APPG Formation

Women’s State Pension Pressure Group raised £75,000 in Six Days

Within 6 days of launching its crowdfunding appeal, WASPI (Women against State Pension Inequality) has reached its £75,000 legal funding target.

The Campaign’s aim is to use these funds to seek legal advice and to mount a challenge to the Government to provide transitional arrangements for the lack of communication of notice to the State Pension Age changes.

Pat Tarttelin, a member of the WASPI interim management group, said: “Raising £75000 in just under a week has been a fantastic achievement. We never imagined people would step up so quickly to support our cause. It’s a clear signal that the time has come for the Government to recognise this injustice and realise WASPI means business.”

WASPI has instructed Bindmans LLP, a leading London law firm, to fight for recognition and recompense for the women involved.

WASPI co-founder Anne Keen added: “A membership structure is planned in the near future to help organise the legal challenge. In the meantime, we are hoping that the Government will realise the seriousness of our case by recognising this terrible injustice in its Autumn statement.”

WASPI are now a company limited by guarantee. This action was taken as WASPI needed to have what is called a "legal entity" in order to be able to instruct lawyers and pursue litigation. This has been done by registering WASPI at Companies House under the name above. WASPI has a board of unpaid directors who are:- Celia Johnson, Pat Tarttelin, Susan Beevers, Jane Cowley and Anne Keen. Further appointments are expected to be made to the board. Watch this space.

APPG Formation
APPG Formation

On Tuesday 11 October 2016, 198 public petitions were presented and read in the Chamber by 87 MPs, representing 198 constituencies. It took 25 minutes.

WASPI have since been informed that our petition:- “The Implementation of the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts petition (part of the WASPI campaign)” is the largest public petition presented to Parliament on any one day, since Session 2000-01. This is in terms of both time it took to get presented and the number of constituencies represented. Yet another incredible achievement in our campaign.

In addition to those presented on 11th October other petitions were received by Parliament from Derbyshire South and Derby North, New Forest West, Chester, Christchurch, South Middlesbrough and East Cleveland, Portsmouth.

Thanks to all involved for the determination and hard work in making this happen and thanks again to all MP’s who presented the petitions.
You can see the list of petitions presented here .
The WASPI campaign gaining remarkable attention from the success of the local group demonstrations and events right across the country on Friday 16 September. There have been articles on radio, TV and in the papers in all regions.

Perhaps not surprisingly in the fact of this widespread support, Richard
Harrington, the pensions minister, felt he needed to make a statement to the
effect that the government was not diverting from its usual line of “no plans to
revisit the arrangements”.

Sadly for him, it’s clear from the response on social media that this statement has only served to stiffen the resolve and determination of WASPI women to continue their fight for a fair resolution to the pensions debacle.

In fact, the government must now begin to see how isolated it is becoming on this issue.  Over 30 local and county councils have passed resolutions in support of WASPI, often with Conservative councillors voting in favour too.  Many Conservative MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group and WASPI local groups continue to work hard to persuade other Tory MPs to support the campaign.
We recently saw the Scottish National Party launch a piece of research they had commissioned regarding the costs of making fair pension arrangements for 1950s women.  This was aimed only at putting right the failings of the 2011 Pensions Act, and thus fell short of the aim of the WASPI campaign, which is for a fair outcome for all women affected by both the 1995 and 2011 Acts.  However, it was a useful first step in showing the Government that, despite their statements to the contrary, money is available in the National Insurance Fund for 1950s women’s pensions and that they have been mistaken in their calculations as to how much various solutions could cost.
The number of local WASPI groups continues to grow and they are making a very positive difference to the impact and reach of the campaign.  Women out and about on the National Day of Local Action on the 16th September received thousands of signatures for a petition which was handed in to Parliament on the 11th October and they continue to raise awareness through a whole range of different local initiatives.
WASPI has chosen Bindmans to represent them in pursuing a legal challenge, funded via our  crowdjustice appeal. 

Building the new Strategy Group is nearly complete, and again, more information about the structure and format of the group will be with you in the near future.
Letters to to the DWP are continuing, with a view to making a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman once the DWP’s complaint procedure is exhausted.  Legal advice is being sought before the next letter in the series is sent, to ensure that all the bases are covered properly.
These are exciting times for the WASPI campaign.  WASPI is the only campaigning group which supports all 1950s women, whatever their date of birth.  Perhaps because of this, the number of our supporters is growing every week and we now have just short of over 47,000 people following the Facebook page: far more than any other group.
APPG Formation

The WASPI campaign were pleased to be invited to the launch of an important report commissioned by the SNP in the fight for justice for 1950s born women who have had their State Pension age (SPA) changed on a rapid timetable, with little or no notice, shattering many retirement plans.​

The interim team were invited with less than 24 hours notice before the launch and did not have sight of the report until they were on the train to London. In fact, consideration was given as to whether it was worthwhile going at all, since the content of the report was not known beforehand, but it was felt on balance it would be best to have representatives there to comment and influence.
Pat Tarttelin, a member of the WASPI interim management team, said, “WASPI is clear that the women affected should have better SPA transition arrangements, and that the Government must start to listen. The plans of the SNP to hold the Government to account by supporting the repealing of the 2011 Act are a great first step in removing barriers that the Government has repeatedly put in the way of a resolution. However, WASPI stand by their aim for fair transitional arrangements and want the Government to go further and recognise that the changes were too far too fast and with the DWP failure to communicate with those affected, there is a clear need now to deal with the problem and lessen the impact of both the Pension Acts, 1995 and 2011.”
WASPI have restructured their leadership and are preparing for an Autumn of action on many fronts, strengthened now by the SNP investment in costing options for a partial resolution.
APPG Formation

WASPI women up and down the country have been given the great of honour by being asked to speak at/presenting a workshop at numerous conferences. A testament to the respect and credibility of the WASPI Campaign.

WASPI on tour:

Anne Keen - Workshop at Labour's National Women's Conference in Liverpool on Saturday 24th September.
Lila Bennett - GMB Justice Campaign in Liverpool on Friday 7th October.
Patricia Clough - Midlands Women's TUC Conference on Wednesday 30th Sepember.

Lorna Binnie - SNP Conference Fringe meeting on the Friday 14th October
Patricia Clough - TUC Midlands Equalities Conference and the Labour Regional Conference on 29th October.
Heather Cook - Unison Women’s Conference in Cambridge on Tuesday 1st November.

There was a WASPI presence at both the Conservative Conference on Tuesday 4th October and at Labour Conference on Tuesday 27th September.


Personal File Requests & Mass Mailing

See Action page for details
APPG Formation
APPG Formation

Covering Letter
Application Form
APPG Formation

Minutes from the WASPI All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting which took place on the 19th July 2016!