Judge issues crucial ruling

Campaign women granted judicial review in pensions fight

pension pot 2A group of women born in the 1950s have won the right to a judicial review into changes to their state pension age.

A High Court judge granted a review into how the government handled the raising of the pension age from 60.

Backto60, which claims to have 738,000 supporters, is being supported by a legal team led by civil rights barrister Michael Mansfield.

Joanne Welch, a spokeswoman for the group, said she was “absolutely delighted” with the ruling. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it would not comment on live legal proceedings.

The campaigners share similar aims as the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) who claim they did not know about plans to delay their pensions and that communication over the changes from the government were badly handled.

The groups claim that the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts were implemented unfairly, giving the women little or no time to make alternative plans.

The state pension age is now 65 for men and women, and will rise steadily to 67 by 2028

The BackTo60 group is calling for all women who were born in the 1950s to be given the same amount of state pension as they would have received had it started at the age of 60. The government has said this would cost more than £70 billion and has ruled out the idea.

The judicial review was being sought claiming the pension policy of successive governments “constitutes a gross injustice and is discriminatory”.

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.

A date has yet to be set for the next stage of the legal challenge.

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

25 Comments to Campaign women granted judicial review in pensions fight

  1. I am a male born in 1954 but my pension does not start until I am 65 years and 7 months old, again there was no information regarding this until I went on the government website to check my pension however I friend who was 65 in October started his pension the Monday after his birthday.

  2. I am grateful to everyone who is fighting for our rights regarding our Stolen Pensions by this government. I cannot understand how the Government can get away with taking our NI payments from our pay for over 40 years and then not paying it back to us at 60 as promised, If this was done by anyone else in this country (other than the Government) it would be classed as fraud and the person responsible would probably be in prison for a long time…so what is going on how are they allowed to get away with it….I have worked since the age of 15, and have a grown up family but I am working in a Childrens nursery ( the only employment I could get) looking after babies and toddlers but my energy is running out and my health is suffering, I just hope this Crime can be solved soon I don,t think I can work for another 4 and a half years ……..

  3. Like many of the ladies in their 50s I also have to work another 2 years. Thankfully I have always worked and I now work in a very fast paced NHS hospital ward. I enjoy my job but other than that the quality of life outside work is virtually nil as I am just so tired. The government says we got letters and were informed. I can categorically state I never had any letter or any notice of the increase in the working age before you can retire. I do know that I have paid enough into the NI scheme and there must be thousands like me in the same boat. The government has discriminated against us 50s women and its about time they owned up and paid us what we are rightfully owed.

  4. I am 62 in January 18, worked from age 14 (first job, paper girl!) and have 37 years NI contributions from my working life. As many of my fellow contributors have pointed out – articles relating to the 1995 Act (23 years ago when I was 38 years old and probably not ‘looking’ at such articles, even if I was a purchaser of these publications) – I was not given a personalised pension forecast which I believe would have prompted some discourse at that time.

    The government (yes, the body that has just displayed contempt for parliament itself) states that it would now be too expensive to remedy the inequality, to the tune of £70 billion (their figure…..where does that come from)?

    So……what DID they spend this on, and what happened to the account funds, please? We paid it, so where is it?

    Anyone able to show us where our £70bn has been misappropriated to…….answers on the back of a brown envelope please!!

    • Like many of the ladies in their 50s I also have to work another 2 years. Thankfully I have always worked and I now work in a very fast paced NHS hospital ward. I enjoy my job but other than that the quality of life outside work is virtually nil as I am just so tired. The government says we got letters and were informed. I can categorically state I never had any letter or any notice of the increase in the working age before you can retire. I do know that I have paid enough into the NI scheme and there must be thousands like me in the same boat. The government has discriminated against us 50s and its about time they owned up and paid us what we are rightfully owed

  5. In the blink of an eye I went from 2 years until retirement to 7 years. No letter, no notice….nothing. Soul destroying, I’m a few days off my 65th birthday…I like my job but I’m tired, I’m nearly as old as some of the service users I support! I’m angry at the theft of my retirement years and the £40.000 owed me in pension.


