State pension: Blow for WASPI women as call for interim payment from DWP rejected | Personal Finance | Finance

It is estimated some three million women were affected by the decision to move their state pension age of 60 upwards. The state pension age is now 66, meaning many women have been forced to wait an extra six years for their entitlement.

Many of these women have argued they have suffered financially and emotionally as a result.

However, their efforts have taken a blow this week after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rejected the idea of an interim payment for those affected.

The matter was raised by Liberal Democrat MP Helen Morgan, who told the Commons: “Last July, the pensions ombudsman concluded that the Government had been too slow to inform many women that they would be affected by the rising state pension age. 

“Along with the cost of living crisis, this means that many of the WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality) are struggling to get by, and it is one of the concerns most frequently raised in my weekly surgeries.

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“I wonder whether the Secretary of State will commit himself to an interim payment for the women affected by the change in pension age while they wait for the release of the ombudsman’s final report.”

However, it was not good news for 1950s-born women at present, with the DWP quick to respond on the matter.

Laura Trott, pensions minister, responded on behalf of the Department, and said: “As the Honourable Lady knows, the investigation is ongoing, so it would not be appropriate to take any further steps at this stage.”

An interim payment would have offered financial support to those who need to wait longer for their state pension than they originally anticipated. 

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“All the while they defer action, 103 women a day die waiting for justice.  

“It is just a callous running down of the clock while the Ombudsman process examines the blindingly obvious in minute detail.  

“A competent, compassionate Government would sort out fast, fair compensation for those affected now.”

The WASPI campaign is not calling for the state pension age to be lowered, and is not asking for a restoration of “lost” payments.

Instead, it continues to press the Government for compensation for those impacted by the changes. 

A DWP spokesperson recently told “We support millions of people every year and our priority is ensuring they get the help and support to which they are entitled. We’re also protecting millions of the most vulnerable households with at least £1,200 in direct payments this year. 

“The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.”

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

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