We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Backto60 was created to provide support to women born in the 1950s who state they were affected by changes to the State Pension age. In 2010, significant changes meant the State Pension prepared to shift upwards from 60 for women and 65 for women – first outlined in the Pensions Act of 1995 and 2011 respectively. The changes to state pension age under these acts are thought to affect approximately 3.8 million women, now commonly known as 1950s women.
The group have argued they were not given enough notice to prepare for the age change which took place.
This “stealth escalation”, the group have argued, has left many in positions of financial instability and without support.
Escalating the issue further are two women, Julie Delve and Karen Glynn (supported by Backto60), who took their case to court to argue discrimination on the grounds of sex and age.
While the pair did lose their first case, they vowed to continue, and the matter was eventually taken to the Court of Appeal, which sat in July.
But how did the case progress, and what were the arguments put forward?
Ms Delve and Ms Glynn, alongside the campaign, have been represented by Michael Mansfield QC, well known for his work in human rights and civil liberties.
Mr Mansfield argued in court that 1950s women had faced “catastrophic” consequences as a result of the State Pension age change.
He commented: “Their lives have been totally fractured having to face a situation of this kind.
“Besides the economic – almost poverty line – existence they have to face, it goes without saying that the psychological and mental stress placed upon them, has reduced many people to an inability to go and do what they need to do to make ends meet.”
WASPI: Women urged to check their State Pension to avoid missing out [INSIGHT]
WASPI: Women express concern over handling of State Pension age debate [ANALYSIS]
WASPI: How much 1950s women will ultimately receive is uncertain [EXPLAINED]
Henrietta Hill QC, also representing the Backto60 campaign, stated many women were facing poverty, homelessness and financial difficulties as a result of the changes.
Many women, the lawyers stated, are likely to be in a worse socio-economic position to absorb the effects of a state pension age alteration when compared to others.
However, Sir James Eadie QC, legal representative for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), against which the case has been brought, adopted a different line of argument entirely.
Sir James was appointed as First Treasury Counsel in 2009, and is the government’s independent barrister on issues of major national importance.
He stated the disadvantages reported by 1950s women were often caused by a range of social problems, rather than being connected to the state pension age.
And the barrister added that today’s equal pension system is a modern concept, with it being directly wrong to have different pension ages for men and women.
After hearing representations from both sides, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, who oversaw the case, adjourned the hearing to discuss the matter further before a verdict is reached.
But after being required to wait to hear the outcome, the Backto60 campaign now has further clarity on the matter.
An official notice from the Judiciary has outlined a decision on the case will be made on September 15, 2020 at 10.30am.
The decision will be based on whether the DWP handled the change in state pension age properly, and whether women faced discrimination based on these changes.
Backto60 is hopeful for full restitution, that is, payment for the years of state pension they assert they have lost due to the changes.
If the decision does go in the favour of 1950s women, though, it could prove costly for the government.
Commenting on the case, Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The Court case represents a serious risk to the Treasury, with the government previously warned paying full restitution to the women affected would cost the taxpayer ‘in the region of £215billion’.”
Source: Read Full Article