Waspi women lobby MPs in fight for pension fairness

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A group of women from South Tyneside joined thousands of others to lobby Parliament in a fight for a fairer state pension.

Thousands of women, who were born in the early 1950s, are missing out on cash because of a change in the system, which increased the age at which women can access state pensions from 60 to 66.

“I was really impressed with the MPs when we went to London as they were all very supportive.”

Alexandra Myers

The act was passed by the Government in 1995– to bring the retirement age of women in line with that for men.

However, many of the women say they were not informed of the changes and how it would affect them until it was too late – with some being forced to go back to work.

Campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) is calling on the Government to provide transitional payments to cover the shortfall between the age at which they believed they could draw a pension and the actual age at which they now can.

Alexandra Myers, from Simonside, South Shields, is one of the thousands of women affected. The 64-year-old joined Waspi campaigners in London earlier this month, where they met MPs South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and MP Pat Glass.

She said: “I retired on health grounds, but when I came to sort out my pension, they had no records before 1970, so they have no idea when I will be eligible.

“I thought it would be from my birthday but with all the changes and the additional problems I don’t know when I will receive it.

“I was really impressed with the MPs when we went to London as they were all very supportive.”

The women from South Tyneside met South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, who they say was “very much” behind them and what they are fighting for.

The change has affected those in line for retirement after April 6, 2011.

Pat Ormston, along with Christine Smith co-ordinates Waspi North East. She said: “We are not going away.”