The 3.3 million women “pensioners” who can’t get a penny from Theresa May

Today I am putting up on my website a  documentary film  released today made by the Backto60 campaign who have interviewed women now in their early 60s who suddenly found that they weren’t going to get their pension when they retired at 60. Some of them sadly have committed suicide, some have thought of committing suicide.

They are angry at both the coalition and present Tory government decided to change the pension age without any notice so they can plan. They are the people who have worked all their loves and brought up families, often sacrificing their opportunity to work. Some have even put extra money into their pension, only to find they won’t get it until they are 66.

The government shows no sign of giving in to them – in fact ministers like David Gauke, the  works and pensions secretary, have frozen other benefits instead- and if the Tories had a majority now would be pressing to end winter fuel allowances, free bus passes and the triple lock that guarantees pensions will  rise by 2.5 per cent a year.

There is a  contribution from Ken Loach, the radical film maker and pensioner himself, who made the searing film, I, Daniel Blake, about the trials and tribulations of being on social security after you have lost your job.

17 thoughts on “The 3.3 million women “pensioners” who can’t get a penny from Theresa May

  1. Pingback: The 3.3 million women “pensioners” who can’t get a penny from Theresa May – David Hencke – leftwingnobody

  2. Thank you. Very well expressed. So many women are suffering. Unbelievably so many still think their pension will be paid at 60. Not any of them remember receiving notification. They cant all be wrong. Terrible treatment of women by successive governments.

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  3. This has affected my life deeply – I’m one of the ladies who was not told about the pension age being increased by SIX YEARS! ! I can truly say every day is a struggle – I never envisaged being so poor in my sixties! Never claimed a benefit in my life! Pension is our right – not a benefit. Thankyou for your kind support.

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  4. You have bought into the sob stories of a small minority of women without bothering to check the facts. I would have expected better from an award-winning journalist. Here are the facts:

    1. Legislation to raise the state pension age for women to 65 was announced in the November Budget of 1993 and passed by both Houses in 1995. It was reported on prime time TV and radio, and on the front pages of newspapers, in both years. You can find the announcement in the Budget speech here: http://www.johnmajor.co.uk/page4283.html

    2. The legislation provided for a gradual rise of the state pension age to 65 over ten calendar years 2010-2020, and five birth years April 1950 to April 1955. You can find the original timetable here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/26/schedule/4/enacted

    3. Both the Conservative Government in power in 1995, and the subsequent Labour government, produced copious leaflets and conducted public awareness campaigns. However, neither wrote to women individually. The WASPI campaign criticises the government for this and is encouraging women to pursue compensation claims for maladministration because they did not receive personal notificaition. However, the Government has no legal duty to inform personally and does not do so for other legislation. It has admitted that communication of the change could have been better. You can download a comprehensive Commons briefing paper which covers this here: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7405#fullreport

    4. In 2007, the Labour government enacted legislation to raise the state pension age for both men and women to 68 by 2046, with a long transition starting in 2024. The youngest women born in the 1950s would have been affected by this even without the subsequent acceleration by the Coalition government. This legislation also reduced the qualifying years for full state pension to 30 for both men and women, to take effect in 2010. Before that, the qualifying years for full SP were 39 for women and 44 for men. You can find the original version of the 2007 Pensions Act here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/22/contents/enacted

    5. In 2011, the Coalition government enacted legislation to accelerate both the equalisation of state pension ages and the start of the transition to higher pension ages. The equalisation of pension ages transition had already started, so the acceleration disproportionately affected women born in 1953-4, who had rises of up to 2 years in their state pension age at very short notice. Following a campaign by the Protest against the 2011 State Pension Age Increase group (which still exists, you can find their FB page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/protestagainstraisedpensionage/?ref=bookmarks), the timetable for the acceleration was relaxed so that no woman had a rise of more than 18 months. However, many people still regard the extra rise and the short notice as unfair. You can find the timetable for the 2011 Act here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20111115161737/http:/www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/spa-timetable.pdf
    If you scroll down to the final page, you will see that state pension age rises for women born in the 1960s and 70s are now larger than for those born in the 1950s, because the 2011 and 2014 Acts have accelerated the whole 2007 Act, not just the women’s state pension age increase.

