Court of Appeal hearing to take place over legal challenge to women’s pension age changes

Penny Ann Wells Photo Timandra French

Women fighting for equality in pensions will have their case heard at the Court of Appeal this month.

A legal challenge to the way the Government changed the pension age for women was dismissed by the High Court last year with a finding in favour of the government.

In June 2019 the Backto60 campaign group brought the judicial review case to the Divisional Court, which examined whether 3.9 million women born in the 1950s were appropriately communicated with regarding changes to the state pension age that result in a later retirement.

They were calling for this cohort of women to receive their state pension from the age of 60. There action was supported by other women’s pension rights groups including Waspi (Women against state pension injustice).

Up until 2010 women were eligible for their state pension when they reached the age of 60 but changes have seen this rise with the age at which women qualify for the state pension moving up to 65 and then 67.

Backto60 and Waspi campaigners say women born in the 1950s have been unfairly hit, did not receive proper notice and many have been left in poverty.

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

The government says the aim is to bring the retirement age for men and women in line. Increasing life expectancy means the government needs to make pension payments later in a person’s life.

However, Backto60 launched a campaign to raise £72,000 to be able to bring an appeal.

This case will be heard on July 21-22 and will be livestreamed via Zoom.

Penny-Anne Wells, of the East Kent branch of the Waspi campaign, says the appeal hearing means there is still hope of “justice.”

She said: “We have been campaigning for more than four years and have had our hopes dashed many times. We still dare to hope that this appeal will deliver justice.

“Many women continue to face very difficult situations due to the lack of notice of the rise in their pension age, now made even worse by the pandemic.

“If women could retire it would free up jobs for younger people . Due to the pandemic we will not hold a rally or travel to the Courts. We will be joining to watch the Live Stream via Zoom.We will also become keyboard warriors raising awareness by social media.”

Click here for the Court of Appeal hearing link


  1. I have worked all of my life and feel that my pension should be paid, how the government should take this away from us is unfair.

    • I am in same situation and full support all 1950 women’s I never received a letter and only found out about this when I went to check my contributions Good Luck let’s hope that we get the right outcome

      • I had the same ,I didn’t find out until I went to claim my pension at 62 ( originally the phased timings) applied at 62 only to be told I had to wait till 66 ,no notice or information at all ,im 66 in October so the government ment have kept 25 thousand that I have paid to wards my pension all my working life .it bugs me that they term it a benefit ,when it’s something we’ve been paying for for 50 years !!!!

        • You should have checked before you retired and went to claim. Where is your personal accountability to check something so fundamentally important?

          • FYI ladies, if you apply for your private pension you will be paid less than a man just because your female! If they can justify rising the female state pension age due to equality (not that there had been much for our cohort) this should not be happening!

        • Christine Green if you spa is now 66 then it was never 62. The 2011 act added a maximum of 18 months so your spa after the 95 act must have been 64 and some months

          • You dont have to take your pension on the date you assume is your date.most leave it a couple of years a get 7% interest
            Christine said she went to claim it at 62.
            Beggers belief why she used 2 years life expectancy

        • I worked 47 years mainly full time and continuously. My pension age should of been 60 but moved to 66 and like many women I feel the government has stolen this from me. It was my right and they took it. Money being the main driver but they managed to somehow come up with billions during the last few months which I don’t begrudge but my point being if they wanted to they could pay this money back.Those poor women have died get nothing and the government gain their pot. It’s absolutely shameful that we don’t even get a % of what’s lost. If we didn’t have so many politicians who sit in parliament playing on there phones at tax payers expense or we get rid of so many back benches maybe they could afford to make this right .boris promised to look at this,labour said they would pay the women so just get on with it

    • The Judicial Review Appeal next week, is nothing to do with Waspi. This case has been brought by Backto60 on behalf of all 1950s women. Free to join, see their website for information.

      • Irene Gibbs. It may be free to join but unfortunately BT60 have blocked thousands of women for asking questions. They most certainly do not represent all 50s women

    • I have 44 years of contributions and I have been eligible for my full state pension since I was 60. I am sixty five now. Why am I still paying contributions from my wages. Whats happening to that money if I already have enough for my full pension.

      • Hi Linda it’s been stolen from us for government to prop up and dish out to mates for stupid deals and bad investments so there’s no money left it’s nothing to do with equality if it was it should have been done in the 80s it’s a man’s world always has been always will be

    • FYI ladies, if you apply for your private pension you will be paid less than a man just because your female! If they can justify rising the female state pension age due to equality (not that there had been much for our cohort) this should not be happening!

