State pension age: Fresh hope for WASPI & Back-to-60 women as court appeal is granted

State pension age: Fresh hope for WASPI & Back-to-60 women as court appeal is granted.

STATE PENSION: Campaigners who have been affected by the state pension age changes for women have been granted permission to appeal the decision lodged regarding the Judicial Review about the age and sex and age discrimination.

By JESS SHELDON

PUBLISHED: Wed, Jan 22, 2020 

Julie Delve and Karen Glynn, from the campaign group Backto60, challenged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with a judicial review, which took place last year. The campaigners argued that rising their state pension age “unlawful discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex and age and sex combined”.

On Monday this week, (20th January) Back-To-60 confirmed that the campaign group had been granted permission to appeal the decision.

An announcement on the Back-To-60 website reads: “We are delighted to confirm that http://www.back-to-60.com have been granted permission to Appeal ON ALL GROUNDS at The Court of Appeal.”

Speaking in a video outside Number 10 Downing Street on Monday, Joanne Welch, Back-to-60 director said: “We’re delighted to be here today at Number 10 Downing Street, and share with you the brilliant news that Back-to-60 has been granted an appeal in the High Court based on all grounds argued.

“Absolutely thrilled to share that with you, and thank you everybody who’s donated and supported us, because without you, we would not be here.”

State pension age changes: Backto60 campaigners have been granted permission to appeal the decision.

The Case Tracker for Civil Appeals states that the case is currently awaiting a hearing.

It says that the hearing will be by February 25, 2021.

Also speaking outside Number 10 Downing Street on Monday, Jackie Jones, a Labour MEP for Wales, said: “I’m here at Number 10 Downing Street for Back-To-60. We just handed in a petition for women born in the 50s to get their pensions back, and this is absolutely vital. Legislation should be passed.”

However, changes to the state pension age for women were announced the Pensions Act 1995.

Under the Pensions Act 2011, the state pension age for women increased more quickly to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018.

Now, the state pension age for women is increasing for both men and women.

In October last year, Ms Delve and Ms Glynn, supported by campaign group Back-to-60, took the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to court over the changes.

The women, supported by Back-to-60, claimed the increases discriminated against them on the grounds of sex, age and both sex and age combined, and that they were not given adequate notice of the changes, in order to prepare for the years without their state pension.

State pension age changes: A judicial review took place last year, but the claims were dismissed

However, High Court judges dismissed their claims “on all grounds”.

Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said in a statement: “There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law,”

“Rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men.”

The DWP cannot comment on pending legal action.

Last year, Ms Welch spoke to Express.co.uk about the campaign. During an exclusive interview, she said: “They [50s women] were quite happy. They had raised their families, looked after them, and probably cared for the elderly in some cases.

State pension age changes: The DWP released new figures of the total cost                                estimate of reversing the changes last year.

“Maybe they were looking forward to their retirement, and then the rug is ripped up from beneath their feet.”

The Campaign Director also explained that the group are seeking a “fair equality”.

She said: “Generally speaking, people are pro equality – as are we. However, we will be looking for a fair equality.

“50s women have suffered lifelong inequity, like the pension gap, the pay gap, the maternity gap. It’s like, ‘Mind the Gap’.

“You’d have to be a 50s woman to actually understand these gaps.

“Women weren’t even entitled to occupational pensions. It was seriously as bad as that.”

Elsewhere, the campaign group Women Against State Pension Age Inequality (WASPI) has received a notification from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) that they will proceed with a revised proposal to investigate six sample Complaints of Maladministration.

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