State Pension 

Women’s state pension age case heads to High Court

Women’s state pension age case heads to High Court

The High Court has granted an oral hearing to a campaign group supporting women affected by an increase in the state pension age, as they seek to lodge a judicial review claim.

Joanne Welsh, representative of Back to 60, told FTAdviser the campaign group legal team will present their arguments in court, in an attempt to bring a claim against the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).

She declined, however, to disclose the date of the hearing.

A judicial review is a court proceeding in which a judge considers the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. It can't be filed directly; the court needs to be asked for permission first.

The movement, which claims to have 738,000 supporters, is being supported by a legal team led by renowned civil rights barrister Michael Mansfield and legal firm Birnberg Peirce.

FTAdviser reported in September that an academic is claiming the government's chosen mechanism to increase the state pension age for women could have breached the UK's international legal obligations under the United Nations women equalities treaty.

Jackie Jones, law professor at the University of the West England, said there could be legal grounds for the state pension age hike for women to be removed and for full restitution.

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

The groups claim that when 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 1950s, but such a decision would cost £77bn and has previously been dismissed by the government.

maria.espadinha@ft.com