More than 500 WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are due to receive draft findings from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) before the end of this week on its independent investigation into ‘injustice caused by the maladministration’ of changes to the State Pension age. The update on the progress of the inquiry was shared with MPs during a recent Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) meeting.

In July 2021, the PHSO’s Stage 1 investigation ruled the DWP failed to communicate the age changes to those women with enough urgency, finding it guilty of ‘maladministration’. However, it was forced to row back on its Stage 2 report (injustice) in March 2023 following a successful legal challenge from the WASPI campaign against the original draft, which was found to be ‘unlawful’.

The stage 3 report (financial remedy) will then recommend to the UK Government what level of compensation, if any, should be paid to women affected by the changes to the State Pension age.

Chief Executive Officer at the PHSO, Rebecca Hilsenrath, explained to the PCAC the findings will be made in confidence and privately to the parties involved - DWP and complainants - not the general public. All parties involved will then have until Christmas (possibly December 21) to respond to the draft findings in the report, covering Stage 2 and 3.

She added that once the PHSO has had time to consider the responses from all parties, and make any amendments it thinks are necessary, it will then be able to publish its final report - which will be available to everyone.

Ms Hilsenrath told MPs on November 15: “We are now at a stage where we are intending to share with all the parties our provisional views on the investigation by the end of next week [week ending November 25]. After that we will provide a timeframe for those parties to come back to us with their comments on our findings.

“It will become a matter of public record once we have received their (all parties) comments and we are able to publish the final report, which I am assuming will be in the new year at some point.”

You can watch the meeting on Parliament TV here.

The WASPI campaign was formed to help millions of women get ‘fair and fast compensation’ after some of the worst affected were only given a few months’ notice of a six-year delay to their eligibility for the State Pension.

Recent WASPI research suggests nearly 4 million women, mostly born in the 1950s, saw their retirement plans ‘plunged into chaos’ at the last minute, after the DWP increased the State Pension age from 60 to 65, and later 66.

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