Victory for campaign groups as high court orders judicial review of women's state pension age increases

3 December 2018
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A high court judge has granted a judicial review to determine whether recent increases to women’s state pension age were lawful.

The case was brought by BackTo60, a campaign group representing women born in the 1950s who have borne the brunt of recent of increases to the state pension age.

Until 2010 women received their state pension at age 60. However, this has gradually been increasing and currently state pension age is 65 for both men and women and will increase to 67 by 2028.

State pension ages rose faster for women, in order for them to be equalised with men’s.

BackTo60 and other campaign groups, notably WASPI (Women Against State Pension Increases) argue that many women born in the 1950s were not warned of the changes and have suffered financial hardship as a result.

BackTo60 is campaigning for all women born during the 1950s to have their financial position restored to the position it would have been, had the state pension age remained at 60.

Commenting on the decision, Nathan Long, senior analyst at Hargeaves Lansdown says: “The state pension is the bedrock of retirement income for everyone and needs to be preserved to ensure people can retire with confidence.

"With people living longer raising the state pension age seems sensible, the problem is that doing so creates people who miss out under the system.

“It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the women have seen their retirement age jump so significantly and the manner in which the changes were communicated remains perhaps the biggest bone of contention.

"The judicial review looks to be the best chance to challenge the amendments as the government has continually stonewalled the issue, claiming the cost of not equalising state pensions is prohibitively expensive.’

A date for the review is yet to be set.

Comments

In reply to by R.Hilden (not verified)

For a woman born in 1957 the ‘new’ pension age is 66.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Which plenty of notice is this ? That’s the argument not enough Notice in regards to this of us being informed only of this filtered through in 2012 . Apparently government discussed in 1995 so we all must of been asleep then . Having been through a divorce in 2003 there was no discussion in regards to this as l would of reviewed my finances at that time . The governments have mislead women inc myself born in the 50s. I have already paid in excess of 40,000 into this and if l dnt reach nearly 67 that’s my hard earned money down the pan . Am sure if given the warning / opportunity many women could of made other provisions such as another pension scheme . This is what the argument is about . It’s not just about equality as men state pension age has increased for them upwards of 65.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The point I cannot understand is why the government is allowed to move the goal posts. When I began working it was on the understanding that my state pension would be available on reaching the age of 60. I always felt it was unfair for men to have to wait until they were 65. Men should have brought that to the attention of government if it was felt unfair. My biggest gripe is that our NI contributions are paid out to benefit cases and refugees as required but the money is not there for the people who have put into the pot. Typical England look after others not our own.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Women keep crying out for equality but don't like it when they get it, why should women get their state pension earlier than men it's unfair on men. Every time a rule changes there are winners and losers which is OK as long as women are never the losers, they have had years to prepare for it but ignored all warnings until it hit them.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Born 1957, I have nothing in my own right, I am living off my husbands state pension, we have now got to sell our house. This is because I don't get my state pension. So wrong.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Who ever wrote this article is wrong! There was hardly any notice this was going to happen and lot of women had no notice at all...It’s robbery of people who have paid into a system in good faith.. PM lies on this saying it was only an 18month delay when in fact it’s 5 years and more...

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am male and well retired I have to agree, why should women be favoured with an earlier pension date they have a greater life expectancy & as a previous contributor said women want equality OK thats what you are getting "good isn't it" I believe totally in equality what a shame others obviously do not!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

All because women want to cherry pick where equality should apply.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

You really don't get it do you? Even when someone else has already explained in words of very few syllables!! (1) Women are very obviously not objecting to equality. (2) We are questioning the way the changes were implemented. (3) This has negatively impacted those women born in the '50s. Simple.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Women should have to wait until same retirement as men to retire and get pension which has nothing to do with being a carer which is covered by carer's allowance. There was plenty of warning on TV, radio, press and internet. Men's pension age should have been reduced to match women then they could have increased it in stages for both over a 5 year period years ago for what you women keep demanding, equality., you only like equality when in favour of women.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Maybe you should have paid into the system yourself to get a pension, I paid in for 50 years to get my old pension so why should you get yours for free, your husband will get his for contributing and would get extra to support you when you retire if married to him.

