WASPI a step closer to compensation

Like most men, I have tried to stay out of the argument over changes to women’s state pension age. But I am frustrated that reporting on their complaints is sporadic and , with the exception of an article in the Daily Mirror and a piece in Pension Age, a recent development has gone unreported. The recent development follows a challenge to a Parliamentary review of how the DWP has handled the administration of changes. You can get the full background on this official website.

What is WASPI’s complaint?

Many middle aged women have been campaigning for a number of years against the changes to the state pension age (SPA) that have severely disadvantaged them.

The changes saw a levelling up of the women’s SPA to that of men’s and though this was introduced in parliament through due process, many women claim that they weren’t properly informed of the change and were not given the time to plan for it, they needed.

Last week , there was an important development in their fight for compensation. This is how their campaigning group – the Women Against the State Pension Inequality (WASPI), announced it to its supporters

In our last update, we told you that discussions were taking place between our lawyers and those representing the Ombudsman – and that WASPI’s position remained that the best outcome in the judicial review would be an early settlement in which the Ombudsman accepted his Stage 2 report into the injustice suffered by WASPI and other 1950s born women should be reconsidered.

Those discussions concluded at the end of last week. They were very productive and have led to an agreement between the Ombudsman and WASPI that the judicial review claim should be settled.  The settlement agreement has now been submitted to the Court for approval. It takes the form of a draft Court Order and an agreed Statement of Reasons which are here.

In summary, under the settlement:

  • the Stage 2 report will be ‘quashed’ (so it will have no legal effect anymore and will have to be reconsidered);
  • the Ombudsman accepts the criticisms we made of the Stage 2 report meant it was “legally flawed” and so the reconsideration will focus on those parts of the Stage 2 report;
  • the draft Stage 3 report (which discussed what remedies, including compensation, should follow from the flawed Stage 2 report) will have to be reconsidered too; and
  • the Ombudsman will pay some of WASPI’s legal costs.

The Court has to approve the settlement for the Stage 2 report to be quashed, but we and the Ombudsman have asked the Court to give it urgent attention.

This is a huge victory for WASPI – and 1950s born women. It will maximise the chances of compensation for the DWP’s maladministration being decided on a proper basis which recognises the full extent of the injustice.

We will send out a further update very soon with answers to key questions about the settlement.

What the Judicial Review says

So what is the stage 2 report, what preceded it as stage 1 and what will follow it as stage 3?

The Stage 1 Report  was published by the DWP and called, Women’s State Pension age: our findings on the Department for Work and Pensions’ communication of changes, HC 444 on 19 July 2021. It found  that the delay (in communicating changes to impacted women) amounted to maladministration.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (the PPHSO – aka “the Defendant”) has completed (but not yet published) stage 2 of the investigation report on 8 December 2022 as well as sharing for comment a draft version of stage 3 of the investigation report (the Draft Stage 3 Report) based on the Stage 2 Report

On 2 March 2023  , WASPI raised issues with the Stage 2 and draft Stage 3 report and the DWP has agreed to reconsider its position. This is what WASPI claims

The change of mind of the PHSO , is based on their reconsideration of the impact of poor and ill-timed communication of change. In the judicial review last week, the PHSO accepted WASPI’s argument to review its position

Because we know direct mail should have begun by December 2006 at the latest, we consider what would have happened if the DWP had started issuing letters then, and whether an additional 28 months’ notice would have meant women avoiding the injustices they claim

the Judicial Review led to it recognising

the loss of an opportunity to make a different financial decision is capable of constituting a form of material injustice, the PHSO failed sufficiently to consider whether the sample complainants suffered lost chances as a form of material injustice (finding only that such lost opportunities amounted to a form of emotional distress: “not knowing”).

The WASPI claim focusses on the opportunity cost and material distress caused by “not knowing“. It is looking for compensation for women affected, not restitution to the situation they enjoyed before these changes.

The claim is against the Government, so ultimately against the tax-payer – though our agent, the DWP – is deemed to be at fault.

More than 222,000 women born since 1950 have died since 2015 , more than £3 bn. has been saved to the tax-payer by these changes. These numbers tick up

Let us hope that there is a speedy resolution to this matter.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to WASPI a step closer to compensation

  1. Ann Russell says:

    How can I miss out on getting my state pension by 3 months then had to wait another 4years. It should have been staggered over the years.

  2. Lesley Bryant says:

    Born in December, 1953, I missed out on my pension by 11 days. I then had to wait another 3 years 3 month before I received it. All of my friends born before 6th December 1953, were on their state pension years before me. 😡😤😢😭

  3. Heather Campbell Holmes says:

    The down right of injustice and the handeling of older women’s lives is appalling

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