for ‘fair transitional arrangements’ are justified for two reasons. First of all, the women affected by the initial changes were not notified by the government when the Pensions Act 1995 was passed. Secondly, the Pensions Act 2011 brought about further acceleration of the minimum state pension age for women.

The result of this meant that for thousands of women in their late 50s, they would now face the sudden and unexpected prospect of working until 66, before being able to access their state pensions. And of course, most of these women would by this time have already made firm, concrete and in many instances life- changing plans for their retirement – something they were then informed they’d have to wait an extra year for.

Given the fact that the Turner Commission states that at least 15 years’ notice should be given each time such changes are to be made, WASPI believes that the government has acted entirely unfairly. The government argues that the women involved will ultimately be better off due to the new flat rate pension, though this doesn’t change the feelings of those whose retirement plans have been shattered by the legislative changes rolled out.

“WASPI ask the government to put all women born in the 50s, or after 6th April 1951 and affected by the changes to the state pension age, in the same financial position they would have been in had they been born on or before 5th April 1950,” the group writes.

We give our full support to WASPI and those backing the group – we ask that our customers consider doing the same.