READER LETTER: Book a place at meeting

If, like me, you are one of the women born in the 1950s and will be affected by the rise in State Pension, Mark Spencer MP will meet with us on Saturday, May 14, at 11 am at his office in Vine Terrace to talk to us about changes to our state pensions.

He has asked that anyone attending book in advance and must be a Sherwood constituent, so if you are able to come along and support us, please contact Mark’s office on 01159 681186 or email [email protected]

WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) was started by five women born in the 1950s and effected by these changes.

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They have started a Facebook page which has a large following of women (and some men). There is a misconception that WASPI are against the 1995 Pension Act. WASPI believe in an equal pension age for men and women. The 1995 Pension Act stated that pensions would not start to change until 2010 and would take ten years to complete and by 2020, the pension age would still be 65 years for both men and women.

It took the DWP fourteen years to start writing to women to let them know about the changes, and that they might have to work until they were 65 years of age.

This stopped when the coalition government decided to speed up the changes, which resulted in the 2011 Pension Act. When the letter writing started again, explaining that women could now be 66 years of age before they received their state pension and that they would now have to have 35 years of NI contributions, instead of 30 years, for a full pension.

The average woman received one year and five months notice of the changes. About 650,000 women were the worse affected. On average, men were given six years and nine months notice that their pension age would rise to 66 years of age.

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I personally have never received a letter from the DWP and as any letters not delivered were returned to the DWP were destroyed, they unable to say who has or who hasn’t been made aware of the changes.

All the information I have, I got from the media. Government policy now states that in future everyone will be given ten years notice of any changes in the pension.

But that does nothing to help the women born in the 1950s. WASPI handed in a petition with over 100,000 signatures and many MPs from all parties are realising how badly we have been treated and we are gaining support.

So please come along to the meeting next Saturday, May 14, and ask Mark Spencer MP to speak to the government on our behalf.

R Buxton

By email