MP joins women in battle for state pension equality

Local MP John Nicolson with members of East Dunbartonshire WASPI
Local MP John Nicolson with members of East Dunbartonshire WASPI

Local MP John Nicolson met with women from the East Dunbartonshire branch of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) on Saturday to receive their petition against changes in the state pension system which they say are having an unfair impact on women born in the 1950s.

Local campaigners have collected nearly 500 signatures and Mr Nicolson is taking the petition to Westminster where WASPI petitions from all over the UK will be presented to parliament on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Mr Nicolson said: “In 1995, the Conservative government decided to raise women’s retirement age from 60 to 65, bringing it in line with men by 2020.

“But in 2011, the government accelerated the process bringing the date forward to 2018. At that point, for both men and women, a further rise in state pension age to 66 by October 2020 was imposed.”

While the WASPI group agree with state pension equalisation they claim that the changes have been implemented faster than promised leaving little time for alternative arrangements. They say that retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.

Speaking after his meeting with the women Mr Nicolson said: “The WASPI women have every right to be furious at the way that they have been treated by successive governments.

“Women born in the ‘50s have lost thousands in pension payments with insufficient time to plan for the changes.

“These women have done the right thing by planning for their retirement over decades and for the changes to be accelerated without leaving time for them to adapt their plans is grossly unfair.

“Five thousand women in East Dunbartonshire, and millions across the UK, are affected by this, the government must stop hiding from the issue and sort it out.”

WASPI do not ask for the pension age to revert back, as they support state pension equalisation. Instead they would like a bridging pension to cover the gap from age 60 until State Pension Age for women born in the 1950s.