  2. We (my wife and myself) took early retirement to look after my mother who had alzheimers. She was terrified of going into Care. We looked after in our home. Finances were a huge factor also in this. We new that my wife would collect her pension at 60 in 2015 so we worked out that whatever happened in the future we could manage. We both took a massive financial hit by deciding to look after mam whilst saving the government a fortune in care fees. My mam died in 2017, our finances in ruins because of the rapid (with no notification) of the state pension age. My wife still does not have her pension.

    • I knew when I retired in that I would lose out on my state pension due to being born in the early 50’s. I cannot believe how many people were unaware of the changes, it was well publicized since the Labour government mooted it in the mid 90’s.
      Just shows that people should take more responsibility when it comes to knowing about their entitlements, a salutary lesson I’m afraid and a good example for others to take heed of. I’m not singling out the writer of the post i am replying to it’s just they were at the top of the page, it’s not personal.

      • Shocking the way in which we have been robbed of our own hard earned money ,but more disgraceful we did not even get any notice about the changes,come on please change this decision and the young folk the jobs who life is ahead of them,thank you

      • Well good on you for knowing the situation. I was too busy working. I didn’t know and was never and still haven’t been informed. So I’ve had to wait 6 years for my pension, maybe your in a better position than most, good on you again. They never informed me so good on you again

        • Are you suggesting I wasn’t working or busy, what a sweeping statement from someone who knows nothing about me. For your information I worked from being 16 until I was 60 and I worked very hard. I was never informed either, I don’t think anyone was informed personally but I’m not 100% sure about that. I just saw the news at 6 or 10, whenever I’d finished a shift and read newspapers because that’s what responsible people do, if they care about what is going on around them. Maybe you’re in a better position than me, sorry, just using the same assumption you did. And by the way I didn’t say the change was right or just I only commented on the fact that people didn’t claim to know about the change when it was widely publicized over a good number of years.

          • A lot of people knew and agree equal rights with men but it’s only until recently women were supposed to be paid the same rate as a man and that is still not happening what the point is it is a contract not negotiated at the point of the change they given us the opportunity to make future arrangements with everything costing more and legal charges like rents taxes food energy rising faster how are we supposed to save when we were paid less it’s totally immoral and at least let us live a little before we die

      • I agree this was well published all over news and press therefore don’t say you didn’t know it was coming. We thought for equal rights and pay therefore we should retire at the same age. My only beef is that although I worked all my life I still get the same as someone who sat on state benefits all their life and did not pay into the system. Trisha Dyer

      • Not all people have newspapers and tvs a lot cant aford to by them so wouldn’t know i was lucky enough to have a telly but still only found out a year before i was hopping to het

  3. How good it would be if government allow back payment or compensation to all women involved in this age group .then from now allow pension come on Boris show you care also bus pass !!

  4. Jen…..I gave up work at 60 to care for my 92 year old Mother. I promised my Father I would NEVER put her in a home. I’ve worked for 47 years and brought up 2 children and cared for both my parents. I’ve lost out all round & literally have nothing left. I’m so worried about my future & how I’m going to survive on my meagre income!! I’ve worked for my pension. So unfair!!

    • Hi.i’m in the same boat,have worked since i was 15yrs old,only taking 6 yrs off to raise 3 children,i am 64 now,divorced and on my own under threat of redundacy next mth,where has the money gone that i have paid into all my life?

  5. I’ve also worked all my life and want my pension paid. I’ve now reached 62 and have little hope of getting it for a further 4 years.

    Can I align myself with this action?

    Oh, I’m a Male by the way

    • Hi Jim yes we should be allowed to retire at 60 male or female but I bet you didn’t start your working life on £2.50 an hour then increasing over 40 years to £9.50 an hour at 61 it’s a disgrace but I did have 2 children one with a disability and 2 elderly parents to see to but in them days a woman was only worth that because shock horror I might get pregnant and have to leave but please join waspi after all we’re supposed to be equal?

  6. I had plans in place all my working life,solidly from 1968 onwards even while bringing 3 children up, to retire at 60.These was snatched away from me with virtually no notice and I had to work for almost 2 more years.It is unjust and unfair and, I would think, illegal

  7. I’ve also worked for 45 years and have enough stamps for a full pension, I wasn told about the pension age going up, it went from 60 to 65 and then to 66. Im 64 this year and think its totally unfair

  8. all the women need to do is go to France get on a small boat and come back and claim your a refugee then you can get anything you want

  9. I can understand why people are angry with this but to say they are fighting for equality in pensions. Surly the one thing they do not want is equality. As they want to retire before a man of the same age would. You can not have it both ways.

