WASPI pensioners face some tough financial decisions this Christmas as they await an update on if they will get compensation from the Government.
A survey found almost half of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) generation women say they will struggle to afford Christmas presents this festive season.
More than 70 percent said they will be reducing their spending on food over the festive period while more than half of the women said their economic position has got worse in the past six months.
WASPI campaigners are calling for compensation after they were affected when the state pension age increased from 60 to 65 for women.
An investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has established there was ‘maladministration’ on the part of the DWP and how they notified the women of the change.
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The campaigners are now waiting on the ombudsman to confirm whether or not they will be paid any compensation as a result.
Angela Madden, chair of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, said of the survey findings: “Tens of thousands of 1950s-born women have seen their retirement plans destroyed through no fault of their own, with the devastating impact of last-minute state pension age changes forcing many to make impossible choices this Christmas.
“With the ombudsman’s final report and financial remedy recommendations expected in the new year, it’s incumbent on all political parties to develop a clear political commitment to providing fair and fast compensation to those affected.”
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69-year-old Kathleen Malaney, a WASPI generation woman living in Dumbarton, said: “Christmas has always been a struggle since and I never spend much. January will feel like a very long month as my gas and electric bills will continue going up and up.
“Due to the state pension age changes, I was forced to sell my home as I had no income due to being made redundant at 61. I couldn’t secure a similar salary and therefore got into a lot of debt and had to sell my house and move to private rented accommodation.”
Theresa Curtis, 66, from Glasgow, said Christmas is an “uncertain time” for her. She said: “I struggle to buy presents for family and friends. Rising costs this winter are a real concern and I don’t know how I will keep up with my bills next year.
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“Ill health forced me to retire aged 54, after working as an NHS nurse for more than three decades. I had no idea about the State Pension increase and my finances have been a worry ever since.”
The ombudsman recently confirmed that any recommendations in its final report, such as compensation, will apply to all women affected by the changes to the state pension age.
State pension payments are due to increase 8.5 percent from next April, with the full new state pension increasing by around £900 a year.
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