The root of the problem stems from a 195 pensions act, when it was decided that men and women should be eligible for the state pension at the same age. Also resolved in 1995, there would a cut off date. It would not effect women born before 1954. The change would come into effect between 2010-2020 - to avoid disruption to indivual retirement plans. The Coalition Gov't in 2010 (I think) resolved to bring the 2020 date forward to April 2018. Later, in response to concerns about what was seen as too short a timetable, last year this date was moved 6 months (from April to October). The cost of this minor change is roughly £1,000,000,000.
Compounding the issue is our increased longevity, which makes the cost of the state pension unaffordable. The Government had no option (in my view) but to raise the age we all become eligible to 67 yrs - exacerbating the position of women born 1954 and after. On balance, I think our living longer is rather good, even if does create big problems for the Treasury!!
Where my sympathy comes in concerns the publicity surrounding the changes. The basis of the WASPI Campaign complaints is that Gov't did not adequately warn about the coming change. Not giving proper time to prepare. Of course many knew. Mrs D and certainly knew. This was before I was an MP. We discussed it. But I accept many didn't realise. Some women had made life-changing plans based on retirement at 60. Some women tell me they did not know, and others tell me it would have been difficult to miss it. There may have been poor official Gov't communication, but there was plenty of discussion amongst the general public. But this is a fair debating point.
The opposition parties at Westminster are creating a huge row over this - tabling 'Opposition Day' debates on the issue, and bordering on the offensive towards the Minister. And despite the fact that it was a Labour Govt between 1997 and 2010. I attended the last debate on this issue a few weeks back - even though any vote on Opposition Day' debates are not binding. I wanted to understand the issue. I do think the women involved in the WASPI Campaign have good reason to complain about inadequate official communication, and consequent disruption to some retirement plans. But in the end I don't think the Govt had or has any choice but stick to it's current position.