Swansea Labour leader Rob Stewart has thrown his full weight of support behind Pension Justice for Swansea Women who are part of a national campaign taking the UK Government to the High Court in June.
The Pension Justice for Swansea Women are fighting discriminatory state pension rule changes affecting 3.8 million women across the U.K.
And Cllr Stewart has been joined in his backing by Swansea Council Member Champion for Women, Cllr Louise Gibbard.
The group of women from Swansea and Gower are part of around 200,000 across Wales who are being affected by this UK Government legislation, are fighting the injustice of losing out on years of pension payments.
It all started in 1995 when plans to increase the state pension age for women were put forward. It meant the state pension age for women would rise to 65 slowly between April 2010 and April 2020.
However, in 2011 the coalition Government announced the timetable would be sped up, with women’s State Pension age rising to 65 by November 2018.
It means that any woman born on or after April 6, 1951, has seen changes to their pension.
The High Court has set the date of its judicial review for the alleged mishandling of raising the state pension age for women born in the 1950s as June 5 and 6.
The bottom line is that their retirement age has increased by up to six years and they have lost out on the equivalent of thousands of pounds, some as much as £50,000, and some have even lost their homes.
The women are angry that they were simply not told about the changes and were not given notice to plan ahead and have been forced to work longer than they should have
“I am very proud to support the campaign for pensions justice for women born in the 1950s,” said Cllr Stewart, the leader of Swansea Council.
“It is an absolute injustice that these hard-working women, through no fault of their own, have been penalised so cruelly by the legislation that has been put through by the coalition Government of the Tories and Lib Dems.”
Labour Cllr Gibbard added: “As Swansea Council Member Champion for Women I am proud to speak out on behalf of 1950s-born women in Swansea and their passionate campaign in defence of their rightful pensions.
“It is yet another example of the callous and cruel politics of austerity, which disproportionately hits women harder than men.
“From welfare and benefit changes to the public sector pay freeze, and now the theft of their pensions, this government has repeatedly shown itself to be no friend to women at any stage of their lives.”
Many women have spent their working life planning for retirement on a certain date only to be told you have to work for years longer to get your state pension
Janet Fisk of Pension Justice for Swansea Women said: “The campaigning group Pension Justice For Swansea Women was formed in March 2018 to fight the injustice done to nearly 15,000 Gower and Swansea women that these pension rule changes unfairly affects.
“We do not object to retiring at the same age as men, what we object to is being given little or no notice of this happening with no time to plan properly for our retirement. Women are dying before they are being given the chance to retire. Their health is suffering because of having to work longer than they were expecting to often in manual, labour intensive jobs such as cleaning, supermarket work or caring and that is just wrong!”
If you wish to know more about Pension Justice For Swansea Women and their campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07870386268.