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Waspi hires lawyers to take legal action against DWP

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The Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign has brought in lawyers to craft a case against the government over state pension age changes.

In an update on its Twitter account, Waspi, which is campaigning for transitional measures for women for in the 1950s who have seen their state pension age increase, confirm that they have instructed London law firm Bindmans to act on its behalf.

Bindmans consider there are two possible forms of legal action, Waspi says, either “a judicial review challenge (or challenges) to the legality of the changes to the state pension age” or “maladministration complaints regarding the wholly inadequate information given by the Department for Work and Pensions regarding these changes.”

The government has previously rejected calls for transitional arrangements to ease the impact of state pension age acceleration. Former pensions minister Steve Webb, however, told a committee of MPs late last year that it was  “abundantly clear there are a bunch of savers who didn’t know [about the age rises]” because of holes in DWP’s communications.

The group has already urged supporters to send a template complaint letter to DWP in a mass-mailing campaign.

Waspi is crowdfunding the legal fees through donations from members of the public.

Waspi’s update says: “The best legal advice is not cheap and a large amount of money needs to be raised. The initial fundraising will allow us to take the best legal advice on a judicial review challenge at the same time as preparing materials to assist with the maladministration complaints.”

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Comments

There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The government took extensive legal advice prior to the passing of the 2011 Pensions Act, and the 1995 Act has held up to scrutiny at the ECHR on multiple occasions. Even if we take the Waspi statement at face value, the notion of a judicial review against appears to be a flight of fancy.

  2. Andy Robertson-Fox 14th October 2016 at 9:19 am

    The Waspi campaigners should perhaps take note that the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) took the government to court on the freezing of the UK pension at the level at which it first becomes payable in some overseas countries. Australia, Canada and South Africa, for example, do not get index linking but those in the EEA or some other randomly selected countries like USA and the Philippines do receive the annual up-rate.
    The frozen pension discrimination is between those who have contributed to the NI Scheme on the same terms and conditions as everybody else but who live abroad and in the “wrong” country and do not get index linking and those who also live abroad but do. There is no discrimination in the case of the Waspi women; they are all being treated equally within the parameters of their date of birth, disproportionately and harshly maybe.
    I wish them well as a successful outcome may be a trigger for the abolition of Sectıon 20 of the 2014 Pension Act which covers the frozen pension scandal that has existed for the last sixty five years but the ICBP case went all the way through the UK courts and the ECHR before being considered on appeal and being rejected by the Grand Chamber of the European Court.

  3. After all the years of women fighting for equality they are now fighting for inequality.
    I hope that they are wasting their money on this sexist campaign!

    • Indeed David. However that point is probably utterly lost on them, because they don’t want any of the downsides to equality, only the upsides.

      • I worked since age 14. I was given to understand that born in 1953. I was to receive the pension, not at 60, but at 63. So as I agree that this was being so, I have waited. … still waiting. Although those who I was at school with in my year but born during the first week of June. ..ARE RECEIVING PENSION. ..I was born after this. .. so am now told, with No letter being sent of notification. Either to me or anyone else of my age that I know of… THAT I AM TO WAIT FOR A FURTHER 18 MONTHS. To get the pension, not because of the year of birth, but because of the MONTH OF BIRTH.
        THIS IS THE EQUALITY ISSUE. So by your gross stupidity, you fail to see this?
        Equality means sticking to the promise that by your year of birth, you went up on the scale until women born in 1956… retired at the same age as men.
        If you want to see how much is paid out for welfare as compared to Pensions, you will find there Is a much higher degree of financial outlay than for Pensioners. People who have come to this country as pensioners, received pension. Unlike the women making a stand, who have earned their own pension over many years. I am living alone and have worked through family and loss. So I am fighting for what the government promised. … So. Do you want to work until you are 70?

      • Why do idiots like you just not ‘get it’? Of course women want equality! However what they DON’T want is their pensions to be removed from them by stealth! I myself got NO notice whatsoever from the DWP and therefore could make no appropriate financial arrangements to these sudden changes. How would you feel Duncan if your pension was suddenly delayed by up to 6 years without your prior knowledge? What impact would that have on your life?! For me it has has minimum impact. As a full time carer to a disabled husband I would simply have had my meagre carer’s allowance replaced by state pension. I would not have been allowed to claim both. Apparantly my husband would have made a miraculous recovery the day my pension was due so I would not have been any better off financially. However I feel so sorry for the women who’s lives have been hugely impacted by this. A pity you can’t open your eyes and see the same! We all know the pension age must rise however the despicable manner in which this has been done is inexcusable. But whilst people like you can see no harm in all of this the government will carry on. Simple as that. For all our sakes grow up.

    • Women born in the 50s had no access to private pensions and childcare so few have private pensions. Add to this the fact that women are still paid less and still do most of the caring. We have never been equal and you are displaying ignorance of the facts

    • We were not equal during the years we worked so we can’t be equal now. No childcare, no private pensions, part time, low paid work means we are way behind men. And don’t forget our spouses/partners are also down this amount of money so they have to work longer too. I received a letter in 2011 telling me I had enough contributions to retire – no mention of 65 or 66. Wd a private insurance company get away with this?

