Fair pensions for women

Women, trade unionists and campaigners for equality will travel in their hundreds to a lobby of Parliament today (Wednesday).

They are calling for government action to support women born in the 1950s who have been unfairly disadvantaged by the changes to the State Pension arrangements.

Their ranks will be swelled by delegations from Wrexham, Rhyl, Anglesey, Swansea and Cardiff.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) demonstration coincides with International Women’s Day and budget day.

They will be dressed in black and wear purple sashes invoking a traditional colour of the suffragette movement.

Campaigners will sing a specially-adapted version of the Beatles song, ‘HELP’. They will ask MPs and peers to sign a pledge to ‘call on the government to implement fair transitional arrangements for WASPI women affected by the State Pension Age changes.’ 

The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s State Pension Age to 65, the same as men’s.

WASPI agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little or no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts), faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and no time to make alternative plans. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.  

WASPI members are supported by public services union, UNISON, which will coordinate special briefing events for Members of Parliament on the issue throughout the afternoon. Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON will address the demonstrators. 

Margaret Thomas, UNISON Cymru/Wales regional secretary said,

“We send a warm message of solidarity and best wishes to all those travelling from Wales today and we urge all Welsh MPs to get behind the campaign to overturn this injustice to women born in the 1950s.”