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Waspi women demand UK State Pension access

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group is calling on the government to take urgent action to help 1950s women who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

The group of women born in the 1950s affected by an increase in the state pension age have called on the government to give early access to the state pension to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Their demands include allowing early access to the state pension for Waspi women due to reach state pension age this financial year.

According to the group this would mean the government would not have to support these women through other measures like furlough payments or benefits.

They have also called for early access to pension credit for women who are otherwise eligible.

Some individuals are not receiving this support as their income is too low but they also cannot access other support such as universal credit.

To qualify for pension credit an individual must have a minimum income of £144.38 a week if they are single, and £229.67 a week if in a couple.

The Waspi movement has been campaigning against recent raises to the state pension age for women, which had been accelerated as part of the Pension Act 2011.

Campaign groups Waspi and Backto60 have claimed the changes were implemented unfairly for women born in the 1950s, and with little or no personal notice.

The groups, which are calling for compensation for those affected, have also claimed that changes were implemented faster than promised with the 2011 Pension Act and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.

But in October, the High Court dismissed a legal challenge from Backto60, which claimed that the changes in the state pension age were discriminatory.

The group is set to appeal this decision in July.

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