WASPI update: Compensation to be ‘fully and properly’ considered after state pension report

WASPI update: Compensation to be ‘fully and properly’ considered after state pension report

'She didn't tackle it!' Anne Diamond hits out at Emily Thornberry for avoiding questions over WASPI compensation

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 25/03/2024

- 17:15

Updated: 25/03/2024

- 21:04

The WASPI campaign has urged the Government to offer the appropriate compensation for 1950s-born women hurt financially by the way historic state pension age changes were introduced

The Government has refused to commit to compensation for 1950s-born women in a blow to the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.

Pensions minister Mel Stride MP told the House of Commons earlier this afternoon the Government needs to “fully and properly” consider last weeks’ report from Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Mr Stride said: “We continue to take the work of the ombudsman very seriously, and it is only right that we now fully and properly consider the findings and the details of what is a substantial document.

“The ombudsman has noted in his report the challenges and the complexities of this issue. In laying the report before Parliament the Ombudsman has brought matters to the attention of the House, and we will provide a further update to the House once we have considered the report's findings.”

In the ombudsman’s report, it was determined that thousands of WASPI women could be entitled to compensation of close to £3,000.

Notably, the minister defended the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) conduct during the process of raising the state pension age.

Have you been impacted by changes to the state pension age? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

Waspi campaigners holding signs at protestMany groups are arguing for the Government to grant compensation of at least £10,000 each to the affected Waspi womenGETTY

During his speech, Mr Stride cited the Government’s commitment to tackling pensioner poverty and keeping the triple lock promise on state pension payments.

Last week, a landmark report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found that thousands of women may be owed compensation due to a historic state pension injustice.

In 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was found guilty of “maladministration” due to failing to adequately inform women born in the 1950s of changes to the retirement age.

The WASPI campaign has fought for compensation for those affected by this error which originated from the way equalization of the state pension age between men and women was introduced.

In its follow-up report, the ombudsman recommended a Level 4 amount of compensation, which is between £1,000 and £2,950.

Despite being a recommendation of some form of payout, this is significantly less than the WASPI campaign and its supporters have been lobbying for.

Angela Madden, chair of the WASPI campaign, has previously urged politicians across both sides of the aisle to help those affected.

She claimed Prime Minster Rishi Sunak would be in a “sticky wicket” at the upcoming General Election if he leaves 1950s women in the lurch.


The pensions minister added: “This government is committed to supporting pensioners in a sustainable way, providing them with a dignified retirement, whilst also being fair to them and to taxpayers.

“I have set out our strong track-record of backing our pensioners. I have also set out our commitment, Mr Deputy Speaker, to the full and proper consideration of the Ombudsman’s report.”


Mel Stride

Mel Stride updated MPs on the Government's stance over compensation for WASPI women


Responding to the announcement in the House of Commons, MPs slammed the Government for not committing to the recommended compensation payout amount following the ombudsman's report.

Shadow pensions minster Liz Kendall asserted that a "serious report needs serious consideration" from the Mr Sunak's party.

Last week, 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."

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