Committee calls for urgent action on compensation for Waspi women

The Work and Pensions Committee has called for proposals for compensation for WASPI women to be tabled before the summer parliamentary recess.

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The Work and Pensions Committee is calling on the Government to bring proposals forward before the summer recess to provide compensation for the so-called WASPI women.

In a report published in March, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) asked Parliament to identify how to provide an appropriate remedy for women born in the 1950s who have suffered injustice due to maladministration on the part of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in relation to its failure to communicate the decision to raise the State Pension age, equalising it for men and women.

In a letter to Work and Pensions Secretary of State Mel Stride, following last week’s Committee session with the PHSO and campaigners from Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), the Committee focused on what a remedy might look like. It said the evidence it received indicated support for payments to be based on the extent of change to an individual’s State Pension age and the notice of change they received.

The letter adds that there should be some flexibility for individuals to make the case for a higher level of compensation based on experiencing direct financial loss.

Sir Stephen Timms, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The debate over the impact of the DWP’s failure to communicate increases in the women’s State Pension age has dragged on for too long and it is time the Government took action to resolve the issue. There is no perfect solution, but there would seem to be broad support for a rules-based system of compensation with a degree of flexibility for cases where women have experienced direct financial loss. While the Ombudsman has put the matter in the hands of Parliament, a remedy can only happen with the support of the Government and we hope Ministers will move quickly to bring forward its proposal before the summer.”

The Committee will question Stride along with the DWP Permanent Secretary on 22nd May.

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