Judicial review of women’s state pension age begins

Women born in the 1950s that have had increases to their state pension age are heading to the High Court today as a judicial review commences looking into whether they were told about the changes sufficiently.

The judicial review, which was originally scheduled to take place last month, will be heard over today and tomorrow. The BackTo60 movement has been campaigning on behalf of the 3.8 million women affected by the proposed increase of the state pension age from 60 to 66 and the way it was communicated to those affected.

Backto60 is campaigning for fifties born women to be paid in full the amount of pension they would have received if the state pension age had remained at 60.

The government initially set out a timetable to equalise women’s state pension age with men’s in the Pensions Act 1995. Then in the Pensions Act 2011 the government accelerated this increase so it would be complete by 2020. However, some of the affected women saw a further increase when the government increased the state pension age for both genders to 66.

The Turner Commission recommended that people be given 15 year’s notice about any changes to their state pension age. This would have meant the 1995 change was enough notice, however, the affected women claim that they were never told about the changes by the government in 1995.

The government claims that the women were given sufficient time to prepare, and that it has already made a transitional arrangement following the 2011 legislation so nobody has to wait more than 18 months for their pension. In addition, the government says the women will receive the new flat-rate state pension, which many will be better off on.

The original campaign group, Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) is not part of this judicial review, as its demands are different to the Backto60 group. Waspi has campaigned for a transitional arrangement and would like a bridging pension, as it does believe the state pension age for women should be put back to 60.

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