‘I was devastated!’ WASPI woman speaks out on historic state pension injustice: ‘270,000 of us have died!’

‘I was devastated!’ WASPI woman speaks out on historic state pension injustice: ‘270,000 of us have died!’

British public react to the state pension triple lock

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 09/03/2024

- 07:00

State pension age changes ‘devastated’ the retirements of millions in UK, WASPI campaigners have said

One WASPI woman is sharing how she was left “devastated” by historic changes to the state pension which adversely affected the retirement plans of millions of others across the country.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign has been fighting to address inequalities caused by the equalisation of the state pension age threshold for men and women.

Specifically, the group has long called out the failure of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to inform women born in the 1950s of the changes in a timely manner.

Due to this mistake, millions had to wait an extra six years for the retirement payments they otherwise would have received.

Speaking exclusively to GB News, WASPI campaign chair Angela Madden highlighted why 270,000 women have died waiting for justice to be served.

This is the equivalent of one woman passing away every 13 minutes, WASPI said, and is the primary reason the campaign is lobbying for “Fair and Fast” compensation.

Do you have a money story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

Angela Madden and WASPI campaigners

Ms Madden was left "devastated" by historic changes to the state pension age


Ms Madden explained: “Fair - to reflect the injustices we have suffered because the DWP failed to inform us in a timely manner of the huge increase in our state pension age.

“Fast - because one WASPI woman is dying every 13 minutes. 270,000 of us have died since we started the campaign in 2016.”

In 2021, the DWP was charged with “maladministration” over its handling of the changes to the state pension age.

The Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is now investigating what injustices were caused by this maladministration

Policymakers are already calling for a £10,000 sum to be awarded to WASPI women as part of a compensation package.

While every WASPI women’s story is different, Ms Madden shared how she was impacted by the DWP’s maladministration.

She said: “I was devastated. I had already stopped working to spend time with my then ailing mother. I planned my early retirement around getting my state pension at 60.

“Although the Government changed the law in 1995 to increase the state pension age from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020, they didn't write to tell anyone until 2009.”

The campaigner broke down how the DWP’s maladministration manifested itself and how it impacted those preparing to retire.

“They wrote to everyone born up until March 5, 1953 to tell them that their state pension age was increasing to 65 by 2020,” Ms Madden added.

“At this time the Government were already planning to bring forward the state pension age increase to 65 to 2018, and raise the state pension age for both men and women to 66 by 2020.

“They started writing to women born from March 6 1953 in 2011, giving some as little as one years notice of an almost six year increase to their state pension age.”


WASPI campiagner

Campaigners are calling on policymakers to do more for women born in the 1950s


A DWP spokesperson told GB News: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women.

"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."

State pensioners are set to be awarded a 8.5 per cent rate hike to payments, in line with average earnings, under the triple lock.

As such, those on the new state pension will get more than £220 a week from April 2024.

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