Easington MP Grahame Morris hails Ombudsman victory but cautions the campaign continues in the face of government indifference.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) investigation into the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) handling of the State Pension age changes for women have published their findings.
PHSO discovered that from 2005 onwards, DWP’s actions to convey the State Pension age were deficient.
It details how the DWP failed to make reasonable choices based on available facts and did not contact women affected by the State Pension age changes with the necessary urgency.
Amanda Amroliwala, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman CEO, said: “After a detailed investigation, we have found that DWP failed to act quickly enough once it knew a significant proportion of women were not aware of changes to their State Pension age.
“It should have written to the women affected at least 28 months earlier than it did.
“We will now consider the impact of these failings and what action should be taken to address them.”
Grahame Morris MP said:
“The PHSO confirms what we already knew, 1950’s women have been victims of systemic failures by the DWP. Despite being aware of the shortcomings around notifying women, the DWP failed to take action.
The decision to accelerate the increase in the State Pension age by the Coalition Government left the worse affected women with a matter of months to understand and make important long term life decisions about their retirement.
I welcome the PHSO findings, and I believe the Government should acknowledge their error and compensate affected women.
However, I am cautious. In recent years, the current Conservative Government have flagrantly broken the law. Minister’s have refused to deliver Select Committee recommendations to support mineworkers and their widows, and the Chancellor is weighing up the future of the pension ‘triple lock’.
The Government have a shameful record on pension fairness and justice, and those they cheat and rob must hold them to account where it hurts most – at the ballot box.”