‘Heartbreaking!’: WASPI woman in tears after losing house as state pension age changes
WASPI is the collective name often used for 1950s-born women who have been impacted by the state pension age change. Previously, women could retire at a state pension age of 60, but this was changed to align with men at 65, and subsequently the state pension age rose to 66.
While many women do not take issue with the age equalisation, some have argued they were not provided with ample notice – and were affected financially and emotionally as a result.
Recently, hundreds of women descended on Parliament Square in a rally to make their opinions about the matter known.
Express.co.uk spoke to one of the affected women, Jacqueline Wright, who was representing the Women Against State Pension Injustice (WASPI2018) grassroots campaign.
Ms Wright explained she was totally shocked when she discovered she would no longer be able to receive a pension at 60 – which she said took a major financial toll.
READ MORE: 500,000 Britons set to miss out on state pension boost next month
The emotional woman said: “I didn’t find out until a few months before my 60th birthday that I wasn’t going to get my pension.
“I lost my home when my daughter went to university because I could no longer afford the rent.
“I moved into a one-bedroom property after that, which I’m in now.
“But I’m going to have to move out from that property this month because my landlord is putting my rent up.
“It’s caused me a lot of pain and heartbreak. That’s why I’m so passionate about this.”
The WASPI2018 campaign group is calling on the Government to agree “fair and fast compensation” for all those impacted by “lack of notice regarding the state pension increases”.
The campaigners state this would “reflect financial losses, sustained damage to their mental health and well-being, and the additional impacts”.
Ms Wright explained she was buoyed by the women around her who had turned out to the rally to support each other.
She stated: “There are women here from all over the country – all the pension groups, coming together to protest about the fact we’ve had to wait another six years for our pension. Some of these women are approaching 70 years of age.
“Many of us were totally unprepared for that. We weren’t informed, so we weren’t prepared.
“They said they sent us letters. But I never got one. To come down here is just proof that we are so passionate about the justice we need.”
Ms Wright argued the last few years had placed her under increased strain, calling for the Government to provide assistance.
She added: “Those people in there [House of Commons] have no idea what it is like for women who have worked and brought up our children.
“Many of us have also looked after our elderly parents, which is what I do, also. They have no idea of the strain and the stress that puts on you.
“Then to be told you can’t have something you’ve paid into for so many years? It’s just heartbreaking for us.”
A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.
“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”