Sidmouth women campaign for rethink on ‘unfair’ pension changes
- Credit: Archant
‘New rules have been rushed through with little thought for the sometimes devastating consequences’
A pair of Sidmouth women are campaigning to raise awareness of ‘unfair’ changes to state pensions – that have seen many people face a six-year delay.
Jenny Velterop and Julie Davies say the Government’s bid to bring women’s pensionable age into line with men’s has been rushed through with little thought of the sometimes ‘devastating’ consequences.
The age at which women born between certain dates in the 1950s could claim their state income has twice risen significantly – firstly from 60 to 63 and then up to 66. Many say they were not even told about the changes.
Jenny and Julie have both been affected – having to wait until they are 66 before they can draw a pension - and are asking people to support calls to make the transitional arrangements fair.
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A petition started by campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) has now received almost 126,000 signatures and a second parliamentary debate on the subject will take place on February 1.
Former social worker Jenny, 63, said: “Mine has been changed twice now. I was supposed to get it when I turned 60, then it went to 63 - and now it’s gone up again.
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“We want to make women aware - the more support we get, the more pressure we can put on parliament to look at it again.
“You have to plan for the future, and the ability to do this has now gone. Many women are having to go back into a job and that’s keeping roles from younger people. It’s so sad because they [the Government] just do not realise what they have done.
“Women who have lost their husbands have no money coming in.”
Julie, 61, worked in a playschool and left when her husband retired, expecting to get her pension at 60.
She said: “I do not think people thought it would go up so much, so quickly. It’s snatched away just before we expect to have it. They have rushed it through and not thought about it.
“I share my husband’s pension because I have not been able to get mine. For women on their own, it’s a different matter.
“I was sent a letter when I was 57, but since then it’s gone up and up.”
The pair say they are not against equalising women’s pension ages to bring them into line with men, but are outraged at the way in which it has been done and the speed at which it has been implemented.
Jenny said: “We can see that change was needed, but it’s the way they went about it. They should have done it slower and properly. I feel they needed money from somewhere and women, in some ways, are still an easy target.”
The women intend to write to MP Hugo Swire to ask if he supports WASPI’s motion and find out if he will be attending the upcoming discussions.
For more information, or to sign the petition, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/110776