FERMANAGH woman Wilma Grey, the chairperson of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), has raised the concerns of her group at Stormont.
Speaking to MLAs on Monday, including the Ulster Unionist’s Rosemary Barton, Mrs. Grey said WAPSI take issue with the “haphazard way” pensions have been implemented by the government which have left women born on or after April 6, 1951 “uniquely disadvantaged by the changes.”
“Women who had paid National Insurance contributions from they were 16 years old in the expectation that they could retire at 60, learned just before their 60th birthdays that they would not be able to draw the state pension until they were 64, 65 or 66 in some cases.”
“The government continues to claim that no woman will have to wait longer than 18 months to receive their state pension. The reality is that the women’s state pension age will increase by six years from April 2010 to October 2020. The lack of appropriate notification from the government of these changes has left thousands of women without income they had expected, with many facing financial hardship as a result,” she said.
The Ulster Unionist Party brought forward a motion to the Assembly calling on the UK Government to introduce transitional payments for the women affected. “The women behind the WASPI campaign have worked hard all their lives, only to have the goalposts moved as they approached retirement, without appropriate notice” said Mrs. Barton.