  6. Born Sept 54 and do not receive my pension till Sept 20. The government continue to mute no longer than 18 months and notified so totally wrong on both counts. I have 642 days left of my 2170 parliamentary sentence left and despaired

  7. I am 64. At 62, I was outplaced from my teaching job so that a much younger, cheaper teacher could have my job. I was deemed outstanding by Ofsted so it could only have been my age that was against me. With no State Pension, I am living on 6852K a year with no hope of getting another teaching job. We women are between a rock and hard place. No one wants to employ us and the State won’t give us our Pension. We were given no or little notice.
    What are we supposed to do?

  8. My husband died Nov 2017 I was 59 years old. I looked after him for over 20 years after he had a serious stroke. Our children were aged 6 & 15 months.
    I received CARERS allowance for only the last 3 years. I didn’t know about CARERS allowance until a friend suggested I apply.
    I have been receiving £25 a week in bereavement Benifit since last Nov. No other income. In May next year I will receive £0.00 a week so at the age of nearly 61 I will have to try and find a job as I won’t get my state pension till I’m 66! my only blessing is my two grown up children are helping me financially.
    Two of my relations who worked all their lives sadly passed just before retirement age! What happened to all their pension money that they paid in all their working lives?
    Don’t know why we are put on this earth. It’s been one long struggle!

    • Helen-so sorry to read of your loss and the hardship that you are experiencing. I am in the same boat. My Husband died at the age of 68 through young onset Alzheimer’s Disease.I looked after him by, at first, going part time; then, when he couldn’t be considered safe at home, I left work to look after him full time. I was luckier(!) than you though-a friend knew about Carers Allowance so I got that from the start.I was 56 when he died. I’ve used up all my savings and at the age of 61 I’m also at the poverty stage.
      I also won’t get my pension until I’m 66.The Government should be ashamed of themselves.I remember in the 70’s every interview the questions were about ‘do you expect to have children’ etc. Those questions weren’t put to men.I worked in a bank and the men could invest in the company pension-women had to wait til the age of 28 as opposed to a man aged 23!! No equality there.
      When my Husband died I was told I will get a little bit extra WHEN I started SP age. The original widow’s pension had stopped a couple of years before.Now I have a couple of hours work a weekend as cover for a disabled lady. It’s tough. Grief combined with poverty is life limiting. All the best to you.

  9. I will give the MPs the benefit of the doubt and assume that they didn’t know that a whole generation of women would end up being discriminated against by their own Government, but that is what pension legislation has done. For a girl born in 1961 , a 7 year increase has been added to her working life = 51 years of paying tax and National Insurance if she is fortunate to find work. No equal pay or opportunities when she started work and rampant ageism now amongst employers who can choose between her on a twenty something. She is out of pocket by about £100,000 if you include any company schemes and other things linked to SPA. Moreover, she has lost her trust in her Government as a social contract has been broken without public debate or 10 years notice for very year to be added. Often ignored she and her 1950s sisters are only now being listened to. She is doing everyone a favour by highlighting how The Treasury has used the NI fund for other than the state pension for which it was supposed to be ring fenced.

    • Hi Alison – couldn’t agree with your article more, and hope that more of us start replying to these comments!

      The government has bleated on about equality but nothing has been done wrt the gender pay gap since we were ourselves young whippersnappers just setting out on our own career paths.

      My own career started as a paper girl (see later) at 14, in 1971 and finished as a Chartered Chemist in 2014 when I took early severance from my last employer.

      I remember clearly during my laboratory years that – should the thorny issue of pay scales arise – the males who had identical qualifications and experience to mine were consistently on higher salary points.

      When I asked the reason fir this, managers would explain gently that the males ‘had families to support’ and thus needed the extra cash.

      (We still put up with this arrangement today, despite never ending gender pay gap studies and reports being generated).

      My point here is….we became eligible for the State Pension earlier than men, and somehow THIS arrangement helped balance out the inequalities of the life salary/income disparity with the men.

      Now this has been stripped away……..I am so angry as I feel completely duped and hope that the rest of us can at least correspond here please?

      Alison – thanks for giving us some lovely facts in your comment and lets hear some more!