    6. The WASPI campaign deliberately conflated the 2011 acceleration with the 1995 state pension age rise in order to whip up demand for pensions at 60. When challenged about this, they changed the demand to “fair transitional arrangements”, but subsequent communications have made it clear that they still really want pensions at 60. http://www.coppolacomment.com/2016/07/the-waspi-campaigns-unreasonable-demand.html

    It is to their credit that the Back to 60 Campaign doesn’t resort to such underhand tactics. However, it is simply not true that the Coalition government ended the right of women born in the 1950s (after 5/4/50) to state pension on their 60th birthday. That was ended in 1995.

    7. The 2014 Pensions Act further accelerated the 2007 Pensions Act timetable. However, this does not affect women born in the 1950s. The principal objection that 1950s women have to the 2014 Act appears to be the fact that if they were contracted-out of SERPS/S2P, they could get less than the new State Pension. This has nothing to do with the state pension age rises. Indeed, if women who were 60 before 6/4/16 had received SP at 60, they would now be receiving the old state pension not the new one. The 2014 Act also raised the qualifying years for full SP to 35 for both men and women, and introduced a lower qualifying limit of 10 years below which no SP would be payable at all. A small minority of older women will be affected by this. The 2014 Pensions Act can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/19/contents

    8. The State Pension does not work like a funded pension scheme. It is legally a contributory benefit like JSA and ESA, and is paid from the same NI contributions – see section 20(i) here, Definition of Contributory Benefits http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1992/4/contents/enacted.

    Parliament sets the eligibility of all these benefits, and is not obliged to give notice of changes. The claim in the video that these women have “earned dues” that the Government is wilfully withholding is simply wrong, I’m afraid.

    9. Realistically, no-one is going to restore the state pension to 60 for these women, not least because to do so would immediately attract legal challenges from men and younger women. It’s worth noting that a claim that raising the state pension age was sex discrimination and deprived women of their property rights was thrown out by the ECHR in 2012. You can find the judgment here: https://lovdata.no/static/EMDN/emd-2008-026252.pdf

    10. I have written extensively about this issue over the last few years. My considered view is that it would be far better to upgrade working-age benefits to make them more suitable for older people than to give 1950s women early pensions. Many of these women are far from poor – the 1950s cohort as a group is the richest in history. http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/app/uploads/2017/06/Wealth.pdf

    It would be a gross misuse of public money to pay early state pensions to well-off ladies with large houses, defined-benefit pensions and second homes in Crete, while the poor, the sick, the disabled and low-income families are facing deep cuts to benefits, stagnating wages and growing poverty. Frankly, there are far more deserving causes to which you could turn your considerable journalistic talents.

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    • For the record while not replying to all your points.
      1. I cover a wide range of topics on my blog – child sex abuse, domestic violence, bad treatment of the disabled, the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, dodgy privatisations, institutional racism etc.
      2. Given the government has to write to everyone telling them when their pension is due, it is not beyond the wit of man or woman to tell everyone personally when the change came into effect.
      3 your main point seems to be that pensions are not a right but a benefit that presumably could be means tested. I am afraid they are not marketed like that – with all the qualifying rules for NI to get one for a start. they are still a universal benefit and therefore I am drawing one at the moment and long may it continue.
      4. You seem to fall into the trap that many other well off people do ( I am not saying you are well off yourself) that a whole lot of benefits like free prescriptions, fuel and tv allowances, bus passes, should be withdrawn from those better off. But where is the line – for any policy to be effective to redistribute money it has to be the higher rate of tax.
      But because we have individual taxation – even something simple like the iuel allowances – would not work. I looked into this thoroughly when eE Balls wanted to do it – the problem is the wife of a wealthy banker would still get it – as she probably pays standard rate of tax – while two people with incomes just in the higher rate wouldn’t.

