Pensions Minister Guy Opperman’s comment that he has no plans to meet with WASPI campaigners has been called a ‘slap in the face’ for the 16,000 plus local women struggling against pension injustice.

Last week Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, asked the secretary of state for work and pensions when her department last held a meeting with a representative of the WASPI campaign, and when they next intend to do so.

Mr Opperman responded saying that a departmental minister met with representatives of WASPI six years ago on 29 June 2016 and that there are no plans to meet with representatives of the group in future.

The WASPI campaign has been trying to meet Opperman again ever since the parliamentary and health service ombudsman (PHSO) confirmed last year that 1950s-born women were victims of maladministration by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The group is campaigning for ‘fast, fair compensation’ for those women affected by the DWP’s failure to tell women about changes to state pension age in good time.

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The statement has been called ‘another slap in the face’ for more than 16,000 1950s women in the Western Telegraph and Tivyside catchment areas by Pamela Judge, coordinator of Ceredigion WASPI.

“It is nearly a year ago since the ombudsman announced it was maladministration when we were not notified properly that our state pension age had changed.

“This has had disastrous consequences for thousands of women whose financial planning for life after sixty went out the window.

“It’s high time the government engaged with this issue and started to provide fair and fast compensation before thousands more women die.”

The changes to women’s pensions, which were legislated for in 1995, were not communicated through targeted letters to most of those affected until 2012.

Recent research commissioned by WASPI found that by the end of this year 220,000 women born in the 1950s will have died awaiting compensation.

Over the course of the two-year Covid pandemic, one in every ten women who died was born in the 1950s, and had lost both their state pension income and the opportunity to make alternative retirement plans.

For more information visit: www.waspi.co.uk

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