  10. I was born June 54 get my state pension Match 2020 thanks to 2011 act I had 18 month more to wait after the 1995 act we were included twice

  11. There is little doubt that the judicial review is a necessity for the 1950s women . the DWP and associates have over the last few years have increasingly disregarded the humanitarian needs of many vulnerable groups, and their duty of care to the public, being the elected government, elected to govern FOR THE PEOPLE.
    However, the DWP seems to be assuming they are always right, and therefore they can ignore opposition to their policy making, and only rely on consultation n with finance companies that have only one aim. Making money and higher salaries for the “bosses”, at the expense of the customer.
    The DWP is under attack from quite a number of quarters and one would hope the review will be able to recommend the DWP itself needs a judicial review.
    As a frozen pensioner I cannot see how the government continues this policy which is based on discriminant both by age and cost. The high court has previously stated that cost is not acceptable for discrimination. There are now 2 levels of pension. Discrimination by age and instigating in-equality financially. 520,000 pensioners that live overseas get no annual increase, but 660,000 others do.
    I would hope that this issue will be taken up by “Daily Business” as a second of many and if possible refer it to the Judicial review as an another example of the DWPs failure of its duty of care. There are a number of free frozen pensioner groups, as is this group, PPiI. (pension Parity in Indonesia). Our objective being all UK State Pensioners are treated with equality regardless of where they live. (We all paid in the same we should all receive the same). [Incidentally many of those in 50s groups support us as well. There are many fingers pointing accusingly at the DWP failures.

  12. The state pension age was increased for women but it was decided that an advert in financial pages of broad sheet newspapers would be used as a way of notification. It is now obvious the government wanted these changes to be implemented without due care for women. Women in this age group were not able to make provision for retirement other than the national insurance route mainly because they were part time workers or their salaries weren’t high enough to join work pension schemes. We were discriminated in this way and now because of stay at home carers or being opted out automatically by authorities and NHS to name a few when pensions were available there are many women who will not even qualify for the full state pension. Many women because of given bad advice did not realise when divorcing that they would need a pension settlement or after taking redundancy were not aware that the pension age had now been increased by 6 years. There are many more women born in the 60’s who will now have a 7 years wait for state pension.
    This problem is not going away and it is vital that pension reforms are revisited to ensure enough notice for these increases are reconsidered.


  13. I am a 50s born woman and I found myself single in my early 50s..so any retirement plans I thought I had made were ruined.Then I hear via WASPI that I would have to wait another 6 years for my state pension. I have NO choice but to carry on working. I have NEVER received a letter from DWP to advise me of this. I will be 64 in Feb and will still have another 2 years before I get my state pension. £50k this government are stealing from me. It’s a disgrace we are being treated like this !!!!

    • I too am 64 am on ESA as have an incurable condition. Worked since I left school have been through two horrible DWP assessments the last of which I went to appeal as they deemed me fit for work. I will receive my state pension July 2020. This cruel government and its policies are killing this country.

  14. This is a huge injustice to women of a certain age. Those born in the 1950’s had little or no notice by the Government that the 1995 Act had been implemented. I received a pension statement in 2005 which gave no detail of any age increases and only told me how much I would receive. In the absence of no information to indicate otherwise (myself and probably anyone else who got this same letter)assumed that I’d receive this on my 60th Birthday. This was a very disingenuous way of taking money from vulnerable women who had no other pensions and had previously not been in a position of working equality. I hope that the Judicial Review is successful as the DWP should give this money back. Actually they shouldn’t have taken it in the first place and because they did many women have suffered untold hardship. Losses between £30-40,000 altogether.

  15. I am 65 on 20th December and still have to wait till March 2019 for my pension. That means the government have stolen 5 years and 3 months of pension. Utter disgrace

  16. Well done I am 64 and still have 12 months to wait – it is a disgrace we have been well and truly used to save the country’s finances – I note that Baroness Altman has now become sympathetic to our cause (Daily Politics appearance in November). Keep up the good work we deserve better!!

    • I have just made 65 today but we have been done out of
      a lot of money over 5 years while the government has saved millions. It is disgraceful.

    • Hi Linda, I am a 50s woman, what the Government is up to is simply disgraceful, why do we vote for them? Next time you vote remember who not to vote for.

      Fingers crossed

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