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    • From you: “You have bought into the sob stories of a small minority of women without bothering to check the facts. I would have expected better from an award-winning journalist. Here are the facts:”

      From me: A SMALL minority? Are you SERIOUS? And SOB stories? How DARE you! Even for your normal spite that’s appalling. You know damn well that MANY women are in terrible distress, homes gone, belongings sold (I’ve sold my bed and tumble drier so far, and now sleep on my settee!)….spiralling into debt (yup, I’m there too now, and it’s bloody SCARY!!) Dear God but you make me SEETHE, Fanny! And TALKING of God, you claim to be a Christian, if I recall correctly. Hmmmmm…checked your family tree have you, in case you have dark and distant relatives who did terrible things to others in the name of their religion? Might be worth a check.

      From You “1. Legislation to raise the state pension age for women to 65 was announced in the November Budget of 1993 and passed by both Houses in 1995. It was reported on prime time TV and radio, and on the front pages of newspapers, in both years. You can find the announcement in the Budget speech here: http://www.johnmajor.co.uk/page4283.html

      From me: “VERY FEW people WATCHED The Budge back then, no internet either…We had just one a year, as I recall and the world wasn’t obsessed with them, as now happens. I’d just lost my 2nd baby back then, had a young daughter and was NOT glued to the media at all and..unllike your mind, which thinks in numbers and £s, mine doesn’t, nor do the minds of many, many other people. It was mentioned in very few places and where it was, it was normally in the financial sections which again, only those IN the financial world are interested in, as the rest of us interested in other things and trying to make ends meet, whilst raising our families.

      From You: “2. The legislation provided for a gradual rise of the state pension age to 65 over ten calendar years 2010-2020, and five birth years April 1950 to April 1955. You can find the original timetable here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/26/schedule/4/enacted

      From Me: ‘a gradual transition’. So, EXPLAIN to me how SIX FECKING YEARS is a gradual ANYTHING, please! Our agreed SP age with govt was 60. There was absolutely NO reason for any of us to have ever thought we’d be involved in this nonsense, even if we had known and most of us did NOT know, because we were ALREADY over halfway through our working lives. It would also have been BLATANTLY OBVIOUS to ANY govt that women were already far, FAR worse off than men, finanicially, indeed, govt had done a report showing that back then, we were around 50% worse off…So, WHY would they bring in an Act which they KNEW would DESTROY many of us completely? Revenge, Fanny, for Feminism…and YOU, I believe ARE a feminist…..

      From You: “3. Both the Conservative Government in power in 1995, and the subsequent Labour government, produced copious leaflets and conducted public awareness campaigns. However, neither wrote to women individually. The WASPI campaign criticises the government for this and is encouraging women to pursue compensation claims for maladministration because they did not receive personal notificaition. However, the Government has no legal duty to inform personally and does not do so for other legislation. It has admitted that communication of the change could have been better. You can download a comprehensive Commons briefing paper which covers this here: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7405#fullreport

      From me: No, they did NOT. I’ve spoken to The DWP. They produced SOME leaflets, a SMALL amount and then…HID them in Job Centres (you know, the very place you’d go to to find out such information) and they were notoriously hard to get hold of even if you were in the DWP, apparently. (So few of them printed, but hey, The CONMAN Trick is to do EXACTLY this, sit back, wait for Shit To Hit Fan, then say…all together…”Oh, but we produced LEAFLETS, you know, look, here’s one!”

      Re: 2nd part of your above paragraph. The govt has a MORAL duty, whether it admits it or not, to care for The People, whom they are there to SERVE, being paid vast amounts of money BY The People to DO exactly that, SERVE them. You do NOT, NOT, **NOT** change something so fundamentally important to everyone in the country, such as the State Pension Age, knowing that many, especially women, will ONLY have this to live on in later life, when the same age has been in place since 1940, (thus you know no man nor woman would EVER need to CHECK their state pension age, as they do now) without ENSURING YOU PERSONALLY INFORM EVERY SINGLE WOMAN WHO WILL BE SO HEINOUSLY AFFECTED!

