CEREDIGION campaigners for 1950s women have issued a qualified welcome to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s finding of maladministration against the Department for Work and Pensions and called for a fair and fast solution.

Around 5,100 Ceredigion women born in the 1950s will be affected by the Ombudsman’s decision.

The Ombudsman has ruled that the department was guilty of maladministration from 2005 onwards when it failed to contact 1950s-born women in person to inform them of the changes to their state pension age after their own research revealed that the majority did not know their state pension age had changed, despite a publicity campaign.

“We are very pleased that, after a long and thorough investigation, the Ombudsman has found that maladministration took place when we were not properly notified of the changes to our state pension age, “ said Pamela Judge, from Ceredigion Women Against State Pension Injustice.

“This is a very welcome step in the right direction. We hope the Ombudsman will now complete the next stage and decide that an injustice has taken place that deserves compensation. The Government will then have a moral duty to put things right. We are looking for a fair and fast solution.”

Over the past two years hundreds of women in Ceredigion have lodged complaints with the help of WASPI members and local MP Ben Lake’s staff.

“I am delighted that it has finally been recognised how badly 1950s women have been treated,” said Mr Lake.

“They paid National Insurance all their working lives on the understanding they could retire at 60, only to be told at the last minute they would have to wait several more years for their pensions. Now is the time for MPs from all parties to work together to find a solution.”

The Ombudsman’s final ruling will apply to all 1950s-born women affected by the changes, not just those whose cases are with the Ombudsman.