Supreme Court rejects Backto60 appeal attempt

The Supreme Court has refused the Backto60 campaign permission to appeal the decision that rejected its claim that rises to the state pension age for women born in the 1950s were discriminatory.

Two claimants, backed by the Backto60 organisation, argued that equalising the state pension age for women born in the 1950s “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined”.

The High Court sided with the government in October 2019, following which the campaign was granted leave to appeal.

However, the Court of Appeal upheld the findings from the High Court case and unanimously dismissed Backto60’s legal appeal.

Subsequently, the campaign turned to the Supreme Court but it has been refused permission to appeal.

The Supreme Court said it dismissed the organisation’s request for appeal because it had not brought the claim forward within the limited time periods.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaigned on the same issue as Backto60, although they argued that the issue was not with the state pension age increase being illegal, but with the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated the changes.

The Waspi Management Team commented: “Waspi will continue to strive to achieve compensation for all 1950s women affected by the changes to our state pension age.

“While we know that increasing the state pension age was not illegal we continue to pursue our complaints of maladministration about how the DWP failed in their communication of those changes.

“The impact of that poor communication will adversely affect Waspi women for the rest of their lives.

“Our campaign goes on, scarred from the setbacks we have had to overcome since 2015, but determined to see it through.”

The BackTo60 movement had been campaigning on behalf of the 3.8 million women affected by the proposed increase of the state pension age for them 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 government had previously estimated the cost of reversing the state pension age changes for women to be £181.4bn between now and 2025/26.

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