Anne Keen, co-founder of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), explains what they’re campaigning for – and what you can do to support them.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is campaigning for fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950s’ women.
We believe that “women born on or after 6 April 1951 have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to State Pension Age.
“Hundreds of thousands of women have had significant changes imposed on them with a lack of appropriate notification.”
This is the wording of the petition and encapsulates what we are about. When the petition closed in April it had achieved 193,186 signatures.
This is just a fraction of the women affected, because many women are not online and are therefore difficult to reach; others are still unaware of the increase in State Pension age despite WASPI’s best efforts.
What we have achieved so far
We have achieved a lot in the campaign from our humble beginnings of five ordinary women emailing each other just over a year ago.
Our name is now well known in parliament and we have raised awareness of the issue.
Our petition generated nearly 194,000 signatures, leading to four parliamentary debates on the issue.
We have won cross-party support for our cause, with an APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) recently being formed – over 120 MPs signed up on the day, including Conservatives.
We attended a Work & Pensions Select Committee hearing to give evidence on the campaign and have seen many local groups come together to help spread the message in their regions.
We are now planning our next steps in the campaign.
Our next main event is Demonstration and we would invite all women and their supporters to join us on the College Green at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 29 June from 12 noon.
This Demonstration will be followed by a lobbying of parliament.
What can you do to help?
To support the campaign you could write to your MP inviting them to the lobbying on 29 June, requesting that they join the APPG, or tell them how the increase in State Pension age has affected you and perhaps also request a meeting.
If you don’t know who your MP is you can find out on WriteToThem – simply enter your post code and it will give you the name of your MP and a headed letter ready for you to write your letter. The site also chases up a response from your MP.
This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.