In 2019, a group of women lost a High Court case against the DWP relating to the increase of the state pension age for women from 60 to 65. They claimed that the increase was discriminatory on the grounds of sex and age. They also asserted that they were not given enough notice of the changes to enable them to organise their affairs as they would be waiting for a number of years before their pension rights kicked in.
To the surprise of many, the court found that there was no direct discrimination on the grounds of sex and indeed, the court said: 'Rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men.'
The issue is an important one, not least because it affects some 3.5m women. The state pension age rises to 66 for men and women in 2020.
In an interesting development which will no doubt hearten many, the group has won its right to appeal the judgement and the matter will go to the Court of Appeal in the middle of 2020.
If the judgement goes in favour of the women, it will no doubt cost the government millions of pounds. It is an issue that we will no doubt return to.
Anyone who thinks that they might be affected, should consider their position and if in doubt, take specialist advice.