Ombudsman Rules DWP Owes WASPI Women Compensation

Published / Last Updated on 22/03/2024

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has ruled that Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) and all affected women are due compensation from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for a lack of adequate information, guidance and notice that state pension ages for women would increase to age 65 (equality with men).

A report by the PHSO in 2004 suggested that the DWP had not supplied enough information to affected women and since then had done very little to improve awarness meaning compensation.

  • 1991 – Government consultation on equalising state pension age for women to age 65 to match the male state pension age.
  • 1993 – White Paper published based upon consultation findings with proposals that women’s state pension age would increase over a 10 year period from 2010 onwards.  The White Paper stated “‘The change will not begin to be implemented until 2010.  The lead-in period of over 16 years allows plenty of time for people to adjust their plans."
  • 1995 – Pensions Act 1995 included legislation for state pension age increases as follows:
    • Men’s State Pension age would remain 65.
    • Women born before 6 April 1950 would retain a State Pension age of 60.
    • Women born after 5 April 1955 would have a State Pension age of 65.
    • Women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1955 would have a State Pension age phased in between 60 and 65, depending on their birthday.

Please see our state pension age calculator:  State Pension Age

  • 1997 – Pensions Act 1997 legislated for more State Pension age increases for both men and women to: age 66 between 2024 and 2026, 67 by 2036, and 68 by 2046.
  • 2011 – Pensions Act 2011 legislated for women’s State Pension age increases to be brought forwards so that it hit 65 by November 2018, instead of April 2020.

This has been the argument for WASPI women all along, with not enough information supplied and then bring it forwards, women have been put at a financial disadvantage and the PHSO has now agreed and ruled against the DWP.


This is a difficult one.  We highlighted this isse with a site survey and over 2,000 responses back in 2003 that 50% of women were not aware of the state pension age changes due in 2020, so it was apparent already that the new.  Our press release was carried by news agencies all over the world, with Reuters, the Sydney Telegraph and other leading global news agencies taking up the story.

Some Labour MPs have called for compensation of £10,000 or more for some of the most affected women but the PHSO has said we should wait to see what the government of the day legisltates for.  There are two elements here:

  1. Labour will likely be in power, so it is easy to play politics and call for compensation, but it is more difficult when in power to have to plan to fund it.
  2. We have, as a company, gone to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about HMRC losing us £000s in workdays due to their mistakes and the Ombudsman agreed with us but in terms off compensation Ombudsman Lady “X” told us “you cannot sue “Her Majesty” or her representative “HMRC”.  So suing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a department of His Majesty's Government is not going to happen.
  3. Affected women will have to wait and see if the government of the day will legislate to allow compensation.

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