A mum-of-two, Sue Jones, has recently turned 66 and is reflecting on the financial impact she has faced due to changes in the retirement age for state pensions. Sue, like many others, had planned to retire at 60 after starting work at the age of 16. However, as she approached this milestone, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to navigate the challenges of funding the next six years of her life.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) raised the state pension age from 60 to 65 in 2010 and later to 66. This change affected thousands of women, known as the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) women, who saw their retirement plans thrown into disarray. Many of these women only received a few months’ notice of the six-year delay to their state pension, leaving them without the ability to adequately plan for their retirement.
Sue, who had worked as a teacher after completing a degree, had always expected to finish work at 60. However, when she turned 50, she discovered that the state pension age had risen significantly. After her breast cancer diagnosis, Sue had to undergo grueling treatment and was unable to continue working. This forced her to dip into her teachers’ pension earlier than planned and rely on her partner for financial support.
The situation faced by Sue and other WASPI women is currently being investigated by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. A report published two years ago found failings in the DWP’s communication of state pension age changes, highlighting the lack of awareness and preparation for this significant shift.
Q: What is the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) movement?
A: The WASPI movement represents women who have been affected by the changes in the retirement age for state pensions, advocating for fair treatment and compensation.
Q: How did the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) change the retirement age for state pensions?
A: The DWP raised the retirement age from 60 to 65 in 2010 and later to 66, impacting the retirement plans of thousands of women.
Q: Is the DWP being investigated for its handling of the issue?
A: Yes, the Parliamentary Ombudsman is currently investigating the DWP’s communication and management of the state pension age changes.
Q: How has Sue Jones been affected financially?
A: Sue estimates that she has lost around £50,000 due to having to draw her workplace pension early, and she has relied on her partner for financial support in recent years.