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‘Time is running out for us’ - pensions activists’ dismay at appeal ruling

PUBLISHED: 18:08 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:50 17 September 2020

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: Archant

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: Archant

Archant

Campaigners have warned “time is running out” for women affected by changes to the state pension age after a landmark High Court appeal was lost.

The leaders of a Norfolk group battling changes to the women’s state pension age have spoken out after a court case brought by two women against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was lost earlier this week.

On Tuesday, September 15, senior judges unanimously dismissed the appeal of the two BackTo60 campaigners who were challenging the six-year increase to 1950s-born women’s pensions.

READ MORE: Pension activists urge women to ‘stay positive’ ahead of court appeal

It came after an unsuccessful judicial review last year when the same two women sued the DWP for age and sex discrimination.

A hike in women’s retirement age saw those born in the 1950s waiting up to an additional six years to receive state pensions - with 3.5m women across the country thought to have lost out on payments worth up to £40,000.

Forty-five thousand women in Norfolk alone were affected, with some left penniless.

Organisers of the Broads Pension Action in Norfolk (PAIN) said they were “disappointed but not surprised”.

READ MORE: ‘Degrading’ - women’s pensions activists stage Downing Street protest

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Lynn Nicholls, one of the group leaders, said: “We are disappointed but not surprised with the appeal judgement.

“We were never expecting our pensions to go back to 60, it was the very unfair way it was implemented that was wrong.”

The judges said that introducing the same state pension age for men and women was not unlawful discrimination, in a ruling welcomed by the government as “a long-overdue move towards gender equality”.

READ MORE: ‘A slap in the face’ - women hit back at ‘immoral’ High Court state pension age ruling

PAIN group leader Lorrain White said: “We also feel the changes should have been introduced on a more gradual scale.

“Almost all of our members want the injustice to be acknowledged and to reach a reasonable, realistic solution after all the years of campaigning.”

And Annette James, another group leader, added: “Time is running out for us and we need help now.

We hope the Parliamentary Ombudsman where our cases are based on DWP maladministration will now be able to rule.”

It came after the group urged women in Norfolk to “stay positive” ahead of the appeal result.

• Have you been affected by changes to the women’s state pension age? Email jessica.frank-keyes@archant.co.uk


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