State Pension  

1950s women launch crowdfund for High Court appeal

1950s women launch crowdfund for High Court appeal

A group of women affected by the pension age increase has launched a crowdfund to appeal the High Court's rejection of their case earlier this month.

The Backto60 group last week (October 11) launched a campaign to raise £72,000 to be able to put its case to the court for an appeal. 

The court ruled on October 3 that the increase in the state pension age affecting women born in the 1950s was not discriminatory, as the women claimed.

In particular Lord Justice Irwin and Justice Whipple dismissed claims of age discrimination, sex discrimination and lack of notice with regards to changes in the state pension age.

The appeal will only go ahead if granted and at least £72,000 is raised by 11am on November 29.

By Monday morning (October 14) it had raised £44,882 from 2,915 supporters, representing 62 per cent of its target.

The women's judicial review, which took place in June, was brought by two claimants - Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 62 – who argued that raising their pension age "unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined".

On age discrimination, the court rejected the argument that the legislation breached the European Convention on Human Rights, on the “basis of case law which establishes that a state can introduce a new legislative scheme which effects changes from a given date based on age”.

The judges also concluded that there was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because “this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law, rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women, and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men”.

Plans to increase the state pension age were first announced in the Pension Act 1995 but these changes were accelerated as part of the Pension Act 2011.

The Backto60 group, along with The Women Against State Pension Inequality, have claimed the changes were implemented unfairly and are campaigning to have compensation paid to 3.8m women born in the 1950s.

They argue that the changes were made so quickly that these women were left with no time to make alternative plans.

Thérèse Coffey, secretary of state for Work and Pensions, has meanwhile agreed to meet with a group of MPs that have proposed a series of remedies for the women.

She is to meet with Conservative MP Tim Loughton and Labour MP Carolyn Harris, co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women, in “due course”.

The series of measures were first proposed by the APPG in April 2018.

The first is making a non-means-tested pension credit available to all women aged 63 and over from the day it is approved until they reach state pension age, which won’t be backdated.

The APPG's second solution is to equalise women’s pensions, so that everyone receives a full state pension (£159 per week) regardless of the number of years of National Insurance contributions accrued.