PERSONAL STORIES​
HOW THE CHANGES HAVE AFFECTED WASPI WOMEN
Anita

Just before I was 60 I was told my State Pension would be delayed and I would not receive this until about 62, so I altered my private pensions accordingly.  Then not long afterwards they have moved the goal posts again and I am not able to retired until I am actually 65, this has had a financial impact upon me.  I also miss out on free bus/train passes and the only service I receive in free prescriptions.

Looking at it financially I have lost out on income for a period of 5 years Government pension, and I have received no compensation for this loss from the Government.  I have also been made redundant twice since I have been 60 and I honestly feel my age goes against me, although companies would not admit this or imply it.

I now find out that my friend who is 5 months older than me will receive her pension this November.  Why is it that I have to go a further 2 years before I receive a pension?  I cannot not understand the logic or reasoning behind this calculation.
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"​​​Why is it that I have to go a further 2 years before I receive a pension?"
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Sue

I was born 1954 started work at 18 married at 19 and had two children. I always worked part time and started paying into a local government pension scheme in 1986 and planned and expected my state pension at 60 in 2014.   This included giving up my pension rights to my first husband’s police pension in 1996 when we divorced.

 In 2011 I was made redundant due to austerity and urged to take early retirement on the grounds that I would get my state pension at 60 in 2014.  In 2012 I got a letter from DWP informing me my state pension date had been deferred to 2020!!! I never would have taken redundancy if I had know this

Furthermore a woman born one year earlier than me in 1953 can retire this year yet I have to wait until 2020.  All in all I have to wait 6 years (approx £36.000) in lost pension due to austerity? Also I only have 33 years NI stamps so because the goal posts have been moved to 35 I will not have enough NI contributions.

I am in poor health with a heart condition and osteoarthritis in both knees I would not pass the medical to return to my career as a safeguarding social worker. I’ve been to the job centre but can have no benefits as I have a small LA pension, no one is going to employ at 61 year old with my health needs

The 1995 pension act and the acceleration of the 2011 pension Act has meant I have been affected twice without due notice to make other arrangements for my retirement

I will have to sell my home.

So much for doing the right thing and planning for retirement I have been discriminated against due to my date of birth and gender.

"​I am in poor health with a heart condition and osteoarthritis in both knees I would not pass the medical to return to my career as a safeguarding social worker.​​​"
Carol

I was born in august 1953 I have not been employed since 1980 being a carer for my parents for 30+ years in the meantime I was diagnosed with spinal stenisis/angina and recently kidney failure due to GP error. I was looking forward to retiring at the age of 60 and getting of disability benefit i.e. sickness benefit but alas was told I have to go until I'm 65.

I found this very unfair so wrote to my MP what a joke that was all I got back was a load of political jargon about the pension system. I might not live long enough to ever collect my state pension I have 23% kidney function and am in constant pain 24/7 with my back and sciatic nerve damage well this is my story I know not if this will go anywhere but it’s made me feel better.
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​"I have 23% kidney function and am in constant pain 24/7"
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Jean
 
There are many people who have suffered through the pension changes, I feel extremely lucky that I have not been subjected to the unfair extension of retirement age but still feel that we have all been badly treated.

I was born January 1953, my state pension was put back to November 2015, luckily for me I was not subjected to the later extension for women born from April 1953.

I was in a job that was quite stressful and following being diagnosed with having strokes I felt that one thing I must do was to alleviate the pressure that my job was subjecting me to.  I "retired" early and funded my state pension deficit through my savings, I again was lucky that I could do this, many people are not as fortunate.

I had always expected to retire at 60 and by extending the retirement date with no adequate notice we had no time to plan for our future. Not only have the government saved millions on delaying pensions, they have also gained by still paying National Insurance, which would have stopped for women over 60.

​"Being diagnosed with having strokes I felt that one thing I must do was to alleviate the pressure that my job was subjecting me to."
Dawn

 
I'm a typical 1950's working class girl, 2 brothers and 1 sister, stay at home wonderful mother, very hard working father. I left school at 15 with no paper qualifications, and was not encouraged by school or family to strive for a high paying career, unlike my brothers who were encouraged to go to college etc, as they as my father always said would be breadwinners and girls were not.      
 
So like my mother and grandmother before me. Finding a husband and having children was my pinnacle career. So no large private pension and wage for me...I did manage to start a hairdressing apprenticeship, but never finished the five years as Marriage and wonderful son interrupted this path. My husband was like minded to the working class mantra of stay at home and be a mother and wife, with no independent means and completely dependent on my husband as the breadwinner.
 
