50s women pensions: Will rival attempts to speed up compensation for the 3.6 million work?

Royal Courts of Justice

While I have been away there have been significant developments in the long battle to get justice for the 50swomen who lost tens of thousands of pounds through maladministration, discrimination and lack of communication over the six year rise in their pension age.

Like everything in this long tortured tale the developments have not been straight forward.

Basically two separate initiatives have been launched. WASPI after first going along the route of seeking justice for 50swomen through Rob Behrens the Parliamentary Ombudsman, suddenly turned on him threatening him with a judicial review and launching a crowdfunder to fight him which raised nearly £150,000.

Alternative Disputes Resolution

Backto60, as the only organisation that campaigns for full restitution for the women, launched a plan to call for an Alternative Disputes Resolution, to negotiate a settlement with Mel Stride, the secretary of state for works and pensions, to end this long running dispute which has angered so many women who feel cheated by the DWP. This is backed by 54 MPs, petitions that have attracted 87,000 signatures and a Parliamentary motion.

Both the initiatives I suspect followed the leaking of the Ombudsman’s first and second stage reports on the issue on this blog. Without them becoming public the 3.6 million women affected would not have known the full and frankly paltry proposals by the Ombudsman to solve this dispute. And I have not forgotten senior people from Waspi pressing me to remove the posts so the reports would remain part of a private discussion between them, the Ombudsman and selected MPs rather than allowing the 3.6 million victims the opportunity to read them. And the second one is still not published.

The reason that I suspect WASPI turned is that it was becoming clear that the compensation would be meagre and limited – the DWP could decide ( as they have following other Ombudsman’s reports) that only the six complainants would automatically get compensation of £1000 and some 600 will have to fight for it .It looked a far cry from the promise by Waspi’s chief spokesman, Angela Madden at last year’s Labour conference of between £10,000 and £20,000 for everybody. That is still a lot less for many people owed up to £50,000.

Angela Madden WASPI

Now developments have moved fast on this proposal. It is clear that WASPI, the Ombudsman and teams of lawyers from Bindman’s and Blackstone Chambers have come to a compromise which ended up in the high court last week. Reading the order from Judge Kirsty Brimelow it is clear that parts of the Ombudsman’s second stage report are quashed. These deal with the latter part of the report which rejected any financial compensation for women whose well being and life choices were affected by the delay and did not acknowledge the impact of the DWP pausing sending out letters to women.

The section was admitted by the Ombudsman to have been legally flawed by not taking everything into account.

Crowdfunder page

Since then WASPI have issued on their Crowdfunder page a series of ten conditions which ,it says, the Ombudsman should fulfill.

“WASPI will not be passively waiting for its outcome. At each stage we will be pressing the Ombudsman not only to complete his investigation in a way that is as rapid as possible but also thorough and fair. We will also be raising concerns about this with MPs, particularly those who sit on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) which oversees the Ombudsman’s work. And we will turn to our lawyers for their expert input when responding to the Ombudsman’s draft reports and if we have concerns his investigation may be derailed again.”

The Ombudsman has been more cautious. He has agreed that he will show Waspi and the complainants his proposed changes and accept comments before finally presenting his report to Parliament.

A spokesperson committed them to looking at the report again adding” We don’t currently have a timeline, but we want to resolve the investigation as swiftly as possible, so any mechanism for remedy can be implemented for those affected.”

Now while this is happening Back to 60 pursued a different tack. The key issue for them has been the People’s Tribunal which looked into the plight of the 50swomen under the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Tribunal held last year and the judgement given by Judge Jocelynne Scutt which ruled that the women had suffered both maladministration and discrimination.

Jocelynne Scutt

Some critics have tried to say the tribunal and the report are irrelevant because they have no standing. Given that the deputy chair of CEDAW in Geneva gave evidence to it and the judge was one of Australia’s first discrimination commissioners, such criticism seems rather ridiculous. to put it mildly.