      From You: “4. In 2007, the Labour government enacted legislation to raise the state pension age for both men and women to 68 by 2046, with a long transition starting in 2024. The youngest women born in the 1950s would have been affected by this even without the subsequent acceleration by the Coalition government. This legislation also reduced the qualifying years for full state pension to 30 for both men and women, to take effect in 2010. Before that, the qualifying years for full SP were 39 for women and 44 for men. You can find the original version of the 2007 Pensions Act here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/22/contents/enacted

      Labour also have lost the plot entirely!

      From You: “5. In 2011, the Coalition government enacted legislation to accelerate both the equalisation of state pension ages and the start of the transition to higher pension ages. The equalisation of pension ages transition had already started, so the acceleration disproportionately affected women born in 1953-4, who had rises of up to 2 years in their state pension age at very short notice. Following a campaign by the Protest against the 2011 State Pension Age Increase group (which still exists, you can find their FB page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/protestagainstraisedpensionage/?ref=bookmarks), the timetable for the acceleration was relaxed so that no woman had a rise of more than 18 months. However, many people still regard the extra rise and the short notice as unfair. You can find the timetable for the 2011 Act here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20111115161737/http:/www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/spa-timetable.pdf
      If you scroll down to the final page, you will see that state pension age rises for women born in the 1960s and 70s are now larger than for those born in the 1950s, because the 2011 and 2014 Acts have accelerated the whole 2007 Act, not just the women’s state pension age increase.”

      WOOPS, you left out the extra FIVE YEARS put upon the majority of us, JUST like all the Tories leave it out too. Well, well, WELL, Fanny, fancy that, eh? Cameron started this LIE off, and when I rang his London secretary to complain, she told me that he was WELL AWARE that it was SIX YEARS, with her emphasis being put on the ‘WELL’, as many of his own constituents were thus affected and had been to see him. She sounded mighty pissed off with him…and who can blame her!

      From You: “6. The WASPI campaign deliberately conflated the 2011 acceleration with the 1995 state pension age rise in order to whip up demand for pensions at 60. When challenged about this, they changed the demand to “fair transitional arrangements”, but subsequent communications have made it clear that they still really want pensions at 60. http://www.coppolacomment.com/2016/07/the-waspi-campaigns-unreasonable-demand.html

      From Me: 60 IS our State Pension age, whether you like it or not. WASPI, of which I am NOT a member, should have stuck to their guns, but for some bizarre reason they SUPPORT the 1995 Act, an Act which they, and you, as a feminist, KNOW BEGGARED so many women EVEN MORE. You and WASPI support this beggaring of your ‘Sisters’….HA! Sisters!

      From You: “It is to their credit that the Back to 60 Campaign doesn’t resort to such underhand tactics. However, it is simply not true that the Coalition government ended the right of women born in the 1950s (after 5/4/50) to state pension on their 60th birthday. That was ended in 1995.”

      From Me: It was ENDED in 1995, covertly and cunningly, ON PURPOSE, and every Party and Govt since that time has played Pass The Parcel with The Pensions Timebomb, waiting for it to EXPLODE, with NONE of them EVER choosing to INFORM us throughout this time, which even the Tories have had to now ADMIT TO! NORMAL PEOPLE do NOT treat others with such foulness, Fanny, and NORMAL folks don’t back such shitty behaviour either! YEESH!

      They kept SILENT and they put not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but SIX YEARS upon us! TORTURE!

