Almost four million women born after 1950 were affected by a change in policy that saw the age they receive their pensions jump from 60 to 66.
Two claimants have taken the Department for Work and Pensions to task over this decision, saying they are being put at a disadvantage compared with men and that they were not given enough notice to prepare for the changes.
Representing the women, Michael Mansfield QC told the court that those born in the 1950s have already been the victims of “considerable inequalities in the workplace”, and that many were nearing their expected pension age of 60 when they were told they would not receive it for six more years.
Elaine Hague, 61, told the Independent she was “absolutely disgusted with the government”.
“I’ve worked all my life, since I was 16, and I feel totally humiliated …,” she added. “The men I worked with were seen as the breadwinners, and they got company cars, occupational pensions, private healthcare – none of which were available to us. Now they’ve stolen our pensions – it’s degrading, it’s just common theft.”
Nicolette Collins, 63, hit back at the government’s defence that it was “equalising” pension ages between men and women.
“I was asked at job interviews in the ’70s ‘When are you going to have children? Why should we employ you, because you will go off and have a family?'” she said
“When I got pregnant, my job wasn’t held open for me. We have had the inequality throughout our working life and then, at the end of the day, you are suddenly told ‘This is equality’ when they basically snatch £50,000 off you.”