Research published yesterday showed women born in the 1950s will lose up to £770 a year each due to Rishi Sunak’s decision to break the link between state pension rises and earnings temporarily. Around 3.8 million women have lost up to six years in pension payments due to their retirement age rising from 60 to 66. The campaign group WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) is fighting for compensation for the lost income.
Now research by the Lib Dems has shown the women will also lose a total of £2,924,480,000 due to the Chancellor’s decision to break the Tory election manifesto’s triple-lock pledge.
Figures showed so-called WASPI women on the basic state pension are losing £590.20 per year each. Those on the new state pension are missing out on £769.60 per year.
The total was based on the shortfall between this year’s 3.1 percent state pension rise and the national earnings increase of around eight percent.
Lib Dem work and pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “This is a double blow for WASPI women and only adds insult to injury after they have been ignored for years.
“They are missing out on hundreds of pounds a year at a time when bills are soaring, whilst still seeking justice for changes to the state pension that left them out of pocket.
“We are demanding a fair increase to the state pension, so that it matches rising living costs and provides a fair deal for WASPI women.”
The Government increased pensions by only 3.1 percent this year while the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast average inflation at eight percent for 2022.
The Lib Dems are calling for pensions to be uprated by the forecast inflation rate. The party is also pledging to compensate WASPI women in line with a level set by the Pensions Ombudsman once it has completed its investigation.
A spokeswoman for the WASPI campaign said: “Women born in the 1950s have already been affected by huge losses to their retirement income by their state pension age being increased by up to six years, without adequate notice, which the Ombudsman found to be maladministration by the DWP.”
She added: “The scrapping of the triple lock for those women who have already reached their new state pension age will impoverish them further.”
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said: “The full yearly amount of the basic state pension is now over £2,300 higher than in 2010 and the Government remains committed to implementing the triple lock in the usual way for the remainder of the Parliament and will return next year.
“We recognise the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, which is why we’re providing support worth £22billion across the next financial year.” Officials insist the Treasury suspended the triple-lock mechanism for one year only due to “distortions” in the earnings rise caused by the end of the Covid furlough scheme.
They say the triple lock, which guarantees the state pension will rise by the highest figure out of inflation, average wage growth or 2.5 percent, will return next April. On the pension age, the Government decided more than 25 years ago to make it the same for men and women.
Both the High Court and Court of Appeal supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.