We have received the below update from Trish Alderson of the WASPI campaign:
Congratulations to women reaching their SPA today, 6 November 2017. We’ve had a long journey, but because of our date of birth we didn’t always reach milestones together. We’re now 64yrs & 2-3months old. We were born between 6 August and 5 September 1953, 2 or 3 months after the Queen’s coronation.
Women born in 1953 have their pension ages spread over 3 and half years. But the way we’ve been grouped together for our pensions means we came from 2 different academic years. At school the September babies were put into the year below the August babies and did everything a year later.
In 1964 or 1965, when we were either 10 or 11, we sat our 11 plus exams. Depending on the result, we went on to grammar school or secondary modern. We were able to leave school at 15 in 1968 or 1969, or stay on to take GCE ‘O’ levels in 1969 or 1970. School leaving age wasn’t raised to 16 till September 1972.
In 1970 the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. We were able to vote in our very first General Election in February 1974, when we were still 20. There was a Labor minority government so we had another trip to the ballot box in October 1974 when Wilson led Labor to a narrow victory. A month or so earlier we’d just got the ‘key of the door’ on our 21st Birthdays.
John Major was the PM in the year of the 1995 Pensions Act, when we turned 42. Those of us lucky enough to find out in 1995 that our pension age was going up had 18 years to accept that we’d not retire in 2013 on our 60th birthdays, but on 6 January 2017 when we’d be 63yrs & 4-5 months.
But, only 5 years before that, in January 2012, many of us received a DWP letter about the 2011 Act brought in by David Cameron’s government. It gave us another 10 months to wait and try to budget for. We were 58yrs & 4-5months. If we didn’t know about the 1995 Act, that letter was only 19 or 20 months before our 60th birthday.
After it’s been moved away from us twice, at last we’re crossing the finishing line.
Thanks to Trish for the update and the BFAWU wishes the WASPI Campaign all the very best, in solidarity.