      They KNOW that women, even today..and rightly so, are the ones who raise the children and who care for elderly parents at the other end of life…Thus, we take part-time, low-paid jobs to fit in around our duties as Mothers and Daughters and Daughters-in-Law. The CHILDREN need us there, as do our parents/in-laws too…and thus, a healthy and normal society is kept healthy and safe and happy…or was….NOW, the children are bunged into schools for breakfast, worked hard all day long, whilst Mum and Dad are BOTH out working, then the poor little mites have After School Clubs, doing as long a day as their parents…everyone arrives home knackered, goes to bed, does the same thing the next day and the next…..The parents and in-laws, like the children, are now cared for by strangers, in homes, for their children can no longer take time off to care for them before they die, just visiting them now and then inbetween trying to stay alive themselves on the Hamster Wheel From Hell created by Radical Feminism, Politicians and The Corporations, the first desperate to prove they’re BETTER than men, the second seeing TWO lots of taxes to be collected and the third seeing two lots of wages to come their way.

      Thus, EVERYONE’s ended up fucked up and miserable as hell……

      Oh..and did I mention that women being at home with the children and the parents ENABLED men to have those careers and get those private pensions, which most women, even to this very day, don’t have, having ONLY the State Pension if they’re single, or a lesser SP if married and a share in his private pension, if he’s caring and loving, that is….

      Of course, soon, the women won’t even be able to claim on his NI contributions for their pensions, but hey, let’s keep THAT one silent too, so another whole generation of women will be screwed ever deeper into the ground, purely for being women…whilst you snarl and spit on them, Fanny, for NOT knowing and NOT being ‘aware’ as these poor souls try to keep their ever-sinking heads above water, denied the right to BE with their children or parents in a normal family way, the man denied his right to a happy, warm, loving family who aren’t all having counselling for deep stress, or drinking themselves half-senseless to cope with this uncopable harsh, Financial Sector created world, created by daft people who ONLY see £$£$£$£$££££££s and NOTHING else and couldn’t give a flying DUCK for their fellow humans!

      NO OTHER GENERATION in our lifetime has EVER HAD SUCH TORTURE done to them, NONE. There was NO NEED whatsoever to do this in the first place, nor to include ANY woman given 60 as her State Pension age, including you!

      The Cridland Report stated recently that for every ONE year increase in SP age there should/must be a 10 year notice period. Thus, WE should have had a…..wait for this bit, Fanny….a SIXTY YEAR NOTICE PERIOD!

      NOW do you GET IT? NOW do you SEE what they’ve done to us, deliberately, their Misogynistic Bile spilling out with glee as they rubbed their hands together and gave High Fives to the Radical Feminists who WANTED this to happen…Oh, wait, YOU are a FEMINIST, ain’t you, Fanny Babe…..

      Frm You: “7. The 2014 Pensions Act further accelerated the 2007 Pensions Act timetable. However, this does not affect women born in the 1950s. The principal objection that 1950s women have to the 2014 Act appears to be the fact that if they were contracted-out of SERPS/S2P, they could get less than the new State Pension. This has nothing to do with the state pension age rises. Indeed, if women who were 60 before 6/4/16 had received SP at 60, they would now be receiving the old state pension not the new one. The 2014 Act also raised the qualifying years for full SP to 35 for both men and women, and introduced a lower qualifying limit of 10 years below which no SP would be payable at all. A small minority of older women will be affected by this. The 2014 Pensions Act can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/19/contents

      Do you not see how COMPLICATED that is? We have one of THE most COMPLICATED Pension Systems in the WORLD, deliberately made so, so that no-one other than the fuckwits who created it even understand it and often, even THEY no longer understand it now, such is the new breed of Super Fuckwits who are making the Financial World self-combust due to their brain patterns! You’ll know ALL about The Quants, I’m sure, Fanny…..created hell on Wall St., still doing so, couldn’t give a DAMN about any but themselves…..

      From You: “8. The State Pension does not work like a funded pension scheme. It is legally a contributory benefit like JSA and ESA, and is paid from the same NI contributions – see section 20(i) here, Definition of Contributory Benefits http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1992/4/contents/enacted.

