Women’s State Pensions

Last week three women came to see me in surgery. They were all surprised to find themselves there as they had never been to see their MP before, but what they were coming to see me about was such an injustice that they had to come.

They are amongst thousands of other women up and down the country who happen to have been born in the 1950s. It means not only that the age they reach their pension has risen, but that it has done so with no warning and by six years!

Most of these women don’t disagree that they should have an equal pension age to men but the government has not warned them in advance, throwing their retirement plans into disarray.

These women have now got together and formed the group called WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) who are campaigning to improve the way this pension change is being put in place.

All they want is more reasonable notice to give them time to plan for the future, and for the change not to be so dramatic. Finding out over night that you are going to have work six years longer than you thought seems unreasonable to me.

The WASPI women are going to come down to London and meet up with me and the group of MPs campaigning on their behalf (as well as getting a tour of Parliament).

If you are WASPI or affected by these changes, contact me on 01246 439018 or email natascha.engel.mp@parliament.uk and come to Parliament.

As Andrew Gwynne, a Labour MP and campaigner on WASPI said in the debate recently: “It is time that Ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions got off their backsides and did something to help those women. Following on from my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris), I will give the Minister some friendly advice. I appreciate that it is not his area of responsibility but that of the noble Lady at the other end of the building who speaks on pensions.

“My hon. Friend likened the WASPI ladies to wasps. Wasps can be pests and nuisances. They cannot easily be bashed away and, when that happens, they get angry and come back. If they are really annoyed, they sting and, unlike bees, they can sting more than once. Let us have some justice for these ladies; it is long overdue.”

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