‘Should’ve never happened!’ Woman, 65, loses £47,000 after state pension age raised

WASPI woman says ‘I’ve paid in’ as she slams pension amount

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Traditionally, the state pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men, but this was changed – first to align the ages for the sexes at 65, and then a subsequent increase to 66. The changes have affected scores of women born in the 1950s, many of whom argue they were not provided with ample notice about their retirement age shifting.

This was the case for Susan Bright, 65, from South Yorkshire, who conveyed her frustrations when speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk. 

Mrs Bright started work at the tender age of 16, but states she always had “certainty” she would retire at 60.

She worked and paid into the system for 39 years, but after becoming ill with breast cancer left employment early at the age of 59.

Fortunately, she was able to access her South Yorkshire pension worth £295 per month, but struggled to get by on this sum.

Mrs Bright was therefore thrown for another loop when she discovered she would no longer be able to access her state pension at 60.

She said: “No one ever informed me directly I would be 66 before I could get my state pension. 

“I have had to be supported by my husband – totally! I feel angry.

“I will therefore be living off my husband’s pension until I am 66 in a further year.”

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Mrs Bright states she has recently developed osteoarthritis in the last few years, which makes day to day life more complicated.

The condition often results in pain and discomfort for those who have it, and can limit mobility. 

Fortunately, Mrs Bright has been able to obtain PIP in the past few months to assist financially with her condition. 

However, she remains frustrated about the state pension age changes which have impacted her retirement.

Mrs Bright said by her calculations, she’s lost out on £47,000.

She added: “This situation is appalling, and should never have been allowed to happen. Women born in the 1950s need compensation now.” 

The matter of compensation is being looked into, and whether this will occur is as of yet uncertain.

It is a result of an investigation into the issue by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), which last year found the DWP guilty of “maladministration” for failing to give 1950s women enough notice about the changes. 

Campaign groups such as Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have sought to achieve “fair and fast compensation” for those affected.

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A WASPI spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The Government’s failures to communicate changes to the state pension age meant women often retired or took on caring responsibilities instead of employment, believing their pensions would be paid from age 60.

“WASPI recognises that the clock cannot be just ‘turned back’ to restore our pensions wholesale, but we are campaigning for fast, fair compensation to the affected women in recognition of clear mistakes made in Government.”

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

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