In reply to by Mary Ronayne (not verified)

I was born in 1957 and started work in 1973 and I am still working full time, I was not made aware of my pension age increasing and having to work until I am 66,. I did not want equal rights to men I was happy enough with what I was receiving ,as far as I am concerned we are entitled to our pension and to retire from work.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

A1950s Women. Unacceptable notice of change to State Pension

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I think it's disgusting how they treat people I'm 65 tiis year I carnt retire while next year I will be nearly67 I've been really struggling health wise I am having to pack my part time job in know I won't get any money from any where so I' will be really struggling money wise I've worked all my life brought two kids up and still worked know I will have nothing won't be able to go on holiday anymore by the time I get my pension I probably won't even be able to walk with my conditions. They should let people retire early when they have worked hard all there lives and there would be more jobs for young ones instead of them been on street up to no good and getting paid for it we have paid in to our pensions and they are taking it off us

In reply to by Paul (not verified)

It is onvious you are not able to understand it has got nothing to do with pension dates and age. This is about being told you get it at 60 and not being told the dste was deffered for some a few months for me 3 year 6 months? Would you like someone to help themselves to your money and be told it is ok dint worry. For me it was £25,000 and 3 years six months additional NI contributions. Get wise on what this about before you place irresponsible comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I like many other women born in the 50"s, (1957) for myself, were never been told of this pension change. I was alerted by a work colleague just 18 months before I retired. Ann Widdecombe, who was pension minister at the time states over 5 million letters were issued, but I never received one and neither did any women I know who are now 60. I paid a full stamp all of my working life, (41 years) and it was a considered part of my retirement plan that my State NIRP would help form the basis of my living income. Shame on the gentleman who comments that women live longer and therefore somehow not entitled to their pensions at 60. Almost all women earn less than men, so have less opportunity for private pensions. Works pensions are also smaller based on incomes. In addition, women of our generation, (in the majority), have also been the ones to have gaps in our employments due to caring responsibilities, be it having children or looking after others. Only once workplace pensions are MANDATORY and all employees are catered for should the Gov start considering such far reaching changes to the pensions we signed up to. The government, (Shame on them), has gone back on a deal which it slid in almost under the radar. Women I know had no debate, or say in this issue. This is a situation which should be revisited as I am aware of many women suffering hardship due to this devastating change.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

What will happen if the case is won by WASPI for the people who should have retired at 60? I like many others posting, was told when I was 50 that I should be retiring at 63, but never told that I would have to work till I reach 66, I found out by going on the website to check my projected pension income. A total surprise and not only that but I am not able to get a bus pass either which makes me lose my temper as the people in a different post code area, the next town are issued with theirs from the age of 60.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I like many others was born in Oct 1955, starting work at the age of 15; paying full NI contributions and SERPS, throughout my working life I have paid the full amount of NI all the time. The only time I have had from work is during Maternity leave, what annoys me is that we were not told that we would need to work for another 6 years and this now means that I and others who have worked from the age of 15 will have paid in over 51 years of contributions. I really hope that WASPI get things sorted for people who basically have been robbed. I am now working part time as I am not able to work full time due to my age and well being. Keep up the good work WASPI if it were not for people like yourselves we would not have a chance thanks

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I planned my retirement very well. My husband was made redundant in 2006. We had a long discussion and having experienced several friends passing away in their early 60’s I took a sabbatical in 2007 and we had a gap year travelling and generally enjoying each other’s company. I had already previously enquired about my pension age and received a letter telling me that I would get my pension on my 60th birthday. I decided not to return to my pressured job but took on 9-4 employment with no extra planning or assessment at home. My husband got another job and enjoying a calmer lifestyle after having worked from 15 years old I wrote to find out how many national insurance years I needed to gain full pension. I was told I needed 30 years. I have over 38 which is fortunate due to the fact that this has risen as well. We downsized our house, moved to the Isle of Wight and really considered the adjustments that we needed to make to have an enjoyable lifestyle. We worked hard and tirelessly to renovate a very tired run down terraced house and then both got jobs to supplement our savings. I had no individual letter to state that my pension was going to rise but sadly was informed via the television and newspapers. 3 years ago I got severe sciatica. I was unable to walk without a stick, could not drive or do my own housework and my husband became my Carer. Driving me to all my appts. I had to resign from my job working with children. This left me with no income at all. We have completely depleted all of our savings and are both completely dependent on my husbands work pensions. We planned so carefully. Luckily I have had my sciatica operated on and am now much more mobile but am finding it impossible to get a job ( even seasonal at the age of 63.) I have no problem with equality but honestly the facts were not provided to me so that I could plan accordingly.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I'm so upset and annoyed that my pension has been put back to 66, I'm having to live off my savings and finding it very stressful. How can I complain. Thanks Ellen Davies

In reply to by Paul (not verified)