The judge took a strong view that Parliament had a moral duty to this. “Government and Parliament have a responsibility to face up to and acknowledge the grave wrong done. There is no room for obfuscation or quibbling. Historic discrimination requires relief. There is a moral imperative to right this wrong. The law is on the side of 1950s women.”

Sir George Howarth

Sir George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley, who chairs the Alternative Disputes Resolution project has already written to Mel Stride, asking to come to a meeting. The organisers have also invited Waspi who have not replied.

What is missing is what the DWP will do. It has registered as an interested party to the proceedings over the ombudsman’s report but did not send lawyers to the hearing last week.

Any question to ministers on these developments is met with the answer that it is ” neutral” and would not comment because of the legal proceedings.

This is not surprising , the DWP can’t commit to implementing the Ombudsman’s findings if it doesn’t know what they are. The proper procedure will be after the final report is published.

Will these initiatives work?

The stumbling block for Waspi is that the Ombudsman cannot compel the DWP to accept his findings – even if he does everything Waspi wants. This is one reason why legislation needs updating to strengthen his power which the government is reluctant to do.

The disputes procedure cannot get off the ground without the DWP agreeing to come either.

We could be left with a stalemate with the DWP playing one side against the other and sadly it will still mean women will not get the compensation they badly need. Difficult and confusing times lie ahead.

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32 thoughts on “50s women pensions: Will rival attempts to speed up compensation for the 3.6 million work?

  1. Thank you for keeping me up to date with this, I feel a bit helpless as I’m not sure what I can do to help, if anything. Regards Joan Briton 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  2. Hi, given a one-time payment to you David as that is all I can afford. I hope your can help us, the Back to 60s women, get a true restoration of the monies that were “robbed” from us. I think we need a campaign to get more menfolk of 1950s women, including friends, relatives, even neighbours to join us in our campaign!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for keeping us as informed as we can be David! Without you we would not know even this much.
    I fail to see how the ombudsman can possibly resolve this issue, when he has only been asked to investigate maladministration and not the proven direct discrimination. Particularly as the first report, which was not challenged, minimised the maladministration to a starting point of 2005/6 (not clear which!). Dr Scutt’s view is that it was ongoing, so we are already being sold short.
    Many women feel they are having no say in this process, as very few seem to be involved and few are being fully informed or consulted.
    The only legal and moral remedy is full restitution IMO
    Ask your MP to join thei ADR process and/or sign EDM1040
    And please sign the latest petition calling for ADRnow, widely publicised on both twitter and facebook

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Surely, wrong is wrong for every single one affected. If wrong has been done, then it has to be put right. People who lost a lot of money during the years affected here, should be compensated, to me, it’s a simple as that. I know that behind-the-scenes for the people who do the work to get to the point of compensation, and they do an awful lot of work and as a 50s, Waspi woman , I thank them but this situation can’t be right just for some of the 50s women, if wrongdoing has been done then it effects every single one of them. How many more have to die and miss out, on what is rightfully theirs, how very sad is that.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Guessing they will drag this out as long as possible then half if not more of these pensioners will be died then they win.


  6. Thank you David for writing this, your reports have informed us/been a lifeline for we #50sWomen! You are a star!

    Just why is @PHSO only looking (ever so slowly) into #maladministration and blatantly avoiding ever mentioning the constant #Discrimination we suffer? I mean, seriously?
    Quote “…been Legally flawed as not taking everything into account” – IMHO that, in a nutshell, shows what an utter farce the whole @PHSO route is! #50sWomen – NOT men, have been grossly mistreated, robbed, belittled & ignored! Choosing just 6 test cases when 3.8million #50sBornWomen are affected! Choosing arbitrary dates when women OUGHT to have been notified when vast majority have NEVER officially been told! Meanwhile one #50sWoman dies every 14 minutes while this nightmare continues to drag on!
    I, for one, have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that #50sWomen will be satisfied by its final recommendations (which, incidentally, Legally, Govt doesn’t even have to abide by)! #Misogyny #Discrimination #StitchUp #Shafted

    Meanwhile, #DirectDiscrimination has been proven, ergo, as per CEDAW #FullRestitution is due to ALL betrayed #50sWomen (#EDM430) Also, to this end, #EDM1040 advises utilising Alternative Dispute Resolution #ADRnow #BackTo60

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Your followers should check out the news section article, dated 31st March 2023, of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). It is on the PACAC website. The headline: “MPs lament NHS and Government complaints body’s ‘lack of ambition’ to return to pre-pandemic service delivery levels”.

