Ombudsman rules WASPI women should be awarded compensation

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has recommended the government intervene to set up a compensation scheme to authorise compensation payouts of between £1,000 and £2,950 for WASPI women affected by DWP’s failure to adequately notify them the State Pension age had increased.


The debate surrounding compensation for WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women has been a significant issue in the UK, highlighting the complexities and consequences of pension reform. The movement represents thousands of women born in the 1950s who have been adversely affected by changes to the state pension age, arguing that they were not given adequate notice to adjust their retirement plans.

The origins of the WASPI movement date back to the 1995 Pensions Act, which aimed to equalise the state pension age for men and women at 65. The goal was to address gender disparities and ensure the financial sustainability of the pension system considering an aging population. However, many women born in the 1950s have argued they were not adequately informed of these changes, leaving them without sufficient time to financially prepare for retirement, constituting an injustice that has resulted in financial hardship.

These arguments have now been accepted by the PHSO, who have taken the unusual step of asking parliament to intervene to order DWP to set up a compensation scheme and authorise payouts of between £1,000 and £2,950.

The DWP have indicated they do not intend to comply with the PHSO’s recommendations or pay any compensation to those affected, however the consensus is that this position is unlikely to hold.

PHSO chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said: “The UK’s national Ombudsman has made a finding of failings by DWP in this case and has ruled that the women affected are owed compensation. DWP has clearly indicated that it will refuse to comply. This is unacceptable. The department must do the right thing and it must be held to account for failure to do so. 

“Parliament now needs to act swiftly, and make sure a compensation scheme is established. We think this will provide women with the quickest route to remedy.”

MSB will be keeping a close eye on the government’s response to the PHSO’s recommendations with a view to providing further advice and ensuring prompt access to justice for those affected.

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