WOMEN born in the 1950s affected by increases to their retirement age are owed compensation, a major report has recommended.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has been looking at potential injustices resulting from the decision to raise women's retirement age from 60 to 65 to bring it in line with men's.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) say millions suffered financially as they were not given sufficient warning of the change. 

PHSO chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath has said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has indicated it will refuse to comply with the recommendations and Parliament has been asked to intervene to ensure a compensation scheme is established.

The report said in addition to handing out compensation, the DWP must acknowledge its failings and apologise for the impact it has had. 

She said:  ”The UK’s national ombudsman has made a finding of failings by DWP in this case, and has ruled that the women affected are owed compensation.

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“DWP has clearly indicated that it will refuse to comply. This is unacceptable. The department must do the right thing and it must be held to account for failure to do so.

“Complainants should not have to wait and see whether DWP will take action to rectify its failings.

“Given the significant concerns we have that it will fail to act on our findings, and given the need to make things right for the affected women as soon as possible, we have proactively asked Parliament to intervene and hold the department to account.

“Parliament now needs to act swiftly, and make sure a compensation scheme is established. We think this will provide women with the quickest route to remedy.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf said WASPI women had been "vindicated" by the report.

He posted on Twitter/X: "Westminster’s continued refusal to provide compensation to women affected is shocking.

"They thought @WASPI_Campaign women would just go away. They haven't. They won't. And they have @theSNP's full support."

The 1995 Pensions Act and subsequent legislation raised the state pension age for women born on or after April 6, 1950.

The ombudsman investigated complaints that, since 1995, DWP has failed to provide accurate, adequate and timely information about areas of state pension reform.

The ombudsman published stage one of its investigation in July 2021. It found failings in the way DWP communicated changes to women’s state pension age.

The DWP’s handling of the pension age changes meant some women lost opportunities to make informed decisions about their finances. It diminished their sense of personal autonomy and financial control, the ombudsman said in its latest report.

It said it has received a series of complaints relating to how the DWP has communicated a variety of state pension reforms, and concerns about communication of changes to the state pension age constitute only one such area of complaint.

The SNP has demanded the UK Government “step up” and issue an immediate apology alongside fair and fast compensation to women affected by the change in the state pension age. 

Kirsten Oswald, the party's women and equalities spokesperson, has warned the UK Government against ignoring the report and urged it to back the private member's bill tabled by her SNP colleague Alan Brown.

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This would force the Government to publish proposals for a compensation scheme.

She said: “Women born in the 1950s have been betrayed by the Tory government and deprived of pensions they were entitled to.

“This saga has run on for far too long  – it’s time for the UK Government to step up and put an end to this serious injustice by issuing an immediate apology and fair and fast compensation to all women who were affected.

"They could also show good faith and an intent to make things right by backing the Private Member's Bill tabled by my SNP colleague, Alan Brown, that would force the government to publish proposals for a compensation scheme.

“If the UK Government decides to ignore the report and carry on casting these women aside then Parliament must step in to hold the Tories to account and ensure that these women see justice."