Parliamentary Ombudsman officially says maladministration over 50s women pensions – but it will still be a long wait for justice

Amanda Amroliwala, Deputy Ombudsman Pic Credit: Parliamentary Ombudsman

Sir Rob Behrens, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, today published his report finding there was maladministration by the Department for Work and Pensions in issuing advance warnings over the rise in the pension age for women born in the 1950s and 1960s.

The report – as previously revealed on this website – is little changed from its draft version – and still insists that up to 2005 there was no maladministration over telling the women that their pension age would rise. After that the report says there were delays.

Amanda Amroliwala, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman CEO, said: “After a detailed investigation, we have found that DWP failed to act quickly enough once it knew a significant proportion of women were not aware of changes to their State Pension age. It should have written to the women affected at least 28 months earlier than it did.

‘We will now consider the impact of these failings, and what action should be taken to address them”

The decision to publish the first part of the investigating before announcing whether the women will be compensated is unprecedented. But according to the press office ” this is because it is the most important investigation we have done” and ” there is a lot of public interest”.

The report is now laid before Parliament and MPs will be able to press the government about its findings.

Andrew Gwynne MP

Andrew Gwynne, joint chair of the All Party Group on the State Pension Inequality for Women, said:

This report is a landmark moment in the ongoing fight for 1950s women to receive justice, and a vindication of what campaigners have been saying for years. The PHSO has conducted a thorough investigation of a number of complaints and found that there were failings in the actions of the DWP in communicating changes to State Pension.

The DWP must urgently address these findings and advise 1950s women what actions they will take to right the wrongs committed by successive Governments. For too long 1950s women have been ignored, and this must change.”

The question is now what will happen next. The report is the first part of a three stage process.

What happens next?

The next stage will be to examine how badly the women were affected by this process. According to the press office this may not be just examining how the six complainants were affected but will look wider. It is not clear at this stage how this will be done and how long it will take.

Then there is a third process -deciding how much compensation the women will get. It will be nothing like the sums of money women lost – often adding up to as much as £50,000 – but is more likely to be hundreds or low thousands.

Again it is not clear whether the Ombudsman will publish these two processes separately or just issue a final report.

My guess – and it is only a guess- is that this may take a year.

Even when it is published the Department for Work and Pensions will need time to respond and a lot will depend on the timetable the Ombudsman gives them to respond and compensate people.

If I take previous cases involving the DWP- the six will get their compensation within a month- while the remaining millions will have to wait. Also the Ombudsman cannot compel the DWP to compensate them – but pressure from MPs should ensure that people will eventually get the money.

The 3.8 million women and those born in the 1960s are still a long way from justice despite this ruling today.

Previous stories on my blog on this issue are:

https://davidhencke.com/2021/06/07/exclusive-parliamentary-ombudsman-proposes-to-say-maladministration-by-dwp-over-the-rise-in-the-womens-pension-age/

https://davidhencke.com/2021/06/12/50s-women-pensions-flaws-in-the-parliamentary-ombudsmans-preliminary-maladministration-report/

I haven’t gone into much detail on the report as you would have read it when I published the draft on June 7.

Those who want to see the report It is here.

37 thoughts on “Parliamentary Ombudsman officially says maladministration over 50s women pensions – but it will still be a long wait for justice

  1. Thankyou to all who are doing their utmost to push for the justice 1959s women know they deserve , your effort and expertise is so appreciated.But ….if the Govt get their way , too many will have died struggling to retire and possibly Never Get The Money They Need To Live Any Retirement 1950s women did the right thing all their lives only to be abused and robbed in the greatest money saving stunt Osbourne pulled off 😡.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Andrew Gwynne has made right noises about sorting it out….but we’ve been that way with BJ and he did 180…..

    It’s going to be tough……but it is a step towards not away from an outcome but it must be Full Restitution – and even that only covers the financial losses….I found a letter I wrote 2 days after my 60th when I was fighting to retain my job post two cancers, fighting the DWP during 6 – yes 6 Tribunals – and it was shocking. It was about me, written by me but if my name was off it all, I would have felt so bad for that woman. Had my pension come two days befoe I could have thrown in the towel on it all and saved myself so much strife and health issues. Stuff money cannot replace.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have constantly contacted my MP about the maladministration of the changes and how it’s impacted on my caring role & quality of life. MP’s need to go forward & make the suggestion it is ‘we’ who are contacted as then there is already a clear audit trail of complaints.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for continuing to fight for me and women like me. I appreciate all you do. Kind regards Marina

    On Tue, 20 Jul 2021, 17:52 Westminster Confidential, wrote:

    > davidhencke posted: ” Amanda Amroliwala, Deputy Ombudsman Pic Credit: > Parliamentary Ombudsman Sir Rob Behrens, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, today > published his report finding there was maladministration by the Department > for Work and Pensions in issuing advance warnings o” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hallelujah David at last something going in our favour after so long of fighting for Justice, I just hope that it continues in this direction now. I know we still have a long way to go but surely this has got to be positive news, hopefully we will receive Justice very soon.

