Judges Throw Out State Pension Age Challenge From Women

A legal challenge to overturn the government’s decision to raise the state pension age for women was thrown out by the High Court in London.

Politicians have been dogged by years of protests after equalising the age when women can draw the state pension with men.

This has moved their retirement age from 60 to 65 in line with men and is set to rise to 66 years old by 2020 and 67 by 2028.

The women taking the case before the High Court alleged the move was discrimination against women, but the judges did not agree.

“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,” said the judgement.

Puzzling verdict, say campaigners

Lead campaigner Jean Welch said after the verdict: “I am rather puzzled but we can take this, we have broad shoulders.

“Where do we go from here? Well, where will the government go from here is the better question.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We welcome the High Court’s judgment. It has always been our view that the changes we made to women’s state pension age were entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds.”

The case is the culmination of almost a decade of protests.

In 2010, the then Labour Government decided to align the state pension age for men and women.

Decision impacted 3.8 million women

As a result, women who planned to retire with financial support from their state pension have had their plans ruined as they had to wait longer than expected for the money.

In some cases, women have had to wait for up to five years for their pensions.

Nicknamed Waspi Women, most were born in the 50s, with the worst affected born after April 6, 1953.

Around 3.8 million women are thought to be impacted by the state pension age change.

The Government refused to revisit the decision despite the protests, claiming the £181 billion bill for reversing the policy was unfair and unaffordable.

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