The High Court has rejected the judicial review claim brought by the campaign group BackTo60 against the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Two claimants argued that the rise in state pension age was discriminatory on grounds of sex and/or age; because they were given insufficient time to prepare for it. As many women took time out to care for children, were paid less than men and could not save as much in a pension, the change hit them far harder than it would men.
The change was held not to be direct sex discrimination because women were not treated less favourably than men, as it equalised “a historic asymmetry”, and corrected historic discrimination against men. The change was also not held to be discriminatory on grounds of age. Even if it was, it could be justified because the decision to equalise the pension age had a legitimate purpose and foundation.
BackTo60 will continue to fight the rapid pace of the change. Some women were not aware of the change until they tried to claim their pension. Regrettably, this means many of the four million women expecting to retire at a certain age have to continue in work or manage on working age benefits (with all the conditions those benefits entail).