      Parliament sets the eligibility of all these benefits, and is not obliged to give notice of changes. The claim in the video that these women have “earned dues” that the Government is wilfully withholding is simply wrong, I’m afraid.”

      From me: NO. The State Pension is an ENTITLEMENT. Even Steve Webb stated this, so sick of reading drivel like yours, above. The DEAL, Fanny, is this….govt says to us “You pay in the correct amount of NI contributions over your working life, which will go to those in front of you for their pensions, and those behind you will do the same, so that you get your SP at the same age of 60, men getting theirs at 65.

      From You: “9. Realistically, no-one is going to restore the state pension to 60 for these women, not least because to do so would immediately attract legal challenges from men and younger women. It’s worth noting that a claim that raising the state pension age was sex discrimination and deprived women of their property rights was thrown out by the ECHR in 2012. You can find the judgment here: https://lovdata.no/static/EMDN/emd-2008-026252.pdf

      From Me: It is women who were GIVEN the SP age of 60. THAT was our age to work to. Men were given 65, NOT 60. Younger women SHOULD have 60 still, as they are the mothers and the carers and without them, society is now falling apart, as The State has to care for The Children and The Elderly, who are all being fooked up too by living in a very uncaring, stressed, demanding, cold society, created by cold folks who don’t care about anyone other than themselves.

      From You: “10. I have written extensively about this issue over the last few years. My considered view is that it would be far better to upgrade working-age benefits to make them more suitable for older people than to give 1950s women early pensions. Many of these women are far from poor – the 1950s cohort as a group is the richest in history. http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/app/uploads/2017/06/Wealth.pdf

      It would be a gross misuse of public money to pay early state pensions to well-off ladies with large houses, defined-benefit pensions and second homes in Crete, while the poor, the sick, the disabled and low-income families are facing deep cuts to benefits, stagnating wages and growing poverty. Frankly, there are far more deserving causes to which you could turn your considerable journalistic talents.”

      From Me: The richest in history? HA!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe in YOUR world, Fanny, but sure as hell NOT in mine. We do NOT want our pensions EARLY, we WANT them at THE AGE WE WERE TOLD WE WOULD GET THEM AT which is 60!

      Oh, wait, so £1BILLION for the DUP is NOT a gross misuse of public money? Nor Brexit or HS2 or HS3 or Hinkley Point, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The Palace Of Westminster….or…or…or….ad infintum….?

      Pardon me, but those behind us, as far as I’m aware, have NOT been given 6 years OFF paying their NI contributions, due to us having had our State Pensions STOLEN. That money is rolling in to Govt EVERY DAY. So WHERE is it being SIPHONED OFF TO, Fanny? This CRIMINAL GOVT and all those before it too, are playing GAMES with OUR Money! They took OUR money, in the form of forced NI contributions under False Pretences, for our SP age was 60 and THEY changed the rules without even bothering to inform us of THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE **TO** OUR LIVES, **IN** OUR LIVES!

      They’ve EMBEZZLED **OUR** money, which belongs TO US! Every single State Pension increase now is NOT needed and it’s the fastest and easiest way to STEAL £TRILLIONS from The People at the drop of a hat….

      These CRIMINALS should be thrown in The Tower and taken there via Traitor’s Gate. As YOU support them, I suggest you get yourself a Beefeater’s Uniform and get yourself a job IN The Tower, so you can be amongst your mates,the ones who STEAL FROM THE PEOPLE and leave them, knowingly and willingly in HELL, and who LOVE to do this, ESPECIALLY, to older women, many of whom have NOTHING left, not even fecking HOPE…and some of whom have ALREADY taken their own lives, no longer able to continue on in the TRAUMA they’ve been deliberately placed in by EVERY PARTY OF EVERY GOVERNMENT since 1995…and almost EVERY private finance sector uncaring, unfeeling dingbat too!

      Seems to me that even The Ravens have FLED from The Tower, so terrified are they of The New Prisoners who need to be flung into that cold, dark, place….

