It’s a cute argument, no?

Women affected by changes to the state pension age are due to hear the outcome of their high court fight against the government.

Nearly 4 million women born in the 1950s have been affected by the changes, which have raised the state pension age from 60 to as high as 66. It has been increased by successive governments in an attempt to ensure “pension age equalisation”, so that women’s state pension age matches that of men.

Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 63, have taken the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to court, arguing that raising their pension age “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined”.

Removing discrimination in favour of is discrimination now?

36 thoughts on “It’s a cute argument, no?”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    And I officially retire at 67 and 9 months, so they’re still not equal.

    TBF, there argument is that they weren’t given enough warning of the change due to lack of publicity.

  2. They had plenty of warning of the change from 60 to 65. The warning for the subsequent change seemed pretty mean to me.

  3. And, a change that many people perhaps haven’t grasped: the new-style state retirement pension doesn’t bring with it a pension for a wife/widow based on the husband’s NICs.

    I’m surprised that there’s been no fuss about this, though I may have explained that by suggesting that the issue hasn’t been grasped.

  4. It depends on whether the promises originally made to them are being kept or not, doesn’t it? Irrespective of fairness, diskrim’nashun and so on, is the government holding up its side of the bargain? Looks to me like it isn’t.

  5. The age changes for Pension Credit Guarantee Credit claimants (the equivalent of Income Support for over 60s) has occurred for men and women equally.
    So this is about more for women who are not-poor.
    And it was announced by Ken Clarke in the 1990s. How well it was communicated is an issue, but this is government, always poor at communicating.

  6. These women were told when they were 15 that the Government would take money from any wages they earned and put it into a pension, which they would be able to take at 60 if they chose.
    After paying in, for possibly 40+ years the government changed the rules. Whatever we think about equality, this is wrong.

  7. “It depends on whether the promises originally made to them are being kept or not, doesn’t it? Irrespective of fairness, diskrim’nashun and so on, is the government holding up its side of the bargain? Looks to me like it isn’t.”

    So if a racist government promised white people bigger pensions than black people, and a subsequent government reversed that policy, the whites should be able to sue for their extra pension should they?

    The fact is women don’t want equality, they just want it when it means they get more stuff, but want it ignored when it means they’d lose something. And this pensions case is just an example of the latter. Middle class women who thought someone else would keep them have discovered they’re expected to keep themselves. Cue tantrum.

  8. Yeah, Addolff. But when dealing with shysters you always have to pay close attention to the small print. There never was a pension fund money was put into. Grad Pen was just another tax.

  9. The change was cocked up. The discrimination is not between male and female but between women of slightly different ages having far bigger differences in pension age. That and the shifting dates and the almost complete disregard of NI contribution differences. The affected women have a case but the amount of money required to redress it is going to be too much for the government to let them win.

  10. BiS, I know it went to fund the pensions, health and welfare at the time and wasn’t ‘invested’, but pension at 60 was the deal the Government sold at the time. And you had no choice.
    I have no problem if we say to people just starting work (or since 2011 when the changes were made) that they will have to work till 70.
    The other thing that irks me is what they did to SERPS.

  11. The government has one the case. Judges said

    There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law. Rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men.

    Although there is a discussion on Women’s Hour at the moment which disagrees somewhat with the judgment…

  12. “Although there is a discussion on Women’s Hour at the moment which disagrees somewhat with the judgment…”

    I bet they were all in favour of the Supreme Court ruling on Boris’s prorogation tho……..

  13. “Jim: yes.”

    Well they’d have lost too, as mentioned above, the courts have (rightly) decided that righting historic discrimination is not discriminatory if the people who were getting a discriminatory better deal thus lose out.

    And anyone who believes any politician’s promises needs their heads examining, especially ones that have implications decades into the future. Maybe this example will teach a few more people that the State is not their friend.

  14. What bugs me is the way the state pension was treated so differently to private pensions. Private pension schemes had to equalise benefits for men and women from May 1990. This usually meant paying out to both at 60, at least for a few years until they could get around to changing the rules, and the benefits accrued in those years remained at the higher value even after the rule change.

    The government took almost 30 years to equalise things, which doesn’t seem fair to me. Maybe there’s a case for men to sue for back payments?

  15. I hereby self declare as a woman and claim my 10 pounds, er sorry, state pension. Job’s a good ‘un.

  16. “but pension at 60 was the deal the Government sold at the time. And you had no choice.”

    If you had no choice then it wasn’t a deal.

    Anyway, pushing it up to 65 for women was an instruction on sex equality from the EU, wasn’t it? Or was it from our own shysters?

