The state pension was introduced in 1909 with the same pension age for everyone. In 1940 the age of entitlement for women was reduced from 65 to 60 but retained at 65 for men. The Pensions Act 1995 provided that a woman born before 6 April 1950 would still receive her state pension at age 60 but a woman born after that date would receive her pension on a specified date when she was aged between 60 and 65, depending on her date of birth. The relevant provisions are contained in section 126 of, and Part 1 of Schedule 4 to, that Act. The Pensions Acts 2007, 2011 and 2014 then accelerated the move to age 65 as the state pension age for women and raised the state pension age for some men and women to 66, 67 or 68 depending on their date of birth.
This appeal was whether the Pensions Acts enacted between 1995 and 2014 which equalised the state pension age for men and women and then raised the state pension age for both genders gives rise to unlawful discrimination either directly on the basis of age or indirectly on the basis of gender or a combination of age and gender.
The Court unanimously dismisses the appeal, holding that adopting the same state pension age for men and women does not amount to unlawful discrimination under either EU law or the Human Rights Convention.
The Court considers whether there is any legal obligation on the Respondent to notify people of the change to their pension age and holds that in any event the Divisional Court was entitled to conclude on the evidence that the publicity campaign implemented by the DWP had been adequate and reasonable.
Finally, the Court holds that the application for judicial review had
15 September 2020 been made substantially out of time and the long delay in bringing the proceedings would have precluded the grant of any remedy even if the grounds of challenge had been made out.