HELENSBURGH campaigners fighting against moves to change the state pension age for women have thanked the public for their support after more than £130,000 was raised for a legal review of the case.

The local branch of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign supports 6,700 women across Argyll and the Isles who were born in the 1950s who are losing out as a result of the UK Government’s move to equalise the state pension age for men and women.

While WASPI campaigners, locally and nationally, say they don’t disagree with the equalisation move, they have been campaigning for years against what they say is the unfair way the changes were implemented.

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They say that the way the changes were introduced hit women who were born in the 1950s particularly hard.

The ombudsman ruled in July 2021 that government officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had been too slow to tell many women born in the 1950s that they would be affected by the changes.

But in a second report, the PHSO said that the maladministration in the DWP’s approach did not lead to all the injustices claimed by the WASPI campaign.

The PHSO has now agreed to look again at that ‘stage two’ report.

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Helensburgh resident Ann Greer, co-founder of the WASPI Argyll and Isles group, said: “Women in our group, which first met in Helensburgh and includes women living throughout Argyll and Bute, welcomed WASPI's campaign to launch a process seeking a judicial review in the High Court to challenge the PHSO’s [Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman] stage two report, claiming it was ‘flawed’.

“Small amounts, from thousands of affected women's purses, have raised almost £133,000 on CrowdJustice to date.

“It’s an indication of the strength of WASPI's legal arguments that the PHSO responded to our judicial review by announcing that it will reconsider a section of this report.”

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The group hope that after the review, the Ombudsman will properly identify the injustices caused by the DWP's maladministration and make appropriate recommendations for compensation. 

Ann added: “This is the first step towards getting a better report from the Ombudsman which we hope will deliver the fair compensation WASPI has been campaigning for all these years.”

The campaign says a third of affected women born in the 1950s are in debt due to the changes to the state pension age, which saw millions of women notified too late that they could not retire and draw a pension at 60 as the pension aged moved to 66.

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By the time they were notified, many women had already left work, or had taken on caring responsibilities for their parents, grandchildren or partners.

WASPI says that since the PHSO launched its investigation in October 2018, more than 150,000 women affected have died and will be unable to receive fair compensation.

WASPI was founded in 2015 and has since fought for justice for women affected by movement of the pension age.

To donate to the WASPI CrowdJustice fundraiser, visit: www.crowdjustice.com/case/fair-compensation-for-waspi-women.