Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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68,000 Black Country women lose out on pension changes

Dudley MP Ian Austin has met with Black Country women campaigning against pension changes that will leave them worse off.

The women were in Westminster to demonstrate against the Government's decision to accelerate rises to the State Pension Age for women so that it will reach 66 by 2020, instead of 2026 as originally planned. Campaigners say that the changes have shattered their retirement plans as they have not had time to make new arrangements.

Official House of Commons Library figures show that 68,660 Black Country women born in the 1950s will be affected along with hundreds of thousands more across the country.

Campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) accept that a rise needs to take place, but say that the Government’s reforms have been implemented far too quickly and with very poor communication. They are now calling for transitional arrangements to be put in place to support women who have unexpectedly found themselves without a pension.

In the Black Country 4,655 women have signed a petition in support of WASPI's campaign. Local people can add their support to the campaign here: http://www.waspi.co.uk/

Austin has joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group for WASPI and raised the issue with Government Ministers on behalf of local women on a number of occasions. He will now be writing to over 2,000 women in his constituency urging them to support the campaign.

Ian Austin said:

"Women who have worked hard and contributed should be able to plan for their retirement, but the Government's rapid changes to the pension age have made this impossible.

"This is particularly important in the Black Country where lots of people left school at 15 or 16 and did hard graft, instead of graduating in their mid-20s to start office work.

"I was delighted to meet local women campaigning against these changes, and I will be contacting over 2,000 women in my constituency urging them to take part."

Dudley resident Hilary Henderson said:

"These pension changes have made it impossible for women across the country to prepare for our retirement.

"I’m really pleased to have Ian’s support, and I hope as many women as possible in Dudley sign up in support of our campaign."

The following figures from the House of Commons Library set out the number of women affected by 2011 Pensions Act (born between 06/04/1953 and 05/04/1960). 

Constituency

Women Pensioners Affected

E-petition Signatures

Dudley North

3,040

208

Dudley South

3,150

233

Halesowen & RR

3,620

317

Stourbridge

3,880

330

Dudley

13,690

1,088

Walsall North

3,700

146

Walsall South

3,440

176

Aldridge-Brownhills

3,230

221

Warley

2,970

160

Walsall

13,340

703

West Bromwich East

3,300

154

West Bromwich West

3,230

157

Sandwell

6,530

311

Wolverhampton NE

3,260

150

Wolverhampton SE

3,310

123

Wolverhampton SW

3,300

197

Wolverhampton

9,870

470

Cannock Chase

4,130

276

Wyre Forest

4,440

375

Lichfield

4,250

362

South Staffordshire

4,550

377

Stafford

4,080

327

Staffs Moorlands

3,780

366

BC & Staffs

68,660

4,655

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