    • As I understand it the initial movement was to make retirement age the same for both genders in the hope that men’s retirement age would be lowered to 60. However it backfired spectacularly when Tony Blair’s government decided the best plan would be to equalize the retirement age at 65 therefore raising the qualifying age for women to receive state pension by 5 years. It was well publicized at the time and received more publicity, on and off until its implementation in 2010.

      • As a female born in Oct.1953 the 2 retirement date changes that took place in my case (and others like me) was not fair or equitable. The 1st change being the phased alignment for age, then the introduction of the ‘New’ State Pension being the 2nd. Changes to the eligibility criteria re qualifying years and being contracted out by an employer also reduced anticipated pension award.
        How can it be fair for those of us born between 1950-1955 to take a double hit in this way. I naively believed I would get my pension on my 65th birthday – wrong, I received it the following july, some 9mnths after my 65th birthday. The Gvmnt saved a lot of money by delaying my retirement in this way.

    • The pension for women retiring at 60 was bought in in 1940 to ensure the married rate would be paid as soon as the husband reached 65. Women born in the 1950s had far fewer job opportunities than men, (I didn’t know, for example , any mechanics, welders or women sailors on ships to name a few) When I was starting out wages were lower and very few pension schemes were on offer. Many women looked after elderly relatives, sick partners and gave up working to have families- again impacting on their ability to belong to pension schemes. A vast number then worked part time often with less ability to save , having to rely now if they can on just their partners support if fortunate enough to even have that. We have often been treated as second class citizens in the earlier years so all we ask for is the chance now to be respected for our sacrifices

    • Hi tony then they should back date the equal pay to when it started we’re only equal when it suits we were told it was rising yes what the govt should have done was negotiate the contract what is equal to being told something is happening and have no say in it

  10. No man left school expecting to receive his state pension at 60 and no woman thought she would have to work until she was 66 so the provision each made was totally different

  11. I am 64 this year I suffer with copd and really struggle at work I would love to be able to retire now but have to work until I’m 66 my husband will be retired 2 years before me

  12. All i can say as with other she was shocked as she had no notification in the increase in age.
    Subsequently she has suffered with severe depression for the
    last 4 years.
    One thing to point out as people have mentioned a warning in 2010.
    Its only in the last 4 years that we have the internet.
    She has been avidly reader of reports from Waspi and over 60’s.
    The only other news she takes note is coronavirus in our area.

  13. I think if this appeal is successful then all men who had to retire 5 years later than women should seek compensation on the grounds of discrimination.

  14. I am 62 amd I am at present furlowed by my employer and have been for the last four months. I am terrified to return to work as I work in a retail store and would gladly retire to allow a young person take my place. I just wish the government would see sense as my pension could be offset against unemployment benefit. Fry

  15. I have work all my life raised two children and still work . I got a letter when I was 59 to say that my pension age is now 66 . It is not right it is no wonder that there is no job for people . Put it back to 60 . The man who did this is now retired at 60 .

  16. Why, or perhaps I am wrong, is it only going to be women from the fifties who, hopefully, get their pension at 60, I was born March 1960, will new legislation, include ladies like me ?

  17. I agree and support the backto60 and waspi women. I worked for 40 years with no break for children. If people can come into this country and get all sorts of benifits for nothing why can’t I have my pension? Its a disgrace I have to wait now until I am 66 for my hard earned pension what am I suppose to live on, don’t tell me to get a job I was made redundant and I now have developed arthritis which makes each day difficult I am still only 61.

  18. Good luck with your appeal it was disgusting the way the government have handled this. From a male supporter of your cause.

  19. As far as I’m concerned, I entered into a contract with the government when I started working at the age of 15, that I would receive my pension at the age of 60. The government has broken this contract and should therefore be made to uphold it or pay compensation.

  20. If i had stolen 6 years of pension from the Government i would have been sent to prison. All i ask is that the Government return to me what they took, with interest. I worked hard all my life for my pension to start at 60 and was not given any warning that this would be withdrawn until i was 66. Very dishonest of them, and they have no idea of the years of hardship and financial embarrassment they have caused.

  21. When I started work in 1975 I was not allowed to join the pension scheme for 2 years. I then changed jobs and same thing again. This was common in those days so women were disadvantaged as generally they ceased work when children came along and then returned to part time work and were not allowed to join company pension schemes.