Women wanted fair equality. There has been no such thing for years (certainly when I left school and worked for lower wages then my male colleagues) did you men care then. I THINK NOT.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Tell me when we were warned about the pension age rising? I didn't know about it until I was 58!Men generally earn more than women anyway as we have had the children we lose out on promotions & careers by taking breaks so how can that be equality? Men should stay at home & then mention equality!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I was due to retire in 2017 at age of 60 but lije many women of my age will now have to wait until 66. I am struggling healthwise but now do fostering respiye care which is tax free. I have a small N HS pension as I worked in public servoce for 91/2 years. I may have to pay tax on my pension if I could claim state pension now but probably it wouldn't amount to the tax allowance. Most women of my age think it is unfair tgat we were not warned at 16/18 that we would have to wait so long before claiming the state pension. Just because people are living longer it doesn't mean to say they still have their health and cannot work leaving people in a financial shortage. We paid into the system so should be allowed to claim.Others born after us will be even worse off.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am getting emails that I think should be for the comments made by Marcella.I a a total supporter of WASPI and back to 60.Our government are a disgrace taking our Ni then breaking the contract and not giving us our pension at 60.PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE ME WITH THE MARTYRS WHO ARE HAPPY TO WORK TILL THEY DROP.Again I hope we get justice on 24th May otherwise us women need to get together REVOLUTIONSandra Paul

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

men were able to pay into a private pension long before woman,woman brought the kids up,had part time jobs.and looked after other members of the family as well ie her mother ..your mother,it was unpaid work and bloody hard,men didnt have to do any of this,and to this day most still do not,dont dont you dare play the crying card thank you

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

It's called equality something women keep shouting about, men want equality with women so government did it by making women accept same conditions as men. Why did men have to work 5 years longer and pay in for 5 years more to get same pension. Those who claim pension credit should get less than those who paid in and all extra benefits for them should end, they are better off than those who paid in full contributions. Maybe we should have all received state pension at 60 by reducing the state pension to all who retired at 60 and more to those who paid in for longer to compensate.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Over the years men knew that they would retire at age 65 if they wanted to,Women have not had that same privilege, like myself many born in the 50s are now suffering because as we get nearer to retirement, another year added on, After 60yrs if a woman wanted to continue to work that should be her choice, Why do woman born in the 50s who works have to pay more stamps, to get the same money as when she would have retired at 60.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I welcome the judicial review on the pension age of women born in the 1950’s. I would have planned my family life differently and prepared myself for a much later retirement age. I’m sure many other women would have done the same !

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Not amused at one of the comments saying the person should have saved for a pension. The person making this comment must have had a salary which enabled them to do this.Many of us have had a basic salary and have struggled with mortgages,bills etc. and not been able to save for a pension despite working really hard.Maybe this person should look at the wider picture.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

We do not want to cherry pick at equality, but when the gold post continues to be moved from 60 to 65 now it’s 66, when is it going to stop, what about our children and grandchildren, and the generations after that, are they going to work until they are 80/90 years because people in office continues to change the age for retirement when they want to, something must be done now

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Do government representatives write the negative comments ?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I so wish people, often men, who don’t know the first thing about this issue would refrain from giving us the benefit of their opinion. I haven’t met a woman yet who disagrees with the principle of equalising the state pension age. What is at issue is the lack of communication and the acceleration of the timetable with no notice. It is interesting to note that MPs moved swiftly to ensure the same couldn’t happen to them by introducing rules that changes cannot be made within ten years of retirement. Some women were given barely eighteen months notice of the change. I too understood that my pension age would be increased and I would likely receive it around the age of 62. This seemed reasonably fair to me at the time as pension ages were being equalised. At the age of 59 I discovered it will be 66. This after a lifetime of planning for retirement at 60 and 41 years of NI contributions. I am now 63 and still waiting. Total loss of pension over six years about £30,000. Perhaps everyone thought nobody will worry about a few unhappy women. Judging by some of the comments here they were probably right!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I very clearly remember discussing this with my wife in about 2002, it was known then that she would have to wait till she was 65 to get her pension. She was born in June 1953. It is also a reminder that there are changes happening over the last few years and will also happen in the future that people will need to keep on top of. The days of working in one company for a guaranteed, escalating and substantial pension are for the relatively few now. Get a gateway account on the gov.uk website and find out regarding the state pension, don't wait to hear what is then bad news.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

I was born in 1957 and in between raising 4 children I worked when I could, I have 30 years pension in my own right , my husband was born 1954 and worked for 48 years without break, we thought that when we reached the his 65th birthday we would have our pensions..mine would be reduced because I was the family carer and his larger because he paid extra for a wife.. but sadly he died at the age of 63.. now I have a reduced pension which I cannot claim until I am 66 and his pension goes back into the pot.. no widows pension for me, no increased pension.. Still think it's fair?

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

You have missed the point entirely. Most women agree the age should be equal but, initially, the government were introducing it gradually. I received a letter when I was in my 50s from DWP advising me I would get my state pension when I was 63. When I reached 63 they then advised the date had changed but I was NEVER informed of the change. Exactly what "warnings" are you referring to??

