WASPI women get Trussed up (SPA 3.1)

So far we’ve heard very little from Liz Truss on pensions, That changed last night when she was confronted by a WASPI woman asking if she would be getting “retribution” – I think she meant “restitution”.

Liz Truss said she had sympathy for WASPI who’d been treated badly, but that there was no money on the table to turn back women’s state pension age increases.

But with the elephantine memory of Britain’s top research actuary, David Robbins has dug out a policy paper with Liz Truss’ name on it, that not only endorsed the speeding up of the woman’s state pension age but recommended it be sped up.

If we’d moved at the speed of Truss , women born in 1950 wouldn’t have got a penny till the end of 2018. Women born in 1954 might still be waiting for their first state pension payment today.

Nobody’s suggesting that the Liz Truss of 2009 is the same Truss we have in 2022. Indeed the Truss of Monday, may not be the Truss of Tuesday, but Liz Truss is clearly happy to put her signature to some pretty radical pensions stuff.

You can read the whole episode here

The bigger picture

You can be forgiven for forgetting that we are in the midst of a review of the state pension age. Received wisdom was that SPA would increase in long with life expectancy so that it reaches 67 by 2028 and 68 sometime between 2044 and 2046. The rationale for this is not that the Treasury are mean so and so’s, but that we are all gradually growing older. Or at least we were.

Covid is proving rather harder to shake off than we thought and a combination of Covid excess deaths, long-Covid and the excess deaths from longer hospital waiting lists, we have more people dying in 2022 than died in 2019. Mortality is not improving, it is currently getting worse, a point made rather better than I can by David

Exploring this theme takes David into rather explosive territory – (I happen to be one of the 66 year olds who might try it on for an extra few months state pension)

Clearly the DWP and HMT are a lot more nervous about where this SPA review is going than the last one.

Which suggests that Lucy Neville-Fox, who is a true blue Tory – is getting the protection you’d expect for a super bowl quarterback

My guess is that there are some big numbers involved here and that a Treasury that’s under a fair amount of pressure elsewhere, is looking for a little wriggle room. Watch this space, the State Pension Age is a political hot potato and one that’s going to fall into Liz Truss’ lap.

Remember Liz Truss has form! She has been a Treasury Minister and she is not a classicist – she has a degree in politics and economics (same as Rishi). Anyone who thinks that pensions will be ignored as Johnson and May ignored them, may be surprised. Liz Truss sounds pretty sure she knows what she want, even if she may not yet know how to get it!

There is a good deal more to David Robbins’ thread and I may return to the second half where he muses about the pros and cons of moving to 68 sooner rather than later.

But I have lit enough (metaphoric) fires, in this blog and will allow readers to draw breath.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to WASPI women get Trussed up (SPA 3.1)

  1. Pingback: Why we won’t get a Covid dividend in our state pension. | AgeWage: Making your money work as hard as you do

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