    Thank your to you David and the 6 Ladies who pursued their cases against the DWP and thank you to the Ombudsman for not shutting the door in our faces as many have before.

    Like

  6. I have worked from the age of 15 now 66 still working. I feel if this was a private pension company they would be seen as fraudsters and taken to task. I keep all important paperwork and was never informed of the changes.
    I do hope we all get what we are owed. It should not be seen as compensation and we should be paid the money in full without question and not having to jump through hoops and it needs to happen quickly

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Susan I’m the same as you worked from the age of 15 and now 66 born in 1955. Paid approximately 48 year of National Insurance, but DWP don’t take into account all those extra years of work.

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  7. Great to hear positive news for a change on the 50’s women’s pension fiasco. I now look forward to seeing more MPs stand up voicing their support in Parliament for the PHSO decision and to support the plight suffered by the 50’s women. God knows, it’s about time they did!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d just like to thank everyone involved in finaly proving that maladministration did take place proving once and for all “they /we were right” the next stage will probably be a long process and probably not result in the recompense they are owed. Regardless of this, again thank you.

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  9. I worked until just after my 66th birthday but have since retired. Although I was only 7 months shy of working 50 years (with only two short periods when I had our children) and my husband still gets more pension than I do despite me paying full NI contributions. I’ve suffered with several chronic health issues for many years and I feel that the Government are dragging their feet with this so that most of us will have died before there’s a decision so they don’t have to pay as much out.

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  10. That’s very good news but I would not like to be hanging by my finger nails waiting for any compensation,crooks the lot of them,they will do anything not to pay hard worked women what is due,hundreds maybe low thousands,when some have lost 50,000 pounds what a joke.

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  11. Would any man accept a few hundred pounds as enough compensation for over 6 yrs pension stolen. Over £50,000 gone. All those years of stress and trying to survive when we have paid in Nat Ins for many years beyond the 35yrs expected, plus our employers contributions! Time lost that we could have spent with loved ones. Loss of dignity and humiliation in having to rely on partners or friends helping out. Many of my generation resorting to food banks and losing their homes in order to survive.

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  12. I’m so glad that you are fighting for our rights born as 50s children and worked all my life except the gap to bring my children up. I work in education and year on year its getting physically and emotionally draining. I just hope that enough of us can live to enjoy our retirement. Such an injustice.
    Well done and keep up the campaign!

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  13. They should at least pay us something in advance. Some of us may not get justice as we’ll be dead.
    It infuriates me that everyone knows that the DWP are wrong. Are they just stringing it along?

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  14. Let’s hope more of us haven’t died by the time they decide! Seriously, they should set procedures for family entitlement if person does die. That’s the least they can do!

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  15. Let’s hope none of us die before they decide! Seriously, processes should be set up for the compensation to go to named family members for those of us who do die before we get the compensation. Only fair after all we’ve been through. And what about those who would have got it but have already died?!!

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  16. Thank you for all you are doing. I was made redundant in 2007 after 20 years , my redundancy money was based on how long I had left till I retired this should have been eight years when I reached 60 but to my horror I found out in 2014 I would have to wait until I reached 66. I have just started to get my pension. I had no information sent to me , I found out from a magazine article. The redundancy I got was a very small sum. And Having to wait a further 6 years has put a great strain on my health and mental state also loosing our house in 2008 as well , life has been a struggle. I have worked since the age of 14 and half , brought up 4 children while having to work full time Let’s hope our MPs have a conscience and pay what is owed

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  17. I have read today in the BBC on line in the business section about the pensions fiasco and it doesn’t make good reading. I am just one of these 1950’s women, my struggle is a daily existence. I get up every morning and have to decided what meal to do without to day. I am truly sick and tired of having to live like this. It’s immoral and somebody needs to be taken to task for this. I worked hard for many years and paid into my pension, NOT once was I told that I would never have got my pension I and many other women suffer daily. I have to wait another 18 months before I get what is rightfully mine. Shame on you DWP, for what you have done.

    Please keep up the good work NOT.

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  18. What can I say that hasn’t already be said.Except I would like to add my thanks to you David in your steadfast approach to this intolerable situation which so many thousands of women have suffered from and continue to do so. Thank you again.

