A LANDMARK decision by the High Court today has left women affected by changes to the state pension pleading for government support.
Hundreds of people from the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group – including representatives from Hampshire – were in London for the ruling, after the campaign group Backto60 took the Department for Work and Pensions to court.
Nearly four million women born in the 1950s were affected by the changes to the state pension age for women, which have raised the state pension age from 60 to 66 in an attempt to ensure pension age ‘equalisation’.
Their court case argued that raising their pension age unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age and sex, and that they were not given adequate notice of the changes.
After hearing the verdict not to block the government’s plan to raise the pension age for women, Shelagh Simmons, coordinator of Solent WASPI Supporters' Group, said: ‘We would like to thank Back to 60 for their efforts to secure redress for 1950s-born women who have lost so much of their State Pension. Whilst we were not involved in bringing this case to court, we know that a significant amount of work was put into the Judicial Review and, understandably, there will be considerable disappointment at the outcome.’
Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has announced that a public meeting will be held in the city for affected women to air their views.
He said: ‘This is a terrible blow for the millions of women across our country and the 9,000 women affected in Portsmouth who will have been hoping for a very different outcome today.
‘I support the equalisation of the state pension age so that men and women retire at the same age, but believe any changes should be carried out in a fair way.
‘For the sake of my own mother, and over 9,000 women affected in Portsmouth, I will continue to work hard to end this injustice.
‘Make sure your voice is heard. Together let’s get the government to finally act.'
The meeting will take place at the John Pounds Centre in Queen Street on Saturday, October 12 from 12-1.30pm.