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

You state the state pension age for men and women is currently 65. According to the DWP it is 66. I am 64 and fighting for my pension BUT will not receive ANYTHING until I am 66.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

About time too! I was born in the 50's and have worked full time for 45 years, I recently had to give up my job to be an unpaid carer for my sister and aunt who have both had strokes. I do not receive any benefits and was counting on my pension to manage. I am now 62 and have never been so poor in my life thanks to the tories. I also did not receive any notification of the change, I actually heard about it on the news!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Regarding the judicial review of women's state pension age, my wife is 62 and has paid national insurance contributions for well over 30 years. However she had to stop working earlier this year due to Alzheimer's and will never be able to work again. Yet she cannot draw her state pension for another 4 years. There has to be something wrong with a system which penalizes women (or indeed men) in this way.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Where is there equality my husband retired at 65 I've got to work till I am 66 . I've also been in hospital and not been able to work due to being ill and being self employed i do not get sick pay Although i have paid in over 30 years of NI . Sorry there is no fairness in woman being born in the 1950 .

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I was born in 1957 , I had no idea I had to wait until I was 66 to get my pension, I’ve raised two children, always worked to fit around the family , sometimes myself and husband were like passing ships in the night as we didn’t get any help, I’ve then helped with my grandchildren so that my own children can work to reach the hefty financial demands they face !!!! Having said all that , I’ve nursed my husband who as-now very recently passed away . Unfortunately for me I have been told to look for full time work , something I never had to do , and are still in demand to support my family. Please listen I cannot get a penny from any where , I am currently living off my savings , which I can admit are going down rapidly......

In reply to by Mary Ronayne (not verified)

Not enough warning to make a private pension pay for me.

I am currently working but I do have health problems so have had to reduce my hours from full time to part time and even though I need the money I will be forced to retire with nothing by the end of this year because I struggle with having Addisons Disease which affects stamina and mental capacity because of chronic fatigue. I have worked hard all my life born in 1958 I am one of those woman missing out big time from being able to get a pension until I am 66 years of age. to jump it to 6 years plus is unfair unjust and government robbery! I cannot even add to the pension even though I am still paying my NIC they still are taking off the contributions but said they have frozen my pension until i retire at 66. So not even able to add anything but keep me working. Unfortunately for me with my health I will miss out further as will have to give up work soon. Its so unfair and feel I am being punished for working hard all these years. I have paid enough for the full pension as worked from age 16 and now at 61 they could have at least offered those of us who have paid all contributions to retire or consider those of us with health problems that affect our working to be able to retire as why should we have to apply for benefits when we have earned our way all these years. They know what they are doing as benefits will be no where near the pension we should be getting its a disgrace. Like one comment They are helping plane fulls of refugees out with our money.. no one knows much about these being flown in from Afghanistan its kept quiet... looks good to other nations but the likes of me and others my age get robbed those of us who have worked and paid our taxes.
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In reply to by Contax (not verified)

Pension at 60

No we were not made aware we were the generation that were always paid less than men doing the same jobs we were not offered company pensions as we were informed that this was the man's reward as bread winner. We were always secondary to men in employment even given the offer of paying a smaller contribution in national insurance as we had a man at our backs who would automatically get a pension so no we were the generation that would never be winners so please stop showing your ignorance unless you lived through this era and fully understand the employment laws of the time

In reply to by Anne Wall (not verified)

It's a absolute disgrace the Tory party are the scum of the earth.These people who agreed this have retired at 50 with m.p. pensions then sit two day's a week on a board of directors money for nothing!

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

It has a lot to do with being a carer. A carers Allowance is about £264 approx. every 4 weeks. I care for my Mother I am expected to care for her at least 35hrs per week for that money, including the running of my car. £1.88per hour.

In reply to by Contax (not verified)

If Men had given up some of their pay packet to females they worked with to make the pay packet equal. I WONDER WOULD YOU HAVE DONE IT?

In reply to by R.Hilden (not verified)

I totally agree, I did not receive any notification of the changes at all! It was when my expected pension did not arrive when I was 60 that I saw on the gov. website that I would now have to wait until I am nearly 67! Absolutely disgraceful and the government does nothing but lie.

In reply to by Jacqueline Ingram (not verified)

I totally agree with your comment,

In reply to by Jacqueline Ingram (not verified)

pension

I agree with you I have had 2 cancers one at 18 and one at 40 and I find it unfair that I am now expected to work until I am 67 I was born in 1962 i find this outrages that the government is spending all this aid to other countries when there is such great poverty in the uk. They are spending billions being in the EU which has given nothing back but a serge of new people we cannot house.

In reply to by Caroline (not verified)

I totally agree. Bearing in mind also we left school at 15 not 16 so have worked an extra year therefore paid more contributions towards our pension.

In reply to by Jackie gillard (not verified)

Im so sorry you have to sell your home and very angry and resentful the government have put us in this position. Im 62 with chronic back pain unemployed at the moment and cant claim any benefits. I have debt as well. These fatcats are not in the real world. Keep strong and hopefully this high court appeal may get us our pension. I am depressed as well and trying to keep going.

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