    PACAC Chair William Wragg MP said: “When individuals are failed by a public service, they deserve the right for their complaint to be heard and any injustice redressed. Yet again we are calling on the Government to bring forward the long-awaited reform of the Ombudsman. This Committee and its predecessors have made recommendations for two decades. It is unacceptable the Government has not addressed this sooner”.

    I would go much further. The evidence against the Ombudsman service is damning and, if your followers care to look at the website PHSO The True Story, they will understand why I take this view.

    The Government will resist and probably, in time, bring legislation which tinkers around the edges. Nothing short of a statutory public inquiry into the non workings of the Ombudsman will ever create the necessary change.

    Welcome back David

    Liked by 3 people

  8. As has been reported, it is unlikely political parties will include #WaSPI (aka #PHSO Recommendations) in main parties’future Manifestos
    Yet #WaSPI & #APPG still look Sir George’s #ADRnow settlement talks, via UK&Intl Laws, as a gift horse, in the mouth whilst victims are tortured.
    The ground breaking work of both CEDAW and CEDAWinLAW People’s Tribunals is unmatched in the arena: everyone in now familiar with the said irrefutable evidence, Parliamentary Will and route to a remedy.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. As always @david your sticking your head above the parapet reporting the truth and having the interests of thousands of woman who have not been able to put in an official complaint as DWP closed the process. Thank you. At 65 I’m so tired working to keep myself afloat can barely keep up with WASPI and Backto60. Thank you …Ama❤

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Billions for fake PPE during pandemic? Yes. Billions to support a foreign war to make money for weapons dealers? Yes. Billions for illegal immigrants to stay in hotels while they set themselves up as drug dealers in the UK for organised crime? Yes. None of the above paid into the system. Money for WASPI women robbed of their pensions? No. And the WASPIs paid into the system all their working lives – it’s their money!


  11. I too am a 50s woman 27/12/1957
    I was living in my own home . And had to sell it the year I was 60 as I had to remortgage a few times to get by. I packed in work to look after my daughter and her toddler as she had a brain tumour . I moved in with my daughter in her council property for 6 month and then moved into a 2 bed council flat . My daughter passed away 3/9/21 I am now in her 2 bedroom council house . I couldn’t understand when people were saying they retired at 65 I thought it was their choosing . Because as far as I was aware I was retiring at 60 . I’m now disabled with lots of health issues
    Regards Sharon mcconnell

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sharon I have just seen your mail regarding the hard times hope you can get some closure sorry about your daughter. I been struggling ever since I stopped working led to believe a married women stamp would give me my own pension but no it gave me 34p I waited 5 years on this 34p until my husband retired then I got something like 12pound it a Dan disgrace even now at 80 I’m trying to get answer as to why I had nothing for 5 year and today less than 90 pound to live on hope thing gi well fir you hope my name and address is still with this organisation pat.collier.5@gmail.com noing my luck I forward it to wrong dept


  12. This is nothing short of the backhanded way all decisions to notify anyone affected by the change in the retirement age and making it clear the impact this has for future decisions for waspi 1950 women. I doubt we’ll ever get justice.


