Thousands of Scarborough women hit by High Court state pension ruling

Nearly four million women born between April 6 1950 and April 5 1960 have been affected by the pension changes.
Nearly four million women born between April 6 1950 and April 5 1960 have been affected by the pension changes.

Thousands of women from Scarborough could be affected by a High Court ruling rejecting a challenge against controversial changes to the state pension age.

Nearly four million women born between April 6 1950 and April 5 1960 have been affected by the changes, made by successive governments, to raise the state pension age for women from 60 to 66.

Approximately 8,400 in Scarborough were born within that period, according to the latest population estimates.

And at least 57% of them are yet to hit their state pension age, meaning they will still not be in receipt of a state pension.

Initial government plans would have seen the pension age rise in phases, from 60 in 2010 to 65 in 2020.

But in 2010, the coalition government accelerated the plans, raising the retirement age to 65 in 2018 and 66 by 2020.

Campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality argues the changes have caused financial hardship for hundreds of thousands of women, who may struggle to find suitable employment.

Many were not allowed to join private company pension schemes until the 1990s, it said, while others are carers or in poor health.

In a statement after the ruling, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a terrible blow for the millions of women who will have been hoping for a very different outcome. The decision to hike the state pension age with next to no notice didn’t just throw their retirement plans up in the air, it also left many women on lower incomes really struggling to make ends meet.”

Campaigners have now called on Parliament to intervene on their behalf.

A DWP spokesman welcomed the judgement, adding: “It has always been our view that the changes we made to women’s state pension age were entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds.

“The court decided that arguments the claimants were not given adequate notice of changes to the state pension age could not be upheld.”

He added that raising the state pension age in line with changes to life expectancy had been the policy of successive governments over many years.