Women were not discriminated against when the Pension age was raised from 60 – 66 the High Court recently ruled dismissing the claim on all grounds.

Two claimants took the Department for Work and Pensions to Court over the staggered increase in women’s pension age arguing that it discriminated on grounds of age and / or sex.  The claimants said the government failed to inform them of the changes.

In the summary of the Judgement, the Court said it was saddened by the stories in the claimant’s evidence but that the Court’s role was limited.  They said there was no basis for concluding that the policy choice reflected in the legislation were not open to Government.

The Judges ruled there was no discrimination based on age, dismissing the two arguments that were put forward.  The claimants first said the changes offended a EU Law principle of non-discrimination.  However, the Court rejected this holding that the legislation under challenge was not within the scope of the EU Law.

The Court also rejected the argument that the legislation breached the European Convention of Human Rights on the basis that case law establishes that a state can introduce a new legislative scheme which effect changes from a given date based on age.

On sex discrimination, the Court again ruled that the increase in pension age did not breach EU law.  It said, there was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourable than men.

The legislation under challenge was the Pensions Act 1995 which affected all women born on or after 6th April 1950.  It implemented a staggered raising of the pension age between 2010 and 2020 meaning the retirement age in 2020 will be 66.  By 2028, it will be 67.

If you feel you are discriminated against in any shape or form and would like further advice emanating from this article, please contact any of our specialists at Boston, Lincoln, Grantham, Spalding, Newark and Sleaford.

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