WASPI campaigners highlight divide in pensions for men and women

Debbie de Spon, the Norfolk WASPI group coordinator.

Debbie de Spon, Norfolk WASPI group coordinator, and communications officer for the national campaign. - Credit: Debbie de Spon

Campaigners in Norfolk and Suffolk fighting for justice for women hit by changes to state pensions say new statistics show why their battle is so crucial.

Campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) revealed new statistics which show retired men in the UK have 70pc more to live on than women.

The research, revealed on International Women's Day, is based on latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

And it shows, when private and public pensions are added, women in Britain are living on just £26 per day of pension income while retired men are living on £44 per day.

According to the Office for National Statistics, men aged between 65 and 74 have £182,700 in private pension savings, while women of the same age have just £25,000 saved up.

Using insurance giant Aviva’s annuity calculator, £25,000 delivers a pension of £77.50 per month or £2.50 per day for women.

The £182,700 men have saved up gives them a pension of £612.19 per month, equivalent to £20.20 per day.

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Meanwhile, men get £170.50 a week state pension while women get £164.74 per week on average, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Changes to the state pension age saw women born in the 1950s left with an extra six-year wait before receiving their state pensions - prompting protests by groups such as WASPI.

WASPI women protesting

WASPI women protesting in London. - Credit: WASPI Campaign

Norfolk-based Debbie de Spon, from WASPI, said: "The figures illustrate clearly how efforts to solve the pension gap by introducing the New State Pension in 2016 have failed catastrophically for 1950s born WASPI women.

"They were already disadvantaged by not being fully included in company pension schemes until 1990 and by having less opportunity to make National Insurance contributions because of childcare and care for elderly relatives.

"It takes a lifetime to prepare for retirement. The women did prepare, for a retirement at 60, and their lives were sent into turmoil by the unexpected increase to their State Pension age, and the maladministration by the Department of Work and Pensions."

Last year, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman confirmed the DWP "did not get it right" in making women aware of changes from 2005 onwards - and that amounted to maladministration.