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Judicial review begins this week into handling of women's pensions

Demonstration in London in 2016 Photo:

Women from across the region are anxiously awaiting the outcome of a landmark case to overturn rules that have raised the women's pension age by as much as six years.

Those in their 50s and 60s are due to protest in the capital tomorrow (Wednesday) to show support. The Judicial Review at the High Court will decide if the increase - from 60 years to 66 - is being done fairly.

The government says it is a long-overdue move towards gender equality and changes have been clearly communicated,

However campaigners from the Back to 60 Campaign say it's created a "monumental injustice" and left tens of thousands of women in hardship.

Davina Lloyd from the group said: "Women with no notice at all were suddenly told they would have to wait another six years - if they had done that to men there would have been riots on the streets."

Yvonne Robinson Credit: §

Yvonne Robinson from near Fleet in Hampshire had to go back to work after the rules changed, She will have to carry on working four days a week until she's 66 years old - six years longer than she had planned. She says the changes mean she has lost £45,000,

She says: "I'm the oldest one there [at work]. We laugh really because I shouldn't be there. I should be at home."

Yvonne Robinson and other women say they weren't notified or given enough time to plan for changes that raise the age at which they can claim their pension of up to £168 per week.

Campaigners say divorce settlements were decided on the basis of women getting a state pension income at 60, women retired early or took redundancy based on the same expectation only to find it had been pushed back.

"If they'd given us ten years' notice like they should have done then I might have made a lot different decisions than we did," said Yvonne.

According to campaigners, the timetable for changes - which was announced and then accelerated - means women born in the early 50s are disproportionally affected.

2016 demonstrations by WASPI

Another group called Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is also fighting the government on different grounds.

They say though pension rules were changed many women weren't informed.

With the population living longer the government has been increasing the age at which anyone can receive a state pension since 2010.

From October 2020 it will be 66 for both men and women, Getting to that point has meant a phased system with the age gradually rising,

While men have always received a state pension at the age of 65 - meaning an increase of one year - for women it was 60, resulting in a six year rise.

From 2028 the state pension age for both sexes will be 67.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “The government decided more than 20 years ago that it was going to make the State Pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality, and this has been clearly communicated. People are living longer so we need to raise the age at which all of us can draw a State Pension, so it is sustainable now and for future generations."

  • Watch Christine Alsford's report below