A GROUP of women born in the fifties brought a skeleton along to a protest at the weekend to raise awareness about the number of women who they say are dying before they receive their pensions.

The protestors gathered on the forecourt to highlight the plight of women born in 1954 who had been affected by the government’s changes to the age that they can draw their pension.

Elizabeth Stanley, local coordinator for the WASPI group in Stroud said: “People are actually dying before reaching the pension age.

“I volunteer at a local foodbank and we are seeing more and more women in their sixties having to come to us just to get something to eat.

“We’re here to remind the government that we will not be silenced - we will not be ignored.”

Changes to women’s pension ages have been speeded up after a parliamentary act in 2011, leaving women born in the 1950s little time to prepare for their financial future.

In some cases, women are now having to work up to six more years before they are eligible for their state pension, and are thousands of pounds worse off.

The WASPI group, supports equalisation of the pension age for men and women, but says the changes have been implemented too quickly and is calling for a ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income for those who have had no time to make new plans.