  17. Men are also discriminated against as they can expect to receive their state pension for a shorter time than women. Maybe someone should take that to the courts.

    Furthermore insurers are forced to price annuities on a joint sex basis, meaning that men are subsidising women. Don’t hear about any protests on that one either.

  18. Firstly, people have been lied to all their lives, and told they were paying for their own pension when they were actually paying someone else’s. Hopefully it will reduce trust in politicians’ promises, but probably not in the under 50s.
    Secondly, are they getting the pension they thought they were paying for? In cash terms they are certainly getting more, even inflation adjusted they are probably getting more, even if they now have to wait a bit longer

  19. Although there is a discussion on Women’s Hour at the moment which disagrees somewhat with the judgment…

    DISSENT AND CRITICISM OF A LEGAL JUDGEMENT!!!!

    Arrest them all, shut the programme down, throw them in prison. MAKE THEIR LIVES HELL ON TWITTER.

  20. Addolff

    “but pension at 60 was the deal”

    ‘deal’ in what sense? Was anything signed?

    It cuts both ways. When they introduced the NI Act in 1946 they didn’t say “pensions will only be available to those born in 1946 and retiring next century.”

  21. A man sued for discrimination because he had to wait till 65 for his money when women got theirs five years earlier (I just about remember it). As lowering men’s pensionable age was out of the question it fell to women to take the hit. The ladies were given ample warning, although in their defense very few of us get around to checking the small print until we’re pretty close to the fateful day.

  22. “The ladies were given ample warning, although in their defense very few of us get around to checking the small print until we’re pretty close to the fateful day.”

    Yes but you’d have to be spectacularly dim to make huge career decisions based purely on ‘Well I thought I was getting a pension at 60’ though wouldn’t you? As was the case of the woman moaning on the news earlier today that she’d taken early retirement (from teaching no less, so much for the Remainers idea that the educated folks with degrees are better equipped to make important decisions) at age 59 without ever having checked when exactly her State pension was going to kick in.

  23. I find the idea of striking a deal with government beyond hilarious. With any other party you’ve a chance of enforcing it. Even if you have to go round & do so with with a baseball bat. But government* holds ALL the power. It can do what it likes. If the law hinders it, it can change the law.

    *Yes, I know. Brexit. But Parliament is effectively government, at the moment. And it’s doing exactly that. Changing the law to suit it. Three years ago you thought you had a deal. Whatever happened to it?

  24. “I find the idea of striking a deal with government beyond hilarious. With any other party you’ve a chance of enforcing it.”

    Not least because the courts have specifically ruled that manifesto pledges are not enforceable in court. That when the Supreme Court decided that Gordon Brown couldn’t held to his and Blair’s pledge for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Funny that……..lying to tens of millions to get further EU integration, all political fun and games say the courts. Lying (possibly)to one person to get Brexit done as requested by millions of people, evil evil Boris!

  25. I agree with all those saying that any ‘deal’ with government is worthless. But had these women been in a private pension scheme that allowed them to retire at 60 and a few years before retirement had been told “sorry, we meant 67”, at the very least they could have kept the pension they’d earned up to that point.

    Equalising pension ages was absolutely the right thing to do, and none of the women affected is saying otherwise, but the abrupt nature of the change was far too harsh.

  26. “Equalising pension ages was absolutely the right thing to do, and none of the women affected is saying otherwise, but the abrupt nature of the change was far too harsh.”

    If John McDonnell gets to be Chancellor and sticks tax rates up to 80% that’ll be harsh too, on people who were expecting their income to be X, and finding its Y instead. Would they be able to argue in court that it must be phased in over a decade or more? Or would they be told to f*ck off (politely of course)?

  27. It is interesting that the solution to the inequality was to raise the women’s pension age rather than lower the men’s. I would have thought that making everyone able to retire at 62 and a half would be fairer. I think that it has always made sense to make your own arrangements too so that you are not totally reliant on the state. I have a modest private pension and will be putting my feet up aged 61 and a half.

  28. Anon in case Mum reads this

    The rules were changed in 1995. That’s TWENTY-FIVE years ago, when Addolff’s 15-year-olds would have paid in for about 15 years, not 40+ years. I remember my mother discussing this with me back in 1995, and she’s not the full drawer of cutlery. You need to have been actively avoiding information about the state pension scheme to not know anything about the changes.

  29. Considering that the NI/pension scheme has been changed at least three times in the 50+ years I’ve been working I don’t see how anyone could think the rules are set in stone.

    “News just in, it seems you can’t trust government promises. Now over to Ned with the weather.”

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