Waspi woman, 67, forced to keep working or risk homelessness

A Waspi woman says the state pension is “not much to live on” for thousands of people, as pensioners across Britain are increasingly at risk of homelessness. Marion Williams, 67, from Newcastle spoke exclusively to GB News about the financial difficulties faced by many women.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign is fighting for compensation to tackle the inequality resulting from historic changes to the state pension. Pensioners across Britain are on the brink financially, according to the report ‘Keys to the future: Projecting housing tenure and poverty rates in later life’ from the charity Independent Age.


The report shows that poverty among the elderly will increase from 17 percent to 23 percent without intervention. As a result, this would mean that the number of people living in poverty after retirement could increase from 2.1 million in 2022 to 3.9 million people in 2040.

It is striking that poverty among older women will increase more than among their male counterparts, from 20 percent now to an estimated 26 percent in sixteen years. For many women born in the 1950s, the impending poverty crisis is already being exacerbated by the government’s inability to implement fair changes to the pension system.

Williams explained: “The biggest impact for me was that my employer did not understand the rules themselves. Many Waspi women have not received any notification, I have not received anything to inform me of the change.

“They (the employer) hadn’t given me a pension and I didn’t have a big pension to fall back on, so I took temporary jobs. Here, there and everywhere.

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WASPI camperCampaigners are calling on policymakers to do more for women born in the 1950s WASPI

“I was very lucky to be able to pick them up, it’s not easy and that’s how I survived. I’m 67 now and got my pension last year, which is nice, but not very much. I couldn’t make a living from it.”

Based on Independent Age research, the share of retirees living in the private rental sector will more than triple, from four percent in 2022 to 13 percent in 2040.

For Williams, there is additional financial stress she must deal with as a leaseholder. According to the Waspi woman, the growing trend of older Britons no longer owning their homes is exacerbating the existing problems of retirement life in Britain.

Williams added: “The management fee I pay every month is higher than my mortgage used to be. I could end up homeless because I didn’t pay for it. Plus, the lease is up and as I get older I can’t live in that kind of accommodation anymore, so I just have to keep working.”

What is the Waspi campaign?

Around 3.8 million women in Britain are thought to have been adversely affected by the equalization of the state pension age between the sexes in 2010.

In 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was found guilty by the PHSO of “mismanagement” in dealing with the change, as many were not sufficiently informed.

Earlier this year, the ombudsman recommended a Level 4 compensation amount for those affected, amounting to between £1,000 and £2,950. Furthermore, the PHSO determined that it was the responsibility of the MPs to decide and vote on the payout amount.

Ahead of next month’s general election, both the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have pledged to stick to the PHSO report.

However, Labor and the Conservative Party have avoided paying compensation for Waspi women in their manifestos.

In response, the campaign stated: “Despite warm words over many years, those who once claimed to be our greatest champions have now abandoned us at the last minute.

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“But those who once claimed to be our greatest champions now seem to have forgotten us, despite promises to the victims of other scandals.

“As millions of affected women carefully consider how they will cast their votes in the coming weeks, there is still time for Labor to reaffirm its support for those who have been so badly let down by the Conservatives.”

A Labor spokesperson said: “The Conservatives had months to respond to the Ombudsman’s report.

“We said during the campaign that if we came to power, we would take up that work. We will not make promises that we cannot keep.”