The Court of Appeal has backed a previous High Court judgment and rejected claims that the increase in the state pension age affecting women born in the 1950s was discriminatory.
In a judgment handed down today in the Court of Appeal, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lady Justice Rose unanimously dismissed claims of age discrimination, sex discrimination and lack of notice.
All three court judges found that introducing the same state pension age for men and women did not amount to unlawful discrimination under EU or human rights laws.
The case 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”.
The women’s judicial review took place in June 2019, but a High Court found against the claimants in October 2019, and the two women have now lost their case at the Court of Appeal.
The court found that legislation behind the pension age change had been introduced to “deal with matters of the highest economic and social importance” and aimed to ensure intergenerational fairness, “to make pensions affordable at a time of great pressure on public finances, and to reflect changing demographics, life expectancy and social conditions”.
It also found that the DWP had taken adequate steps to notify those affected of the change to 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, claimed the changes were implemented unfairly and are campaigning to have compensation paid to 3.8m women born in the 1950s.
They believe the changes were made so quickly that these women were left with no time to make alternative plans.
The government has previously stated that reversing the hike in women’s state pension age back to 60 would cost the public purse more than £180bn.