State Pension  

Supreme Court denies Backto60 state pension appeal

Supreme Court denies Backto60 state pension appeal

An appeal against state pension age changes for women born in the 1950s has been denied by the Supreme Court, leaving campaigners disappointed after hopes of a return to the old pension age.

Julie Delve and Karen Glynn, part of the campaign group Backto60, sought permission to appeal a judgement handed down by the Court of Appeal on September 15, 2020 in the form of a judicial review.

But in a decision on March 26 the court said the group had failed to bring the claim within the limited time periods. Therefore it was dismissed.

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In a statement today (March 31) the Supreme Court said: “The usual rule for judicial review proceedings is that the claim must be brought promptly and in any event within three months from when the grounds of challenge first arose (under rule 54.5 of the Civil Procedure Rules). 

“The panel agreed with both the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal that the delay in bringing the claim meant it was out of time and had to fail, and accordingly the appeal could not succeed.”

Lawyers for the group, Birnberg Peirce, said on Twitter: “We have received the decision of the Supreme Court and I am sorry to tell you that permission has been refused.”

Backto60, which campaigns on the same issue as Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), stands against inequality and unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s who have experienced changes to their state pension age as part of pension age equalisation.

But while Backto60 is asking the government to restore the affected women's pension age to 60, Waspi has other demands such as compensation for women affected by the change, which the group says, were implemented with inadequate or no notice.

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.

Backto60 had already lost its case in the High Court in October 2019, which rejected claims that the increase in the state pension age "unlawfully discriminated against [women] on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined".

Last September it lost its appeal against this decision in the court of appeal.

The appeals judges said: “Despite the sympathy that we, like the members of the Divisional Court (High Court), feel for the appellants and other women in their position, we are satisfied that this is not a case where the court can interfere with the decisions taken through the parliamentary process.”

Ruth Gillbe is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser