A woman from Helensburgh travelled to London last week to take part in a protest at Westminster over changes to the state pension age.

Ann Greer took part in a demonstration by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign outside the Houses of Parliament on June 29.

The campaign is attempting to persuade the UK government to introduce transitional arrangements for women affected by changes to the state pension age, which was raised from 60 to 65 in 1995 and by a further year in 2011.

Many of the women affected were not notified about the changes and took early retirement, leaving them without any income.

Ann took voluntary redundancy from her work as a counsellor in 2014, without being officially told she would not receive her state pension until 2024 - six years later than expected.

"I have had two changes to my state pension age without any formal notification," Ann said.

"This means that I, and many other women born in the 1950s, will not get their State Pension until they are 66.

"WASPI are for equality. Men and women should retire at the same age. But equalisation could have been rolled out so that, for example, men retired at 63 and then the state pension age increased gradually.

"I worked in the voluntary sector, and there wasn't an occupational pension for almost half my time there till workers lobbied for this.

"Many of this generation of women did not have equal pay legislation or childcare allowances, so were not able to save any more for retirement.

"They are not in a position to make up any shortfall now and are living on savings which were supposed to supplement the state pension. As such, many women approaching or in their 60s are, unnecessarily, facing hardship and poverty."

Among those who backed the WASPI demonstration was Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara, who said 421 women in Argyll and Bute were among almost 200,000 signatories to an online petition on the issue.

Mr O'Hara said: “We want to get the best outcome for these women, many of whom have worked hard for decades without taking a penny out of the system.

“These women had been told that they would be entitled to their pension at the age of 60 but instead get hit twice – first when it's raised to 65, in line with men, and then again when it's increased for men and women to the age of 66.

"Successive governments have failed in their obligation to give ample notice to women affected by this. Some have had as little as two years, and many have received no notice at all - this is unacceptable.

“I hope we will soon have the equitable outcome that the WASPI women deserve."