A HELENSBURGH pension group has marked its five-year anniversary as their fight for justice continues.

Argyll and Isles Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) first met in a Helensburgh cafe in October 2016, with its members first coming together to fight for pension equality.

Helensburgh based co-ordinator Ann Greer, who has lived in Argyll and Bute for 35 years, told the Advertiser: “Helensburgh women had already been getting referred onto my personal email address by WASPI, instead of being added to the nearest group, as they wanted 1950s born women to take action in their own constituency.

“Some of us in Argyll had also made contact through the WASPI public Facebook, before the WASPI demo in Westminster in June 2016. At our first meeting, I brought a petition for women to sign to then pass to our MP, to hand into Westminster on behalf of women in Helensburgh and Argyll and Bute.

“On October 11, 2016 the House of Commons was full of MPs handing in petitions from WASPI women all over the country.”

WASPI women have been affected by the rise in the state pension age, with women born in the 1950s seeing their state pension age rise with little or no notice.

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As a result, they have lost up to six years of retirement and tens of thousands of pounds in pension payments.

A decision to provide compensation to the women now lies with the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Ann continued: “Many of our members have now reached state pension age, so compensation is the only thing which will help them. Should PHSO agree with us that there has been an “injustice”, and recommend compensation, it needs to be fair to reflect the range of losses incurred.

"Women Against State Pension Inequality agrees with state pension age being equalised. Our complaint is about maladministration, which has been upheld by the Ombudsman."

And Ann insists that their determination to see justice won’t ever falter, even after half a decade together.

“It’s been lovely to meet women I wouldn’t have ordinarily met, including at local Vote 100 events as well as others I knew from different campaigns, at the 2018 procession in Edinburgh.

“Our wee group was shortlisted in the Scottish Women’s Awards in 2018 where I met inspirational women in Scotland at a national awards ceremony.

“When I spoke, at WASPI Rothesay rally in 2017, I said ‘Our voices matter. Our votes matter’.”

Argyll and Bute’s WASPI women celebrate five years together today (October 14).