At least 1,000 women marched on Parliament today (10 October) to protest at the change in their pension age, which means they will have to wait until they are 66 to draw their State Pension rather than 60, which was the age they had been promised.
The protest, which forced the closure of a section of Parliament Street, was organised by Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign (WASPI), BackTo60, We Paid In You Pay Out, Grey Swans and Pension Reformers.
Up to 3.9 million women have been affected by the changes, which now mean that some have to wait for up to six years more to receive their pension. Incredibly, many of the women at the protest said they had not been informed of the changes to their pension age and had to find out on the internet or through friends or family members.
Many women who took part in the protest wore the photographs of hundreds more of their peers around their necks, saying that they could not attend the march because they could not afford the travel costs, work on zero-hour contracts or do menial jobs and could not get the time off.
Other protesters wore photographs of women who had died while still waiting to get the pension they had paid into all their lives on the assumption that they would be able to claim it when they turned 60.
As one of the organisers pointed out, because these women did not find out that the pension age had changed until 16 years later, they were left with no time to make alternative financial arrangements and were “tipped into impoverishment”.
However, they are not giving up without a fight and now have a date for a judicial review of the decision to change the age, which will be led by Michael Mansfield QC. They are also about to bring a case that argues the UK Equality Act 2010 is discriminatory for women because the Government has not incorporated a United Nations convention into it.
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