  22. I didn’t ask for equality but I agree with it and I didn’t ask to leave my job when I was pregnant in the 90 s a man was never asked to leave if his wife was pregnant I also didn’t ask or was able to stop my ex husband to leave me with 2 children to bring up on my own with zero support the government took money from my account every month without my consent to go towards my pension when I turned 60 then I was told no you can’t have it till your 66 without my agreeing it’s simple it’s a mans world full stop freedom is gone a man can leave a woman cant a man can work and even now still earns more than a woman not very equal is it when did we become a state and why can the tax man take money right away from my account then when they owe me I have to wait a year to get it back the govt has spent it stop humiliating women the days are gone that we have to beg for what is our right and our money very few men give up their jobs to look after family and as for anyone living longer these days take a look at the pandemic now and to come along with poverty but some govt officials will be sitting in a big house somewhere with massive pensions and a wage for life just for being a prime minister I can’t if I lose my job it stops my dad had 4 pensions before he died after working all his life 7 days a week mum had nothing not very equal is it? ended up in sheltered housing both too unwell for anything. Young people will suffer in the end, sad start, struggling in the middle and a very uncertain end and don’t worry because the nhs will go private so welcome back the Victorian era thank you govt’s past and present job well done

    • I would recommend as an English person that a public non govt audit is done on pensions and to ask the question where has all that money gone including those who have died before they could collect it

  23. I agree with all that has been said. I worked for the NHS for 40yrs. I stopped for 2 yrs due to a family illness. Then, when I wasn’t getting my pension at 60yrs I went back to work for the last 5yrs. I am recently 65yrs old but have to struggle in for another year to get my pension at 66yr. I am still working, paying tax and national insurance.
    The background to all this is that I have struggled with a chronic illness from the age of 27yrs and sm still suffering. I have had multiple major surgeries and even now am struggling every day. Going to work us a very real hardship.
    I was told years ago I should stop work and go on benefits, I refused and this is the thanks I get.
    I am so angry about the situation, particularly because women have never been equal to men until it suits them. It is well known that most women under 40 earn a similar wage to men for the same job. However, women over 40 earn approximately 9 percent less that men. THAT IS NOT EQUALITY!!!

  24. Teresa firstly thank you and to all men and women that get up every day and struggle into work ? equality a little word with a huge meaning still only applies when it suits whoever uses it the pension fund is paid into when you start work it is not a benefit it is savings that should be paid when you retire so we should have the right at the agreed contract age to take it and for men and women 60 is an age it should be taken and if people chose to work beyond that then it’s there choice

    • The fact remains we opted into a contract at the start of our working life to retire at 60 that contract has not been negotiated with us at all to change the rule we vote to elect a govt and they are paid very high wages I’m not I’m minimum wage still at 61 it takes every penny just to survive we should have been consulted the govt are public servants and are accountable to the public so I ask the govt to account for where all the savings off the backs of the working class has gone

      • Hi, yes you are correct. We entered into a written and moral contract with the government and they have just run roughshod over that agreement.
        Most other countries still allow women to retire at 60, in fact in Slovakia women retire at 60 and then are allowed to retire 1 year earlier for each child they have had. Given that women still do most of the child and elder care in this country then this would be fair.
        Some countries moved to 65 for women and have then seen the detrimental effect this has on society and have then reverted back to 60.
        I am now eagerly awaiting the court result and would be amazed if it goes in our favour. The government will only pay what we are owed if they are forced to by the courts. This is a disgrace in a country like Britain in the 21st century.
        Anyway, the fact remains, we paid our subscriptions and now we should be paid our dues as agreed.

        • It is a terrible injustice to all woman of a certain age who where not informed. I work in a busy pharmacy through this pandemic and have a husband who has had heart attack diabetes copd . we don’t get benifits or any help. Really swap my job for pension with someone who would like to work. Too much money given to lots of pet that will not ever work. This is our human rights to have our pensions reinstated S burn

  25. It is a terrible injustice to all woman of a certain age who where not informed. I work in a busy pharmacy through this pandemic and have a husband who has had heart attack diabetes copd . we don’t get benifits or any help. Really swap my job for pension with someone who would like to work. Too much money given to lots of pet that will not ever work. This is our human rights to have our pensions reinstated S burn

  26. Plenty of notice about the pension change was given and those in the changing bracket had plenty of opportunity to plan accordingly. Nothing is stopping those that need to work beyond the age of 60 from doing so.

  27. So disappointed that some people still view this issue strictly in terms of present day equality. For many, indeed most, women working during the 70’s and 80’s equality in the workplace did not exist! No chance of earning enough to save and compounded by being denied access to pension schemes because of child breaks. Many women were commonly asked when they dared to apply for promotion, if they intended to become pregnant! You cannot suddenly impose notional equality without acknowledging and recommending for the injustices of the past.

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