    • Your’re forgetting that men have had a lifetime of preparing for retirement at 65/66.1950’s women have not. Is that clear enough for you?

    • Did you read the article? They are not fighting for inequality at all and actually support the changes. The problem is that one particular group of women – those born in the 50s have taken the largest hit and were given two steep increases without warning of the second. Some people born in the same year can have 2.5 years difference in retirement age. The Waspi women are simply asking for fair transitional payments to help those hit the hardest to adjust. I can see nothing terrible about that can you?

    • Karlyne whetstone 6th March 2017 at 6:51 pm

      You silly man it’s nothing to do with equality with men! It’s about the inequality of the way the changes have been phased in

  4. Its only men like the above that will comment against WASPI. The fact is that there has been inequality against women of a certain age group. These women had planned their retirement firstly to age 60 then when this was changed to the age that was between age 61 and 65. Now with the latest change most women in this group will retire at 66.
    This is wholly unacceptable and a full 6 years after the original pension age.
    I hope you young blades retire later in life than you currently expect, and sample the injustice that these women have.

    • Men don’t live as long as women, despite the EU ruling they do. Not fair on men!
      The population keeps getting older too so unless you want to print money, retirement ages need to be put back to avoid an unaffordable burden on the taxpayers.
      With longevity comes a lower number of taxpayers “supporting” each pensioner, too, so that needs to be taken into account.

    • Karlyne whetstone 6th March 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Thankyou Hugh, a lot of men think our grievance is about sexual equality. So ignorant

  5. Good luck to the WASPI women, the frozen 4% of state pensioners have been there, done that, in a bid for justice from a government coated in Teflon. The DWP kept quiet about the withholding of annual indexing for state pensioners who retire to certain countries, plus the fact that to pay cost of living increases to the majority who retire outside the UK but freeze a minority is blatant discrimination made no difference when it came to a legal challenge. The fact that ALL have paid into the NI scheme under the same terms seems to make no difference either as those at the DWP are automatons who do as the treasury dictates and the treasury doesn’t believe that to treat a minority less favourably than the majority, when ALL are entitled to be treated the same, is discrimination! It beggars belief that a) they would treat seniors in this disgraceful way and b) that they are allowed to get away with it!

  6. Financial Services worker 17th October 2016 at 9:15 am

    As the Frozen pension challenge failed, it’s probable this will too.
    David – It’s NOT about equality, it’s about timely notification. When the age changes were made, individuals were not told and consequently, even if they had disposable income to fund an alternative, were left with too little time to make up deficits to allow them to retire as they had planned

  7. To Financial Services Worker.
    You mention “timely notification”. Perhaps this quote will help explain of how so many know so little about the UK policy of freezing pensions of those abroad, and how a similar kettle of fish could be linked to 50’s born women.
    The following was written by Goff Daft of the Pension Service to a friend of mine – who simply asked for information regarding annual uprating of the state pension for UK pensioners living abroad. For info – state pensions NOT annual increased (uprated) are called “Frozen”.
    Although short, I think it speaks volumes. The consequences for those who moved abroad – in ignorance to the ‘wrong’ country – have been horrendous and predictable.
    On 27 June 2012 Goff Daft of the Pension Service wrote…….
    “I am sorry that you have not received the leaflet (about uprating pensions) you have requested for the past eleven years. To reduce costs the DWP has ceased printing of many leaflets”

  8. celia janice dixon 7th November 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I was born in 1957. We started out from school with unequal opportunities in life. HAvington to do silly house craft to prepare for just being a housewife. We did not start out with equal pay and equal opportunity.now we have equality of state pension age with men but we were without an EQUAL start. I never married,now I am unemployed I have to sign on every week at hastings job centre. I feel so anxions because I never know if I will be subject to a sanctions. That involves losing my 73 pounds a week I receive no housing benefit. I am trying my best to get any job. The job centre treats me like a criminal. I have another bloody six years of this torture and feel suicidal at this prospect

  9. my wife falls into this 1950s age group at 61 years old she never received any notification at all of the changes which I gather was not unusual,as I am 70 years old and still working I have my state pension obviously but we now have to wait until 2021 for my wifes pension by then I will be 75 years old and be then able to retire whoopi,in the meantime I have to work to support us and two dependent grandchildren probably also taking a job that a younger person could be doing,we have both worked all our lives paid into everything we were supposed to do and still get the rules changed on us at a whim,good luck girls.

  10. In poland they have put their retirement age back down to 60 if a poor country can do that am certain this government can.

  11. Also half of the uk geta bus pass at 60 and half of ur dont depending on where u live this is so unfair

  12. I too should have retired at 60 after working from 15.
    I have just been placed on th NHS two week referal for my lung problem.My mothers cancer may have returned and my husband is awaiting a heart operation.
    I’am sure they hoping we all just pass away to save more money! I also did not receive any notification of the changes.
    I work in a call centre with mainly young people. when they start new staff- they take on new staff in large groups
    Most theze young people end up leaving because they cant hack the job or just dont want to work so live off parents who may also be struggling.
    Goverment needs to make these lazy yougsters work!!!

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