Women who were “robbed” of thousands of pounds after their state pension age was delayed by six years are launching a fresh legal bid to get back their “earned dues”.
Grassroots campaign group BackTo60 is set to appeal last week’s High Court decision to dismiss their claim that laws intended to equalise the state pension age between men and women are unlawfully discriminatory. Claims that there was a lack of communication and prior notice about the changes were also dismissed.
An estimated 3.8 million women are affected by these laws, and some are expected to lose more than £40,000 from their pensions, the court heard during a two-day hearing in June.
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The group announced its intention to appeal the ruling on Friday (11 October), with the launch of an online crowdfunding page to cover projected legal fees of £72,000. More than £10,000 has already been raised as of 3pm.
“This about returning earned dues,” Joanne Welch, the group’s director, told RightsInfo. “They have all been robbed.”
BackTo60 campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Image Credit: Aaron Walawalkar.
The group is not seeking to reverse the raising of women’s state pension age from 60 to 66, which happened incrementally through the laws introduced between 1995 and 2014.
Rather, it demands full compensation for the money that women born in the 1950s lost out on when the change was introduced.
“For many women, all they have is their state pension,” Joanne added. “Women are already living below the poverty line. We can not accept anything less than full restitution.”
Alongside the legal challenge, BackTo60 is urging the government to enact a “temporary special measure” to compensate the women affected by the pension age hike.
They are also asking MPs to sign an Early Day Motion to have this course of action is debated in parliament. The motion has gained 225 signatures so far, including those of former Conservative and now independent MP Nicholas Soames, and former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
“If we were a political party we’d be the third largest in parliament,” Joanne said.