Byline Times Exclusive: The secret Whitehall memos that failed 3.8 million women planning a decent retirement

Peter Lilley, the Tory Secretary of State who decided not to spend money in 1997 telling the 3.8 million women born in the 1950s that their pension age was going up. Pic credit: Policy Exchange

Secret ministry documents reveal that successive government ministers and Whitehall officials failed over two decades to tell over 3.8 million women born in the 1950s that they would lose their pensions for up to six years.

The documents – made public in last month’s judicial review – call into question whether the ministry was up to the job to properly inform millions of people of such a drastic change to their retirement plans.

The full story is in BylineTimes here.

71 thoughts on “Byline Times Exclusive: The secret Whitehall memos that failed 3.8 million women planning a decent retirement

  1. OMG David, what an amazing report.
    I want to bottle you up and sell your skills.
    Thank you for proving I and many others were not lying when we said we really didnt know. X

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  2. Wow David, An amazingly damning expose on successive Govt’s handling of 1950’s women!! Thank you, yet again, for bringing to light the underhandedness of those wielding power over our retirement!!
    We’re all very grateful for your ongoing support xx

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  3. I have just read the article and, even though I shouldn’t be, I am shocked at the “couldn’t care less” attitude of the people who should have made informing us a priority so that plans/decisions could be made with facts at our fingertips. If we had been informed at that first opportunity we would have had a few years to try and make proper financial decisions. By spending a relatively small amount of money then perhaps all this misery could have been avoided, having said that it doesn’t take away the inequality we have endured during our lives.
    How awful that richer pensioners were informed by a personal letter and the vast majority were not deemed worthy of a leaflet!! Truly disgusting and I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it. We are all important. We all deserved to be informed at the earliest possible moment. The fat cats pushed it under the carpet and hoped it would all just go away… they are paid huge sums of money to deliver a good service to the public, my cat could do a better job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would think that this was a deliberate ploy to sneak the age increase thru without minimal outcry from the very people affected.
    I for one have never to date recieved any notification.

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  5. Wasn’t their money to hold back. I worked from the age of 15. At no point was I informed of this decision. Immoral, every government who saw fit not to inform us. They should hang their heads in shame. But they won’t, because they with there very nice pension pots are not affected. It’s a case of “ pull the ladder up Jack”. I am alright. Now being recently widowed I am surging huh. Time to pay up I think. Not only is it immoral it’s ovscene. Funny they seem to find money for overseas countries who lets face it don’t need it. You look after your own first.

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  6. The government says it let women know through magazines. What a joke. Apart from the “entitled” class who has time to read magazines. I did hear something from a friend about my retirement age now being 66 and immediately checked with the DWP website but there was nothing there. There should have been something about it even if it was in the future and even professionals like solicitors didn’t know about it when they should have if they were negotiating divorce settlements etc.

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  7. I have no trust in the DWP and government, all the stories I read make it clear why I don’t.

    These liars, manipulators and fabricators of the truth are not who we want to run out Country and our government offices. We all want a Country to be proud of not ashamed of.

    God knows I’m finding it hard to find anything remotely good about what’s going on in the Country.

    I just read cock up after cock up across benefits. Cover up after cover up, lie after lie. Idiot after idiot in charge of catastrophy after catastrophy.

    David I read your brilliant report about the secret Whitehall documents. Hans Christian Anderson couldn’t write better Fairy stories than the DWP. Now I’m no mathmatician but sending 47,000 leaflets out to 3.8 million women does not calculate as anything other than a mega shortfall. Who the hell is working these calculations out !!!

    I also read the response from DWP banging on about how much it would cost if the judicial review over ruled them. Again the figures must be coming from the same calculator they worked out how many leaflets they needed.

    What had me a gasp was the DWP statement that if the judicial review over ruled them it could take up to 20 years for them to administer it.

    20 years ! ! !
    Where the hell did they get that figure from. Does the DWP not have computers, or I.T depts to compile data bases to collate the information.

    Is the DWP actually one person with a pen , scrap of paper and a faulty calculater….