    • What an ill informed and uneducated reply.
      Westminster Confidential in particular David Hencke are absolutely the best at uncovering the wrong doings of the current and previous governments. They tell it as it is and support all their findings with facts.
      David although independent has 100% supported all #50sWomen and reported on the raids of the national insurance fund. Read his blogs.
      If you want to blame anyone for stealing your 50k it’s Westminster (the Government) you should be targeting your comments at.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. It seems to me that every barrier has been put in the way to prevent 50sWomen from moving on. As one lady put it : “50sWomen have paid in all of their lives to a system that finds billions wasted on fraud and corruption yet money can’t be found to pay these women their dues” I for one agree and the only way forward is with the ADR before we die.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Illness, stress , where the next few pounds are to heat a cold home and yet the government pay all the millions to keep asylum seekers in hotels or furnish houses for them yet we women have worked all our lives and get no help , I have a very small work pension so miss out on pension credit and have to pay for everything, wake up government and hear our plight, thank you for listening to my rant 🙃🙃

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Women are always put to the back of any help.
    The evidence is there, in black and white. For everyone to see.
    Lack of understanding, how it has effect us 50s women and their families.
    We have worked so hard in unequal times, jobs and life. Still seeing firsts. even today.
    So upset they can treat us women with contempt.
    We gave birth to the very people in government. Mostly men. Women are afraid to speak up and support us.
    They would never have a job in Government. If it wasn’t the women before them. That spoke up and made the life and money they have now.
    But take it off us expiring ground breaking women of history.
    One day they will release what went through and changed their lives.
    They might be actually proud we spoke up for their future.

    Feel so let down

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you David. So informative and exactly what is happening in reality.

    The truth of what is happening via the PHSO/WASPI route is deplorable! WASPI members need to waken up and see that they are being stitched up! Not every ’50s Women under their proposal will benefit from whatever the Govt agrees. This stitching up a deal behind closed doors with no consultation with 1950’s Women nor their members who have paid into a crowdfund – for what you might ask!

    Having said that PHSO have no powers to ensure the Govt pay out what it recommends (which will be crumbs at best). We need to encourage all 1950’s Women to write to their MPs and send them information on an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and ask them to sign EDM1040 as well as asking their MP to write directly to Sir George Howarth to show their support for an ADR and approve their name on the growing ADR list of cross-party MPs already supporting an ADR.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have emailed my MP on several occasions and she has told me that most MPs want this sorted. I watch politics live and the PM promised to act on the Ombudsman’s report.


  16. It is complicated. Do we complain like the first six woman and if so who too. My life is difficult health wise and financially. I pray that something good will come out of all this to help my life.


  17. I was suprised to find this is still ongoing as i am not good with internet and nobody has mentioned it.i was born in 1955 and it affected me greatly.i will write to my mp.it is a shame it is not me tioned in the newspapers as lots of people my age cannot work the internet. I have had help to find this!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I am one of these woman who lost 6 years of my state pension .I was born in July 1955 and worked all my life as a state
    Registered Nurse.unable to access my pension at age 60.I suffered with I’ll health and had to apply for disability
    Benefit until I was 66. We have been treated with contempt by this government.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that is still an issue. Most women complain they were not informed and the Ombudsman has found maladministration but only from 2006 for 28 months . That’s why there is a dispute and the Ombudsman had not accepted compensation for health and wellbeing distress or for not being able to take alternative measures because the women did not know about the change. He is now reviewing this following Waspi case

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Unfortunately the government’s intention all along was to divide us. Dividing us weakens us. & the longer these legal processes take to complete, the fewer of us will be around, to be considered. ids knew only to well that they were up for a long battle. When he made his etched in my memory statement. ” they won’t be around forever “


  20. I hope it has been made known that the early 1950s born Women had the least notice ( many shortly after their 59th Birthday )that they were not going to retire at 60 but would have to wait up to a further 3/4 years They are still suffering on the basic old low rate Pension and receive much lower yearly Pension increases than those on the new basic higher rate .The monetary gap increases every year between the Old & New Rate , because both rates are increased by the same Percentage.and also by compounded interest .This is not Equality,the excuse used to raise the Pension age ..It is discrimination !
    Thank you to all who are supporting this long hard unfair battle .


  21. Brilliant information and insight into what is happening and the difference between BACKTO60 and WASPI campaigns I wish they would work together and bring a sensible solution to this so long overdue situation I have now got my pension end of last year after 6 extra years and my health is now deteriorating and feel that I’ll be dead before justice is done like some of our 1950’s ladies already have unfortunately


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