Friday, 25 Sep 2020

Women lose state pension age appeal

Two women affected by controversial changes to the state pension age have lost their Court of Appeal challenge.

Julie Delve, 62, and Karen Glynn, 63, backed by campaign group BackTo60, challenged the changes after losing a High Court fight against the Department for Work and Pensions last year.

On Tuesday, senior judges unanimously dismissed that appeal.

They said introducing the same state pension age for men and women did not amount to unlawful discrimination.

Campaign groups associated with the court case represent almost four million women who were affected by the government decision to increase the state pension age from 60 to 66.

They say their fight is not over and will take their case to the Supreme Court.

Hardship

The two women were last in court last June where they told a judicial review that when they had not received their state pension at the age of 60, their lives had been affected disproportionately.

They argued the way the government had introduced the increase of the pension age was discriminatory. Some women thought they would retire at 60 but found they had to wait up to more than five years. This caused them financial hardship.

Those affected were born in the decade after 6 April 1950, but campaigners say those born from 6 April 1953 were particularly disadvantaged and have been the focus of much of the movement.

Because the workplace was less equal for many of this generation, they argue they were taking time out of their careers to raise children, paid less than men and could not save as much in occupational pensions, so the change has hit them harder.

The senior justices said: “Despite the sympathy that we, like the members of the Divisional Court [High Court], feel for the appellants and other women in their position, we are satisfied that this is not a case where the court can interfere with the decisions taken through the parliamentary process.”

They said that “in the light of the extensive evidence” put forward by the government, they agreed with the High Court’s assessment that “it is impossible to say that the government’s decision to strike the balance where it did between the need to put state pension provision on a sustainable footing and the recognition of the hardship that could result for those affected by the changes was manifestly without reasonable foundation.”

  • Personal finance
  • Pensions

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