The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is set to conclude an independent investigation into changes made to the State Pension age this year. The Ombudsman has confirmed that any recommendations it makes to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will apply to “everyone who has been similarly affected” by the failings it identifies, not just the women who lodged a complaint.
This could result in around 3.6 million women born in the 1950s receiving compensation after waiting five years for the outcome. The investigation, which began in 2018, was delayed due to the complexity of the case and a legal challenge funded by thousands of WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign). The PHSO recently shared an update on its website explaining the reasons for the delays.
The PHSO shared: “We had intended to publish our final investigation report by the end of March 2023. Following a legal challenge, we agreed to look again at part of our stage two findings. This has delayed the publication of our final report.” It also expressed: “Our investigation has been complex, and it has taken a considerable amount of time. We appreciate the impact this will have had on the women affected.”
Rebecca Hilsenrath, the CEO at the PHSO, told the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) in November 2023 that the draft results for stages two and three had been sent out confidentially to all parties involved, including the UK Government and approximately 500 women who’d complained.