A DUNFERMLINE woman has hit out at the UK Government after waiting more than a year for it to respond to her pension complaint.

Vivienne Coats was given notice that her pension age was being increased from 60 to 65 after she had already taken early retirement.

She submitted a complaint about the lack of notice she was given in July 2017 and is still awaiting a final response.

Vivienne took early retirement in 2010 when she was 56 and was looking forward to receiving her state pension four years later but was devastated to find out she would have to wait for NINE.

She said: “I felt like I was up against the Government, a woman alone. I am a proud independent woman but I am having to rely on my husband to support me financially.

“I feel like this is all really depressing and disrespectful that the UK Government will not respond to my complaint. I think this is a delaying tactic. I feel really strongly about the fact I am being deprived of something I was entitled too.”

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman is offering his support and claims he has uncovered some “alarming facts” about the way the UK Government is handling complaints from women fighting the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) cause.

The WASPI campaign was formed to fight for the women affected by a law which increased women’s state pension age. Many women say they were not given proper notice of this change by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Mr Chapman says some complaints by individuals are taking well over a year to be examined. He said the campaign was not about opposing the equalisation of the state pension age but objecting to the “frankly contemptuous” way women had been treated by the Government.

“Vivienne is one of many women who have rightfully lodged a formal complaint to the DWP to express her deep dissatisfaction with the utterly incompetent approach the UK Government has taken to notifying her of this change,” he said.

“That she has had to wait over 14 months and counting for a response is completely unacceptable.”

Mr Chapman added that those who had elevated their complaint to the Independent Case Examiner’s office were facing a long wait as their caseload had increased by 250 per cent with no additional resources allocated to deal with them.

“With just three existing case managers assigned to examining WAPSI complaints and no plans to increase this, these women, who are guilty of nothing, are being doubly let down by the UK Government,” he said.

A DWP spokesperson explained the decision to equalise the state pension age achieved a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

“We have thoroughly reviewed the options for equalising the state pension age, listening to concerns along the way,” they said.

“As a result, we have spent an extra £1.1 billion to ensure that nobody will reach the state pension more than 18 months beyond when they would have done under the original 1995 Pensions Act timetable.”