Council backing for campaigners

Members of the Wansbeck and Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency WASPI groups raising awareness in Morpeth.
Members of the Wansbeck and Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency WASPI groups raising awareness in Morpeth.

Northumberland County Council is to press the Government over its ‘failure’ to give adequate notice on changes to retirement dates for women.

There was unanimous agreement across the political parties at a recent full council meeting to call for transitional arrangements to support women born on or after April 6, 1951, ‘who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with a lack of appropriate notification’.

Deputy business chairman Coun Liz Simpson, who proposed the motion, said: “More than one-and-a-half million women had major pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little or no personal notification of the changes.

“Some women had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age. As a result, many women, including those in our county, live in hardship on reduced incomes, with little or no opportunity to make alternative financial provision.

“This council believes in equality, and believes the failure of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to give adequate notice of changes in retirement dates is discriminatory and unfair.”

In supporting the motion, the authority also agreed to demand that DWP gives adequate notice to all people when their revised pension age will apply, so that those who need to can make alternative arrangements, and support both the national Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign to get fair treatment and the work of local Northumberland campaign groups.