A DISABLED woman who was forced to work whilst battling cancer is calling on the Government to change pension rules.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on the issue of 1950s Women's State Pensions has submitted a new report, calling for those affected to be compensated.

It is currently being reviewed by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

But Marilyn Ricketts, 64, of North Baddesley, said the "changes can't come quick enough".

"Back in 2016, I was living in Cyprus but my husband got a job back over in England, so I phoned up asking about my pension, as I was coming up to 60," said Mrs Ricketts, a blue badge holder.

"They told me that I would now have to work until I was 66! There was no correspondence on this change.

"I'd paid my stamps up whilst I worked in Cyprus, which was for a UK company anyway. Then in November 2017, I was diagnosed with cancer. I thought that it would be okay and I could retire.

"But that didn't work, and when I came back to the UK my company could only offer a part time role. That was until 2019, when they made me redundant due to the pandemic.

"I tried to claim the dole as I couldn't have my pension, but they told me I couldn't, and I couldn't claim universal credit either as I was part of a couple. I'd worked since 1973, and paid full stamps always. I'm 65 next month, I still can't get my pension but I also can't get a job."

Mrs Ricketts has been campaigning with the Solent branch of Women Against state Pension Inequality (WASPI) since 2017.

She continued: "Noone will employ me, and now my husband is still working full time. He's 68 this year, it's unfair.

"Noone is taking any notice. When we go on marches to raise awareness, most people don't even realise this is an issue."

Solent WASPI has welcomed the new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group.

It recognises the lack of notice women received about a six-year increase in their state pension age, and states that those impacted could be 'put back' in the financial situation they were in before the change occurred.


Shelagh Simmons

Shelagh Simmons


Shelagh Simmons, Solent WASPI Coordinator, said: "We thank the APPG for this report. We have been campaigning for six years on this issue.

"It is time the Government accepted its failings and agreed fair and fast compensation for the historic injustice done to 1950s women here in Southampton and around the country."