WEST FIFE women angry that the state pension age was increased with little prior notice have been left in limbo while a Judicial Review is carried out.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) was set up nationally in 2015 to help women born in the 1950s affected by changes to the pension age.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman wrote to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Guy Opperman MP, after being approached by West Fife women who had been told that their outstanding complaints against the handling of the pension controversy had been closed pending the legal process.

“1950s women whose state pension age was increased with little prior notice have every right to complain about the way they have been treated by the UK Government,” he said.

“Those who have done so have been waiting over a year to have their complaints investigated to now be told their cases have been closed due to a Judicial Review being granted. 

“Whilst I welcome the legal intervention, we have no way of knowing what the outcome will be. Should WASPI women remain dissatisfied, under no circumstances should they be expected to re-submit their complaints afresh and face a further inordinate wait for a response.

“I am pleased that I have at least obtained a commitment from the Minister for Pensions that consideration may be given to reopening complaints should this be appropriate once the Judicial Review is complete.” 

One Dunfermline woman who had been told her complaint had been “closed” as a result of the judicial review expressed her frustration at the way concerns had been dealt with and is hoping the review will help.

Former drama teacher Vivienne Coats, of Rosethistle Bank, took early retirement in 2010 when she was 56 and was looking forward to receiving her state pension four years later before she discovered she would have to wait nine years.

“It is very frustrating,” she told the Press. 

“It will be two years ago in July that I first put in a complaint about maladministration to the DWP.

“When the judicial review news came out in November, I got a letter very quickly after that. They wrote to me telling me my complaint was closed.

“On January 10, I wrote back to them contesting their action and saying I was not accepting that they should be closing my complaint and they should just put it on hold. I then got another letter telling me that it was definitely closed and the case would not be reopened and I was to have no further dialogue. 

“From what Douglas has been saying, there is nothing we can do because they have to wait until the judicial review has been heard.”

The Judicial Review is scheduled to take place on June 5 and 6.