Trudy Baddams is the founder member of a women’s pension injustice campaign. Today she writes in our Dear Editor section.
I am the founding member of a women’s pension injustice campaign group called ‘WePaidInYouPayOut’, we’ve been running for about 3 years now with a membership of 9,400, our main objective, in the beginning, was to gather information, facts and figures to share and hope that someone would take note.
I became rather obsessed with the Freedom of Information website and bombarded them with questions to the extent they flatly refused to answer anything further, they used the term ‘vexatious’.
The fact that everyone kept saying that to sort out this injustice was too expensive, they didn’t have the money, I was determined to find out why.
Before I was banned I asked a simple question about the surplus in the National Insurance Fund and I was shocked to learn that the surplus had been used to pay off the national debt, I was furious and word soon got around, I found that we have the National Insurance Fund which our contributions are paid into and the surplus from this is moved to the National Insurance Investment Account which can be used for anything including national debt, but further, down the road, David Drew Mp found that money was actually still there in the Investment fund and that further money had been paid in.
The National Insurance Fund used to be ring-fenced for pensions, benefit and the NHS, this stopped a good few years ago and the Investment Fund was set up and I have since found this.
“The Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt (CRND) are responsible, in accordance with Section 161(3) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, for the investments of the National Insurance Fund Investment Account (NIFIA). They are authorised to invest in accordance with directions given by HM Treasury and in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between HMRC and CRND.”
Women are angry, this is the money taken direct from their wages, from the age of 16, it is deferred pay, their employers pay NI contributions for them too and the NI fund can be wittered away on a whim, or remain in the account to gain interest and use the interest for anything other than their pensions they paid into for anything up to 50 years. Women have seen their pension age increase from 60 to 66 with little to no notice, some found out as they claimed their pension on their birthday, others found out 2/ 3 years before they expected to retire at 60.