      DO have a wonderful evening, Fanny………….

      Lizzie

      PS: Not spellchecked this, too pissed off, angry, tired and anxious

      Thanks to David for his blog…onward and upward with Michael Mansfield, The White Knight…and his Lady, Yvette.

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      • It is true that the better off have no idea of the struggle Lizzie given we have had to struggle just to get by already. You have stated exactly how they have robbed people but still squander our money among themselves… Hope you feel better soon.

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      • Very well said, Lizzie! And shame on you, Frances Coppola!

        I am another 1950’s-born woman who had expected to be able to retire on my 60th birthday (this year, as it happens). I have worked almost continuously since 1977, only taking 3 months off when my son was born because we couldn’t afford for me to do otherwise. My husband and I both worked 40 hours a week for many, many years to pay after-school club fees when OUR parents were no longer fit enough to help out with child-minding, and summer school club (same reason) – I remember once putting 35p in my car’s fuel tank because it was all the money I had until pay day! We lived hand-to-mouth for many years, even moving in with my in-laws and suffering the effects of negative equity in 1995 . So Frances Coppola’s statement that our generation of women are “among the richest in history” (compared to whom?) is very far from reality. Yes, some may well be; but an awful lot more are not, Frances. I was made redundant (thankfully only once) after and as a result of 9/11 and spent several months and some of my redundancy settlement (which wasn’t massive) studying for a qualification which I hoped would help me to find a new job; it did and I have been with the same employer for 16 years to date, and will be there another 6 years it seems, whether I like it or not.

        I did not receive a letter or leaflet from the DWP or anyone else; I did not see anything on the news or media which might have led me to understand that I would not get my pension at age 60 after all. I did not find out until just a few years ago, by which time I had no hope of making any kind of financial preparation to provide for me if I chose to stop working at 60 anyway. I will be honest; I am probably better off than many women of my generation, in that I have a couple of (very small) workplace pensions, and in that we have managed to pay off our mortgage early but we still have to feed and clothe ourselves and pay for fuel and heating. My husband has a good work-related pension but it will not support us both. To further add insult to injury, my husband recently received a letter (to our old address even though we had updated everyone) advising him of his SPA – but I have STILL HAD NOTHING! Unbelievable. I feel very sorry for and am very angry with the governments for the plight of those women of my generation who are struggling now, and feeling suicidal.

        To say that I feel lied to and let down by successive governments would be understating it – I feel livid! It is a lie that the government cannot afford to recompense us – recent studies have proved there is a surplus in the pension pot (which will grow bigger because so many women are having to work on – and of course will continue to pay in). By not being able to retire at 60, I will have lost (at today’s pension rates) approximately £51,000 (fifty-one thousand pounds) of pension payments that I was promised and have paid for. So yes, livid describes exactly how I feel about it.

        As far as I’m concerned, WASPI, One Voice/BackTo60 and every other SPA campaign group are doing a damn good job of raising awareness both among affected women and the politicians who thought they’d got away with it. Any MP who doesn’t listen to his female constituents should beware – because if even a fraction of those women vote against MPs who fail to support their constituents, then a lot of MPs will lose their seats. Maybe it hasn’t happened yet, but as awareness grows (and it is), it is a real possibility.

        I’m not normally given to quoting the bible, but: “”My name is Legion, for we are many.”. (Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30).

        A very disappointed voter….

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    • Great! I am ill but am not classed as disabled as I find it too hard to chase after DWP with the hoops you have to jump through to get round the obstacles put up. My house is just about my own but in a terrible state with mildew etc. and I have not had holidays or a social life as I could never afford to do that and pay the mortgage. Most winters I have a period where I do not think I will survive until spring. The trouble is with changing this law for me is that we did not put into a private pension while young to build a pension worth having, and often paid a half stamp. An awful lot of the people affected are poor, disabled and in poverty. It just seems like we will die before we retire as we struggle so much already… There is much more I could say but I am too bone tired to do so…

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