UNISON and the WASPI campaign

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UNISON champions fair pensions for all public sector workers. We’ve linked up with WASPI(Women against state pension inequality) to achieve pension justice for women who have been unfairly penalised by the equalisation of the state pension age with no fair transitional arrangements.

For decades the state pension age (SPA) for women was 60. An increase to 65, to be phased in between 2010 and 2020, was included in the Pensions Act 1995, but five years ago the coalition government pushed through a speeding up of the process. The SPA for women is instead increasing to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, then 66 by October 2020. Many women say they had always expected to receive their pension at 60, and then discovered their SPA had increased by perhaps four, five or even six years. Amazingly, the government did not write to any women affected by the rise in the pension ages for nearly 14 years after the law was passed in 1995. The result is that hundreds of thousands of women say they didn’t have enough time to make alternative plans. A 62 year old gave evidence to MP’s and stated that her two SPA increases “represent a financial loss of approximately £30,000 from my planned old age”. The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Campaign is a grassroots campaign set up by women affected by the changes to SPA. The Northern Region has really embraced and supported the campaign. Pat Ormston, a member from Newcastle City Branch contacted Pat Heron, Chair of the Women’s Network. Pat Ormston addressed the Women’s Network and was then invited to address the Regional Labour Link committee. Because of the work of our Region UNISON nationally picked up and supported the campaign. THE AIM OF THE CAMPAIGN IS: The campaign aims to achieve fair transitional SP Arrangements for all women born in the 1950’s who are affected by the change to the state pension law. This should be a ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income until State Pension Age is met, it should not be means tested and there should be an element of compensation for those women who have already reached their SPA. The WASPI Campaign is not asking for the SPA to revert back to age 60.

At the National Delegates Conference in Brighton this June, UNISON passed the motion to join the campaign.

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