Two marvellous girls followed, and I did small hairdressing jobs from home, that fitted in with the children schooling, always being there when they returned from school. When the children started at secondary school, I thought I would like to return to work, care work for the charity Scope was my choice, as no qualifications limited my prospects of a high paid job. My experience as a mother held me in good stead and I climbed the ranks to senior Team leader with a very small personal works pension as my wages were very low as care work is notoriously not well paid. My only option as a stay at home mother.
 
So as my working life took off, my marriage of 25 years ended, with no financial backing from my ex, I started work full time, and became totally independent, so as the years passed I worked jolly hard to support my children both financially and emotionally, and my ageing mother who became seriously ill and needed help. This took a toll on my own health and I left Scope to work for a private family that provided me with a home and a small wage for my support as PA / house manager. So I looked forward to my full state pension being paid as promised to me at 60years of age, when I left school and started work and paying my National insurance, which I continue to do till this day... As you can see i am a low earner and have a very small private pension, so i was hoping for my full pension, but it was not to be, I know have to wait until I am 66, this is a loss of nearly £40,000
 
Where as a low paid worker of 62 years of age where will I find this money?

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​"This took a toll on my own health and I left Scope to work for a private family that provided me with a home and a small wage for my support as PA / house manager."
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Vera

45 years of working and caring.

I left the grammar school that I attended at 15, as my dad wanted me to contribute to the household. I worked full time until I was 29 when I had my first son and moved from London to Norfolk.  I had my second son two and a half years later. I volunteered at the local Children’s Centre during this period becoming treasurer and also at a special needs playgroup where I was offered part time work.  I did several different part time jobs while my children were small.

As my children progressed through primary school I continued with part time work and became chairperson of the Friends of the School and later on Chairperson of the parish council where I lived.  I also trained as a Citizens Advice volunteer advisor and did this 1 day a week alongside all my other responsibilities until my husband was made redundant for the third time and we decided that I should try to find full time work.
I found a full time job as a support worker in a mental heath charity and my husband stayed at home to look after the children.

When my first son started high school I separated from my husband and after a number of years of single parenthood (while working full time) I remarried someone who was very supportive emotionally but had some health issues and so I continued to be the main breadwinner for the family. I was successful in applying for an internal promotion to a management post and over a number of years I completed an OU degree in Health and Social Care and also a postgraduate diploma in mental health.

I started my own caring role by supporting an elderly uncle who lived in London as he had been found collapsed on the floor of his flat having been there for several days – he had no family himself  -so I helped him to move to sheltered accommodation and became appointee for his benefits and helped to organise his affairs. Later I became appointee for my brother who has mental health difficulties, he had been financially reliant on my parents for most of his life and as my mum had already died and dad was becoming unwell I needed to help him find some security for his future.

I became appointee for my fathers’ benefits after he had a diagnosis of possible Lewy body dementia and I took on the financial management of their home.
My dad’s health deteriorated and I had to travel to Cornwall frequently to help my brother cope and eventually to organise care at home and more recently nursing care for my dad, I took on Power of Attorney for dads affairs. Luckily I had managed to gain a further promotion, which allowed me to reduce my hours to 4 days a week to help me cope with all of my caring roles.

During this period I supported both my sons attend university and although they both have hefty student loans that they are repaying this was a considerable financial commitment from me for them both.  One of them became a teacher and the other sells British manufactured products in Northern Europe.

My husbands health was deteriorating and so when the services that I ran for the charity came up for competitive tender and the bid was won by a much bigger national organisation I opted for statutory redundancy, to be employed by the new organisation I would have taken a very large salary reduction (thousands of pounds) for what was a very stressful job, they also wanted someone to work full time.

So I have been self-employed since then, starting my own business, 2 years ago now – I haven’t unfortunately managed to earn enough money to pay tax (except on the charity donations that I said I was a taxpayer for) but have continued paying N.I. contributions. If I didn’t try to work at all I could claim carers’ allowance – but I don’t really wish to do this – I have always strived to be independent. I continue to do voluntary work – I am a trustee of the local C.A.B. and also help the local River Care scheme to clear and care for the environment around our river.  I litter pick my regular walks just as I feel any good citizen should.

I was 60 this year and became a grandmother. Once upon a time I would have had my pension and in my ideal world would have probably continued to do some of my self employed pursuits, definitely more voluntary work (I have a lot or resources and experience and know I have things I could offer to my community) and enjoyed my grandchild.

Instead of this I am looking at trying to find some settled part time work that provides a regular income that I can somehow fit around caring for my husband, trips to Cornwall to support my dad and brother and looking after my grandson 1 day a week now his mum has returned to work.

I feel I have put enough into the system and that it should be my time to get something back. I don’t think I am asking for too much just what I am entitled to.
​"I feel I have put enough into the system and that it should be my time to get something back. I don’t think I am asking for too much just what I am entitled to."