    Tell them I have done administration for years I’m sure we can gather together enough women born in the 1950’s to do the adminstration. We will get it sorted and moreover we will actually contact the 3.8 million not 47,000.

    Dee

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been personally trolled, gaslighting was used to make me doubt myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you for uncovering the deceipt and exposing the truth. Where would 50s born women be without your tenacity in fighting for justice for us

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  9. This is an utter failing to consider women in any individual sense, to acknowledge them as independent working people who need to prepare for their future financially and mentally. They have witheld information vital to these women which directly effects them and their future security. Its all been instigated by men who did not consider the long term effects to women . They have affectively discriminated against all women who should have been treated with respect and giving full knowledge of their future financial implications, enabling them to ask questions and prepare for their futures financially so they would not be found shocked, lost, ill informed, disadvantaged, unprepared and mostly without the financial support needed on retirement. The government failed to follow through with support for their proposals so are duty bound and obligated to make provision for their mistakes and the causes of.

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  10. Well done for getting this out but an FOI should have shown it – the Ministers’ decisions are a blunt disregard as to the electorate (people’s) welfare and to leave these folk without data for their personal decisions – a huge cohort ( irrelevant) but surely discriminated against by its own elected Government – just on age and gender grounds! This wrong has to be righted. And never recur again!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Just thanks for this David. My complaint of maladministration by the DWP response said “on the balance of probability” I did receive a letter from them. I did not. Govt leaflets still said “women will retire at 60” until recently. The whole thing has been very badly handled. Since I took early retirement from my job the goalposts have been moved, in fact knocked down.This is not withstanding health issues, divorce settlements etc,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can the DWP be trusted that they actually handed over documents to the court that they failed to inform us properly about the delays in our State Pension.

      I wouldn’t trust them if ‘My life depended on them’. They are down outright liars!!

      Like

  12. Just a thought, has this information been made available to the Judicial Review, if not surely it is in the Back to 60 best interests to bring it up if possible.
    Well done David Hencke, brilliant work,

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you David Hencke for your transparent report. I am shocked to the core and cannot believe thus happened in Gt Britain by ministers appointed to serve the public. It is shameful ,utter lack of respect ‘this group’ who are they talking about..Thus group are hard working women contributing to the country and leaving work to start another shift running a home,caring for dependants and paying into the NI in the hope of a secure retirement. Am totally disgusted,all concerned should be brought to account and this information should be put in the public domain. Shame,shame, shame on the lot of immoral, ignorant, disrespectful Pratt ,and that’s being courteous

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The truth is out there finally, the DWP knew we didn’t know for years and did nothing about it. I was informed in 2013 age 56 years 18 years after the first legislation – too little too late. And I’m one of the lucky women, millions never got a letter and we are all suffering because of their and successive Governments incompetency and collusion

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you again David for keeping us up to date your with current investigations. Listening to the diatribe from theTory hustings and promises to find 20 billion pounds from where ? to fund this and that when they cannot deliver to us 50’s women what we have paid into all our working lives. !

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  16. Thank you David, I did get a letter either the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012 though and only after a work colleague told me about the changes to our pensions and advised me to get a pension forcast from DWP she was 60 in sept 2013 and had received one and I was 60 in October 2014, I only received a letter following checking my forcast and even then it was still showing 60th birthday first time I looked

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  17. Everyone involved in this cover up needs to be exposed publicly for negligence. What can I say! I feel sick.

    On Mon, 1 Jul 2019 at 18:13, Westminster Confidential wrote:

    > davidhencke posted: ” Peter Lilley, the Tory Secretary of State who > decided not to spend money in 1997 telling the 3.8 million women born in > the 1950s that their pension age was going up. Pic credit: Policy Exchange > Secret ministry documents reveal that successive governm” >

