A group of Moray women brought their fight for fairer pensions to the streets of Elgin during a colourful demonstration yesterday.
The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) collective was campaigning for changes to regulations which they fear will cost thousands of people across the region up to £40,000 each in payments.
They are arguing that plans to increase the state pension age to 65 for women by November 2018, and 66 by 2020, are unfair on those born in the 1950s.
Waspi maintains that the changes made to women’s state pensions in the 2011 Pension Act were unfairly implemented, leaving affected parties with little or no time to make alternative financial plans.
Their campaign aims to achieve transitional state pension arrangements for women who were born in the 1950s.
The Moray group has calculated that 4,440 residents will be affected, but only has 375 members – and yesterday’s rally was a way of highlighting their crusade.
Women dressed up in the style of the 1950s to represent the generation they claim will suffer most, and waved eye-catching placards.
Protestor Sheila Forbes organised the demonstration, and insisted she was keen to embrace the spirit of the Suffragettes.
She said: “We need to raise more awareness, some people might be coming up to 60 and unaware that they won’t get their pension until they are 65 or 66.
“Waspi members wear lilac because that was the colour of the Suffragettes, and that is the spirit we want to continue.”
The 62-year-old former social worker added: “I have retired, but without any pension, and I won’t get that until a week before my 65th birthday.”
During the rally, which lasted from 10am to 2pm, scores of residents of all ages signed a petition calling for revisions to the system.
Moray MP Angus Robertson has backed the group’s campaign, and joined members on Elgin’s Plainstones yesterday to help encourage support.
Mr Robertson said: “Unfortunately, tax unfairness is a phenomenon across the UK, and I am appealing for the UK Government to look at this issue and understand it must be remedied.”
The UK government has maintained that letters sent to women informing them of changes to their state pension age were clear.
A spokesman stressed that changes to the system were announced more than 20 years ago and “righted a longstanding inequality”.