The court bid for a judicial review into the way the government raised the retirement age for women should be welcomed by all those who oppose discrimination.
The case highlights the way women born in the 1950s were told they would have to wait an extra six years before receiving their pensions.
For many, the announcement came out of the blue. The legislation to carry out the change was passed quietly, many years ago, and none of them received any formal notification at the time.
This meant they were financially unprepared for the impact of the delay when the Conservative government finally told them about it.
The issue highlights the sexism of the current Conservative government. Women were hardest-hit by the Tory cuts to state benefits and services, brought in under the banner of austerity.
According to barrister Michael Mansfield QC, the pension changes put women at a significant disadvantage in comparison with men.
He said the fact that many women born in the 1950s were not told about the changes until shortly before the time when they expected to retire caused many of them “significant detriments”.
And he pointed out that women born in the 1950s had already suffered “considerable inequalities in the workplace”, which he said were the result of “historical factors and social expectations”.
The Tories don’t care, of course. They saw the increase in the female pension age as an opportunity to make a significant saving on one of the largest budgets on the government’s books.
And they will no doubt argue that it is right for the retirement age to be equalised.
But it will be for the court to decide whether they way they went about that equalisation was in any way reasonable.
Women born in the 1950s whose retirement age was increased from 60 to 65 have gone to court seeking a judicial review of how the government raised the retirement age and to try to force the government to repay their lost pensions.
Nearly 4 million women have been forced to wait up to an extra six years to get their pensions after changes to bring women’s retirement age into line with men’s.
Two claimants have now 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”.
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