Women born in the 1950s have said they have been “robbed” of their “earned dues” as a result of the state pension age changes, a campaigner has claimed. These activists are fighting for justice for all women affected by the changes to the state pension age. Joanne Welch, the Founder and Director of the Backto60 group which represents some of those affected, spoke to Express.co.uk about why there was a “triply whammy” effect currently.
She said: “We’re calling it a triple whammy because they’ve been robbed of their earned dues and forced to go to court to fight for their property to be returned.
“Then there’s the pandemic where they’ve been, for all intents and purposes, abandoned in the way that I’ve described to you.
“During this pandemic, there have been nurses that are still working but they’re exposed to the severe risk that the Government is ignoring.
“The World Health Organisation’s Dr Tedros put out advice to say that over-60s were exposed to a severe risk of COVID because of the high death rate.”
Ms Welch continued: “He said if you’re over 60 and you have underlying health conditions then you should be shielding.
“The worst part is 50s women were given no notice of these pension changes in the first place.
“Some women were but we’ve got evidence that the Government prevented women knowing because we think they didn’t want to tell us because they knew what would happen.
“But what happened was people were reaching 60 and finding out then that they weren’t going to get their pension.”
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), however, disputes the claims made by the Backto60 group, saying 50s women did receive ample warning of the planned changes to the system.
A DWP spokesperson said: “The Government decided more than 20 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality, and this has been clearly communicated. People are living longer, so we need to raise the age at which all of us can draw a state pension so it is sustainable now and for future generations.”
Last year, the Backto60 campaign took the Government to a judicial review to get reimbursement on the basis of the change unlawfully discriminating against them.
However, they lost after the High Court ruled that the increase in the state pension age affecting women born in the 1950s was not discriminatory.
The case has now been taken to the Court of Appeal.
The pension age threshold finally equalised at 65 for both men and women around November last year.
It is now on its next trajectory to 66 in 2027.
Published at Wed, 19 Aug 2020 12:10:00 +0000