MILLIONS of women born in the 1950s have lost a fight for a financial settlement over controversial changes to the state pension age after the Court of Appeal ruled they were not discriminated against.

The women who have seen their state pension age increase from 60 to 65, have been told by judges that they will not receive any compensation for lost state pension income.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that increasing the age at which women born in the UK in the 1950s are entitled to receive their state pension was lawful.

The unanimous judgment is a devastating blow for campaigners who have argued that the government’s changes will be a “disaster” for those on lower incomes.

Having lost in the High Court, the two claimants, Julie Delve, 62, and Karen Glynn, 63, had appealed to the higher court.

Joanne Welch, founder of the BackTo60 campaign, said the group’s legal team was  “actively looking” at appealing to the Supreme Court. She described the decision as “unconscionable”, adding that there is “no doubt in our minds that it’s discrimination”.

The Glen Leven and North East Fife WASPI group expressed their disappointment saying: "We are gutted the same as everyone at the result."

In their decision on Tuesday, however, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lady Justice Rose said that adopting the same state pension age for men and women did not amount to unlawful discrimination under either EU law or the European convention on human rights.


The justices said: "Despite the sympathy that we, like the members of the Divisional Court (High Court), feel for the appellants and other women in their position, we are satisfied that this is not a case where the court can interfere with the decisions taken through the Parliamentary process.

"It is impossible to say that the Government's decision to strike the balance where it did between the need to put state pension provision on a sustainable footing and the recognition of the hardship that could result for those affected by the changes was manifestly without reasonable foundation.

“There is no basis for impugning the [high court’s] conclusion that the legislation equalising and then raising the state pension age was justified. The [high court was] right to approach the issue on the basis that this legislation operates in a field of macro-economic policy where the decision-making power of parliament is very great.”

There have been major protests across Scotland over the 'discrimination' ahead of the legal challenge.

Women have been campaigning for the last five years against a rise in the state pension age which they say has left them badly out of pocket.

Millions of women across the UK will not receive their state pension when they thought they would.

Women born in the 1950s say the rise in state pension age from 60 to 65, then 66 this year and 67 by 2028 is unfair, claiming they were not given enough time to make adjustments to cope with years without a state pension.

Campaigners from the Back to 60 campaign had taken the UK Government to court in an attempt to force a change to the policy.

Last June judges ruled that the change in policy was not discriminatory and that women impacted were not entitled to compensation or payment for the years of lost state pension.

Lawyers for the claimants had argued that they were indirectly discriminated against compared with men aged between 60 and 65 because the lack of a state pension in those years affects women more disadvantageously than it affects men: a higher proportion of women in that age group need the state pension to pay for their basic living costs than men.

The three judges also said that although there was evidence many women, such as the claimants, had not realised they were affected by the legislation until shortly before they reached 60, it was impossible to conclude that the notice provided to the their age group had been inadequate or unreasonable.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman welcomed the ruling, saying: “Both the high court and court of appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, finding we acted entirely lawfully and did not discriminate on any grounds.

“The claimants argued that they were not given adequate notice of the changes to state pension age. We are pleased the court decided that due notice was given and the claimants’ arguments must fail.

“The government decided 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality. Raising state pension age in line with life expectancy changes has been the policy of successive administrations over many years.”