State Pension  

Campaign wants judicial review of women's state pension age changes

Campaign wants judicial review of women's state pension age changes

BackTo60, a group supporting women affected by an increase in the state pension age, is going to make a judicial review claim, seeking the government to make a U-turn on their decision.

The movement, which claims to have 723,500 supporters, is being supported by a legal team led by Michael Mansfield QC, renowned civil rights barrister, and legal firm Birnberg Peirce.

BackTo60’s legal team delivered today (8 June) a 'letter before action', which is protocol ahead of a planned judicial review, at the same time as campaigners visited 10 Downing Street to deliver a petition to prime minister Theresa May, the campaign said.

A judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

Backto60, along with other campaign groups like Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), are standing against inequality and unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s who have experienced changes to their state pension age.

The groups claim that while the 1995 Conservative government's Pension Act included plans to increase the women’s state pension age to 65 – the same as men's – the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

The movements also claimed the changes were implemented faster than promised with the 2011 Pension Act and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.

Backto60 is requesting the state pension age to kept at 60 for women born in the 1950’s. However, such a decision would have a cost of £77bn, which has been dismissed by the government.

Marcia Wills-Stewart, senior partner at law firm Birnberg Peirce, said: “The legal team are assisting and advising women affected by these pension changes as part of the work towards a legal challenge, and we are reminded time and again about the drastic impact this big leap has been for women - from lifelong contributions with an expectation to retire at 60, to be told they will now have to carry on till 66.

“Those who have contacted us through backto60.com remain stuck in the very real struggle to make ends meet and cope with prolonged working, until they can claim their pensions – often affecting their health, their livelihood, and their families.”

maria.espadinha@ft.com