Anger as calls over pension trap rejected by Shropshire Council
Women caught in Britain’s pension trap say they are appalled after Shropshire Council refused to back their campaign.
A motion was put to the unitary authority asking it to back a campaign for women born in the 1950s to get transitional help from the government until they are entitled to their pension.
But Shropshire Council voted against writing to the Prime Minister to give its support to the Women Against State Pension Inequality group (WASPI).
Councillor Hannah Fraser said hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little or no personal notification of the changes.
“Some had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age,” she said.
“Many women born in the 1950s are living in hardship, their retirement plans shattered. Many are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly parents, providing childcare for grandchildren or suffering discrimination in the workplace as they struggle to find employment.”
The leader of the council, Peter Nutting, advised Conservatives on the council to vote against the motion. He revealed his own family had been affected by the changes. “My wife was affected, it means she just has to work a bit longer than she would have done,” he said.
The vote not to write to the Prime Minister or the pensions minster to advise them of the adverse effect changes to the state pension age were having,angered the group of women affected by the changes who attended the council meeting.
Following the meeting they said that some of them had lost £40,000 to £50,000 in up to six years of unpaid pension.
Cathy Hurley, 63, from Ludlow, said it was not easy for women in their 60s looking for a job.: “We are on the scrap heap already.” she said.
“We didn’t have time to plan, financially, for the extra years without a pension.”
Mary Holland, from Seifton in South Shropshire, said many women were caring for elderly relatives and, while they may receive a carer’s allowance it was nowhere near the same amount as a pension.
Former council employee, Gill Stothers from Church Stretton, 63, said she had been made redundant.
“I never could have dreamt that I would have been made redundant from my job, or that I would then have lost my pension rights,” she said.
“It is desperately unfair.”