FEATURE: WASPI and the Great 1995 Pensions Swindle

Here’s a story for you, Liverpool. You work all your life, you’re working 40 years plus as a teacher, for example. You contribute to Nat. Insurance, pay taxes and keep tabs on your life savings. After a fulfilling career, you start winding down as you reach retirement age, taking less hours, perhaps stepping down or moving to a different position in anticipation of retirement. You make your plans, put things in place that are going to leave your family in a financially secure position. Then comes a letter, 6 months before you retire. This letter tells you to get back to work for five more years. This letter tells you that the 30 years of NI you have been paying all your life is no longer enough, that it’s 35 years that you must contribute, AND you are not going to see ten years of your NI contributions ever again.

JS83875843This is the truth and the story of the women of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality). The Government delivered two blows to state pensions through acts in 1995 and 2011 that were rushed through parliament on a wind and a murmur and are only starting to see the light of the day now. The effects have been financially devastating for many people born after 4th April 1953 and their families, one source on twitter tells us:

CX_ZO-1WEAAhCj-Set up by 5 women in 2015, one from St. Helens, WASPI has had a meteoric rise into the public forum, generating cross-party support from over 120 MPs and attaining a 35k strong following just on Facebook, and they’ve also appeared recently on BBC’s Rip-Off Britain. Steve Webb himself said his one regret as Pensions Minister was “I pushed too hard and too fast on raising women’s state pension age”. WASPI’s cause has now reached parliament, being met with a completely unsurprising disinterest from many MPs who, as the cause continues its upward trajectory, will presumably flip-flop and pretend to have been in support for it the whole time. WASPI will continue on, as the ever defiant Barbara Allen, Wendy Eachus and Lorraine Johns who were kind enough to speak to us, stated in the feature interview above. These people and those that they represent have no intention of stepping down from claiming what is rightfully theirs.

Wendy said to me, a 25 year old, off camera ‘if this is what they do to our pensions, what are they going to do to yours? ‘ and that rings true to me. If this is allowed to happen once it will happen again and worsen. Austerity and Cameron’s “We’re all in this together” spiel should not be forcing people who have paid their dues to society to fight for survival in this economy. Having said that, should we really be surprised that another group of people should not be forced to work, are not only being forced but duped back into it. Yet another marginalized community that is being swept aside and denied access to money that they have an honest entitlement to. “Great” Britain indeed.

WASPI’s site with all further details, mission statements, evidence, resources for contacting MPs and various facts and figures, here.

Listen to the WASPI Anthem:

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Words by Neal Oade.

4 Comments

  1. You have captured exactly how 100 ‘s of thousands of women feel. We will not give in or go away Mr Cameron!

  2. Maggie Wright

    Briliant – write to the Queen ASAP !!!!

  3. Anne Andrews

    Fantastic interview from these 3 WASPI ladies – Thank you for their time and commitment – and LLTV for airing this – WE MUST be heard and helped – AND more ladies MUST come forward and physically join the WASPI campaign – Anne Andrews, Aberdeen WASPI member.

  4. A Johnson

    Question to the interviewer: How much would it cost to satisfy the WASPI demands, and where would the money come from?

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