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    • Heartfelt thanks David for your continued support and passion to get the real truth to the public. I can vouch for the fact they certainly were not up to the job as I did not find out my pension age until I saw a chance WASPI facebook post in 2017. Their determination to keep this quiet and smother this story comes from more than just trying to prevent us from 1950’s women getting justice. It was only when I started to research for myself I started to realise there were even bigger issues at stake for us all with the misuse of our contributions that we had placed in good faith into the NI fund and its implications. Without people like yourself taking up our story we would never have reached the point we are now at. Women still are only just realising what has befallen them and this needs to be put right and without further delay and the perpetrators made to answer,
      Dee Wild- The Persistent Pensioner

      Like

  18. I am affected by this , I am still waiting to be informed by the DWP that my pension age has changed to 66. I am disgusted by politicians who failed to inform women born in the 1950s that this,had happened I have worked since I was 14 and am now 62 having worked pretty much full time for 48 years gone through being made redundant and having cancer i feel let down by the decision not to allow me to have a pension at 60 Amy husband is retired already and he will be 72 when I finally get to retire not what I planned where is the money being spent???probably on immigrants using the NHS and people on long term benefits who have managed to work the benefits system long term . To say I am angry is an understatement

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  19. So many still do not realise the effect this will have on them , this should be headlines in news programs on T.V. And also newspapers shame on the British Government to treat women in this way . Might I add a big thank you to those working on our behalf to try and get an honest settlement for those born in the 1950’s

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  20. Thank you David for all your support. It’s been four years now since this campaign started. An uphill struggle to regain what has been stolen by a contractual obligation that was broken. Transitional arrangements should have been offered.
    Discriminatory, divisive and destructive results.

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  21. Another great article supporting what 1950’s women have been saying all along. They were not told about increased State Pension Age.
    We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David Hencke Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts💁🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for exposing this report. We never received any letters telling us about this, feel very angry what they have done to us, struggle every day, should be enjoying retirement, have to watch every penny I spend. Why is there no coverage on the TV.

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  23. Thank you David. The truth will come out in the end. Like many women of my age (I have just turned 65) I feel a burning resentment about the unfairness of it all. I have had zero information from the DWP. The BBC news channel shows very little coverage of this campaign and I have yet to see a politician paying more than lip service. Why have they not grasped the fact that thousands of women (and their partners) would vote for the party who could fix our pensions.

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  24. Absolutely disgusting and criminal 🤦😞😢 everyday 50s women exhausted and in some cases are ill get up and go to work we have done our bit we’re tired and fed up we need our pensions back so we can relax and enjoy time with our families 😞😢

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    • I was 65 in January this year but did not receive my first payment until May. I have worked since I was 15 without any break whatsoever. I feel very cheeted and disgusted. I have had to give up work due to my ill health but cannot really afford to. I therefore cannot enjoy my retirement the way I would have liked. Can we somehow bring the subject out to the forefront more and ask Boris what is he going to do about paying this money out to all who are well overdue for this money.

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  25. Thank you David for you excellent journalism. You are a man of integrity and conscience, so, so far removed from many of our English psychopathic politicans who care nothing for humanity. Thank you Backto60, your legal team and WASPI, much love to you all. Just a reminder, all of the 50s women living outside of London and Merseyside in England have also been denied Bus Passes at 60, many not receiving them until 66. How much money on top of the stolen pensions is being ‘saved’ by the government and councils? (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still honour the 60 age for applicability).

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  26. Thank you David for another brilliant article. However, I still do not understand why the mainstream daily newspapers and TV channels do not seem to be reporting this travesty. The recent announcement about the BBC’s intention to charge over 75’s for TV licences made a huge impact in a very short space of time. Why is there no such coverage for 50’s women – is there some sort of a news blackout in place? As there are well over 3 million women affected, I cannot understand why there is not a lot more press coverage.

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    • Because the BBC are biased they only put on what they want . They lie about everything. It’s been proved . Shut them down I would. My mother in law is 91 and her and her husband fought for this country. It’s appalling

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  27. Thanks again David. You should be appointed to head up an independent body whose job is the governance of the actions of government because, no matter the level of dishonesty, there seems to be no body to whom they are accountable. if they hide things from the electorate, as you have clearly demonstrated, we cannot even kick them out at the next election.

