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The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman has found that the UK Government failed to communicate changes in the state pension age to women affected.

Around 3.9 million women born in the 1950s were affected by the accelerated pace of raising the state pension age and many will receive their pension years later than expected.

The SNP has been campaigning for fair pensions for so-called WASPI women for years – and I welcome the Ombudsman’s findings that the UK Government was too slow to respond once it knew a significant number of women were unaware of the changes to their state pension age. The Ombudsman will now go on to look at the impact of these findings on the women affected.

The UK Government has continuously let women down with their bungling of the changes to state pension age, and this report confirms the multiple failings and instances of maladministration by the Department for Work and Pensions over a prolonged period of time.

The Ombudsman has found that the DWP did not make reasonable decisions based on the information available or communicate with sufficient urgency, and failed to take adequate account of the need for targeted and tailored information or of how likely it was that doing the same thing would achieve different results. So the UK Government knew what women needed to know, knew that the message wasn’t getting through, and still didn’t do anything differently to ensure women could properly plan for their retirement.

I welcome the progress of the Ombudsman’s investigation and hope that this will bring women born in the 1950s one step closer to justice.

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