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  19. Dear David Thank you once more for updating us on the elevation of the SPA for 1950’s women. It has taken a long time to receive this justified recognition from the PHSO but we are grateful that justice has prevailed albeit a protracted process. After 4-5 years of waiting and delays, we can only hope that the next stage goes ahead without further delay. Depreciating health has taken the place of the vital years of retirement which were snatched away. Many thanks for your continued interest. Julie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  20. What difference would knowing have made to most women though? I knew way back in 1995, yet my state pension age still went from 60 to 66, knowing wouldn’t have stopped the rise! So all of you would have had to either, work longer, retire on a private pension (if you had one,)rely on partners/savings to support you, or claim benefits, much like many of us have done! This decision doesn’t mean that anyone is saying that our state pension age shouldn’t have been increased & it definitely isn’t saying we should get SP at 60! Also it says that info about increase from 1995 to 2004 was perfectly adequate, all it’s saying is when DWP knew, in 2004, that some women still didn’t know that state pension age had increased, that the DWP didn’t do enough to put that right. The report says that nothing was done,until 2009, which I would question as there were letters/leaflets sent out in 2004 to 2006! The report acknowledges this, but it says that the letters didn’t contain any info on state pension age, which is true, BUT it doesn’t mention the fact that the enclosed leaflets DID! It just says that leaflets were enclosed! I think the DWP will pick up on this because, although I agree DWP could have done much better, to say they did nothing from 2004 to 2009 is untrue.

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    • No doubt you will be writing to the Parliamentary Ombudsman telling him he is publishing an untrue report and demanding he retracts his finding of maladministration. Your campaign to ensure that not a single 50s or 60s woman can claim a penny in compensation knows no bounds

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    • Well you were definitely in the very small minority, I received nothing and still haven’t to this day and as for putting small pieces in newspapers, I had neither the money to buy newspapers or the time to read them, I had two young children and part time jobs to make ends meet.. The difference knowing earlier for the vast amount of women would have given us time to plan, not to have 6 years of our expected Pension snatched away from us with little or no notice.

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  21. We women of 50s didn’t have much chance of working full time wasn’t childcare available so most it was part time and advised to pay married woman’s stamp relying on husbands pension later but not when divorced ok they say we want equal rights so should be the same retirement age as men thats OK now for younger generation who has more childcare avaliable also paying a full national insurance contribution we didn’t have that luxury then really appreciate what you are doing to try and right this wrong doing

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Although the odbudsman are dealing with this,their hands are still tied,they cannot say how much compensation we will get,what was on there site the pay back will be very very low,your talking hundreds not thousands,so we have got no further forward really,we lost thousands not hundreds…a smack in the face again….and yes some 50s ladies havnt got time on their side as well they know,suits them every time,same as wanting to cancel triple lock,older people again,people cannot get free prescription until 66 that is coming in too,they are clawing back from us,what they have spent willy nilly…its discusting to the core…sorry if I come across negative..but the whole situation is negative,we should be enjoying our retirement but many of us have had to sell up and live on our savings,we still had mortgages to pay,the other option was to lose our home to the bank…all of it has been immoral,shame on them who agreed to do this…

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  23. I would really like to hear the outcome, I would have retired but for this I have worked all my life brought up two girls whilst doing it to.
    It would be lovely to get justice
    Thank you

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  24. Thank you for your efforts on our behalf. I worked in the public sector for over forty three years, my pension delay was five years, eight months and an odd number of days. Thank god I had a occupational pension to fall back on and some part time work otherwise I don’t know how I would have coped, a lot of my friends didn’t have the luxury of a ‘fall back’ position and had to carry on working full time.. Please continue the fight and get us the compensation we deserve.

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  25. Well done everybody who have been fighting hard to get the justice ladies of the 50s deserve. The compensation is a joke if there only going to pay pounds, so far I have lost over £20.000 we should be giving thousands,
    And then going forward also we should be paid our monthly pension as well so all the 50s women can enjoy there retirement, then this leaves all thd young people to start on the employment ladder.

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  26. There is also anothervadpect to this ….women working for the civil Service were not allowed to pay anything more into their pensions beyond the prescribed age 60, and that included anyone entering the cs at the start of the millennium, so how will that be squared with the dwp
    defence? It just adds to the point that they did not take everything into account, even internally!
    Katie

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  27. I am furious that women are having to wait 6 or m8re years for their pension. I list 7 years pension due to corporate issues then was prevented from buying more pension ( meaning going without other things to do so) when I joined the civil Service in 2000. That was on the basis pensions were paid at age 60?? Did the cs pensions and dwp ever speak to each other? It appears NOT!

    I have paid NI for 40+ years so who do I hold to account for the lack of financial control, lack of ringfenced monies and lies?
    Katie

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  28. Having read the entire PHSO report, the recurring evidence shows just how much the DWP kept putting off actually doing something practical about communicating crucial information to 1950s women, in favour of just talking about it amongst themselves – for years. They need much greater awareness of the impacts their lack of action has on real people and they need to spend more time doing the right thing than searching for excuses not to bother. It is a relief that the Ombudsman has identified maladministration and was not intimidated by either the government, the DWP or the courts.
    Let’s hope the next stage is completed quickly – preferably before we are all dead.

    Like

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