Elizabeth is just one of 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who have had to wait six years longer than expected for their State Pension. Like many, she is now exhausted by her life of scrimping for every penny.
Elizabeth, who was born in 1955 in the West of Scotland, left school at 15 in 1971 to work in a solicitor’s office.
She qualified as a nursery nurse in 1974 and went back to work within six months of having her second child with husband Ian, doing 40-hour shifts.
By 2014, she was head of a busy nursery caring for vulnerable families.
Ian ran a successful building business but developed a rare debilitating illness, forcing Elizabeth to take carer’s leave to look after him.
They drew down on their mortgage to pay employees, while waiting for Elizabeth to receive her State Pension at 60.
She is still waiting.
Days before her 60th birthday in December 2015, Elizabeth received the devastating news that she would not be eligible for her State Pension until she was 66.
“This was the first I knew about it. I was stunned,” she said.
She had to carry on working even though Ian’s health was declining, and he passed away in June 2018 aged just 63.
Elizabeth was still not eligible for a State Pension and had no insurance or private pensions to fall back on.
She managed to persuade her bank not to repossess the bungalow she had built with Ian but will be repaying her mortgage until she is 80. “My daughter and granddaughter moved in to share expenses.”
Elizabeth is a staunch backer of the Waspi campaign, which stands for Women Against State Pension Injustice.
In July, it received a massive boost when the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman ruled that the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) should have given Waspi women more notice of moves to raise their State Pension age.
The Ombudsman said they suffered “maladministration” and now Waspi women hope it will recommend the Government pays compensation.
They are now awaiting the verdict from MPs.
The DWP responded that the Government decided to equalise the State Pension age for men and women more than 25 years ago, as a “long-overdue move towards gender equality”.
It insisted that it had been supported by both the High Court and Court of Appeal, which found it acted entirely lawfully and did not discriminate on any grounds.
Published at Thu, 04 Nov 2021 06:00:00 +0000