Hampshire county councillors have spoken out in support of women who have been affected by state pension inequality – including one member who claims to have lost £45,000 as a result of a historic government blunder.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) received cross-party support of their motion submitted at last Thursday's full council meeting.
And addressing fellow members, Cllr Kim Taylor (Labour, Basingstoke Central) shared her own personal experience of pension inequality, which she said thrown many women into poverty.
Changes set out in the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts increased the age women would receive their state pension from 60 to 66.
The change was poorly communicated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with many women born in the 1950s not finding out about the change until 2012.
As a result some women lost out on thousands of pounds of state pension.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found that the DWP was guilty of maladministration in its handling of the issue.
A cross-party group of MPs, sitting as the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women, concluded "the impact of DWP maladministration on 1950s-born women has been as devastating as it is widespread".
The motion submitted to the county council called on the council leader for public support while requesting action from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for ‘an early solution’.
In addition it requests "that fair compensation is made to the surviving spouses and family of the affected beneficiaries who have died during this process".
Introducing the motion to the chamber, councillor Malcolm Wade said: "Women have had their emotional, physical and mental circumstances totally obliterated by a lack of reasonable notice.
"By the end of 2022, more than 220,000 1950s-born women would have died waiting for justice since the WASPI campaign began in 2015."
Councillor Kim Taylor, who has been personally affected by the issue, said: "This issue is not about inequality over pension retirement dates but about the unfairness and hardship that has been caused by the implementation of the change which not only accelerated the time frame of implementation but actually failed to inform those who were affected.
"The impact is very significant, thousands of women up and down the country made directions about their future based on their assumption that they were retiring at the age of 60.
"Many women have been thrown into poverty as a result of what has happened here, many women have been unable to get back into the workplace after choosing to take early retirement or redundancy.
"From my own perspective, I have £45,000 of lost state pension as a result of this."