    I am really conerned that people are concentrating on the fact they ‘told’ us too late. The crime is that they decided to arbitrarily breach the terms of contracts which had been in place for years – one side completely honoured the terms. They believe they have the power to take the money, misappropriate it for other purposes and then renege on all agreements made, ‘in secret’.

    The fact is this was done to overcome the shortcomings of the civil service and government who appeared not to notice the aging population; if they had started adding years on the the pension age of new joiners to the scheme when they started to think of raising retirement ages they would not have been forced to dream up despicable ways to identify a vulnerable group whom they believed would just quietly accept their excesses.

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  28. Thank you David for highlighting the true facts . And proving we were not the ones telling lies, your an amazing journalist all respect to you

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  29. Totally disgraceful cover up. Hang your heads in shame UK Government..with the help of David, Michael and the excellent team we will win!!

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  30. Thank you for this report surely something will be done about this our government has failed us it’s shocking, beyond belief me and thousands of others we have grafted and been shafted

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  31. This is criminal and an absolutely disgusting admition. 1950s women should be granted the state pensions they worked for and were promised just on this act alone never mind the multitude of other reasons they should get it.

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  32. A huge thank you to you, David, for highlighting the plight we 50s ladies find ourselves in, through no fault of our own!

    Let’s be clear here that we started our working lives agreeing to pay NI and tax on the understanding that we would receive a pension upon reaching the age of 60.

    This was an unwritten contract but, all the same, a legal contract between each working person and the Government by virtue of the fact that both she/he, and their employer, paid NI contributions to the Goverment via PAYE.

    It’s laughable to see the adverts on TV regarding Pension scams. yet ours is the biggest scam of the lot !! The manner in which the triple lock was introduced without informing the people it directly affected shows that those who put this into place considered they people affected were an easy target for saving goverment payout. When I received a letter from the HMRC in February last year advising me that my SPA date is officially November 2020 (when it should have been November 2014), and the amount I would receive each week from that date as pension, it also advised me that if I continued working up to November 2020 I was still expected to pay tax and NI but that the final forecast could not be improved. So the extra money paid in from employment up to the date of SPA is basically pocketed by the Government!

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  33. This is an absolute disgrace , it’s not hard to contact people in this day and age , p60 , national insurance numbers or even by hm HMRC , it just shows how women are regarded by politicians xx

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  34. Absolutely disgusting the way our government have treated us! Women are now going through real hardship, working with life-threatening illnesses, trying to help look after elderly parents and grandchildren. Many of us have arthritis in different forms which causes severe pain. Women are actually committing suicide because they’re so worried about paying their bills. Many took early retirement in the knowledge that they’d be getting their pension at 60, now finding it impossible to get jobs to keep them going until they can retire at 66! And our government has the audacity to suggest that we take apprenticeships at around £4.00 an hour, it would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious problem! Sort this mess out please as soon as possible as it’s causing so much distress – it’s NOT equality, it’s persecution!

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    • 6.5 million pounds wasted . Because they went to the rich. A pension company’s. It say a lot that didn’t know were not working. A load of rubbish. I was self employed. And received my self assessment every year. They also had my change of address email ect . I still haven’t been told . And I’m 62 this month. Only found out on a billboard. By waspi and asked what it was about. I phoned for a forecast. Oops sorry computers are down. I was also told by the dwp don’t up your national insurance contribution’s . As the amount I would have to pay in was pounds and I would get penny’s back . This has been a total scam and lies by the government and dwp . Kept it all under wraps . And not a lot of people know . And still don’t know some of them

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  35. I have been able to retire thanks to my husband subsidising me. I expect my pension in 2021.i had a letter telling me I should wait till age 63 for it but none to tell me 66!!!
    I have worked since age 18 and always paid a full stamp and feel I have had money stolen from me by the Government!!!

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  36. Me too, worked for 50 years without a gap
    and I have been forced to give up my job
    through I’ll health. I was 65 in January but
    couldn’t really afford to give up but my
    husband is also subsidising me. Shame on
    the Government shame on them.

    Like

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