State pension anger: Furious 50s woman lashes out in age change row ‘We’ve lost our homes’

Women have been left “disenfranchised” by the “catastrophic” changes to the state pension age, the Court of Appeal has heard. Nearly four million women born in the 1950s have been affected by the changes, introduced by successive governments in an attempt to ensure “pension age equalisation”, which have raised the state pension age from 60 to 66. Caller Sue, from Cardiff, hit out at the change as she told the Jeremy Vine show, Sue said: “I was working all my life and entered into a contract with the Government to retire at 60.

“Unfortunately at 57, I was made redundant and couldn’t get another job.

“I went to the NCWP to make sure I have enough stamps so that I could retire 60 and they said I had paid over 40 years which was more than I needed to but you can’t retire until you’re 66.

“I had no notice!”

She went on to compare her situation to finance expert Louise Cooper on the show.

Sue said: “If I was to tell you in two years time that you couldn’t claim your pension which you were relying on, this is what has happened to us.

“All of us who thought we were going to retire at 60 had no notice.”

She added: “We were working had at low-paid jobs trying to make ends meet, then we had our children. No money to save.

“Then when you work hard all your life and think you can retire in two years you’re actually told no, you’ve got another six years.

“People I know have lost homes, they’re working on the streets.”

Her comments come as women are arguing 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.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the women, said the impact of the state pension age change has been “dramatic”, adding: “This has been catastrophic for this group.”

Speaking at a virtual Court of Appeal hearing on Tuesday morning, Mr Mansfield told three senior judges: “We have a group of essentially, economically and emotionally, disenfranchised women.

“So it is against that background that we do submit that there are grounds for discrimination.”

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Mr Mansfield said that alongside the “economic, almost poverty line existence” that they have to face, there is also the “psychological mental stress placed upon them” which reduces many people unable to even do what they need to do to “make ends meet”.

He referred to “makeshift measures” that women may have to resort to in order to survive, such as selling their home or using up savings.

Mr Mansfield described the six-year wait that women have from 60 to 66 as a “considerable” period of time which translates to a “considerable” sum of money – around the £8,000 mark if it is a full pension, leading to losses that could run up to about £50,000.

Mr Mansfield said it is not uncommon for women in this age group to face “straitened circumstances”, particularly for single women who have had low-paid, part-time jobs.

Last October, Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple dismissed the women’s claim “on all grounds”.

The court rejected the claimants’ argument that the policy was discriminatory based on age, adding that, even if it was, “it could be justified on the facts”, and also dismissed their contention that they were not given adequate notice of the changes.

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