Waspi: Women affected by state pension age rise should get compensation – ombudsman – BBC News


We’ve just been pouring over the report into the potential injustices resulting from changes to women’s retirement age. Let’s take a quick look at some of its key points:

Women’s complaints: The report says women complained to them that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) did not communicate changes to their State Pension age well enough.

Communication failings: Women also say they the DWP didn’t communicate well enough how many National Insurance qualifying years they needed for a full state pension. The DWP’s failure to communicate changes in 1995 “negatively affected complainants’ sense of personal autonomy and control over their finances”.

However, failings in DWP’s communication about National Insurance qualifying years didn’t lead to an injustice, the report says.

Gap in awareness and understanding: The analysis outlines that in 2004, information “was not reaching the people who needed it most” and later in 2006, a survey showed “too many” women still thought their state pension age was 60.

On National Insurance qualifying years, research showed that too many people did not understand how the new state pension affected them. The research was highlighted to the DWP by the National Audit Office, but it failed to use it to improve its approach.

Complaints process: The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) and DWP’s complaint handling process caused women stress and anxiety, the report notes.

The DWP did not “adequately investigate and respond to complaints”, it finds, but it did not find failings in ICE’s complaint handling.

Failings in DWP’s complaint handling caused unnecessary stress and anxiety, the report says.

Remedies: Its authors say that as they have reason to believe the DWP “will not take steps to put things right”, they will present the report to Parliament. The ombudsman says the DWP’s refusal to comply was “unacceptable”.

Stay with us for more analysis and reaction.

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