State Pension  

1950s women file for permission to appeal court decision

1950s women file for permission to appeal court decision

Women affected by the increase in the state pension age have applied for permission to appeal the rejection of their case against the government earlier this month.

Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, confirmed the action in a written answer to parliament on October 16.

Shortly after its defeat in the High Court the Backto60 group launched a campaign to raise £72,000 to be able to put its case to the court for an appeal. 

By Tuesday morning (October 22) it had raised £70,676 from 4,501 supporters.

The High 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.

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.

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”.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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