Dorset woman does not know how she will survive if appeal against state pension changes fails

  • Report by Ben McGrail

A Dorset woman says she does not know how she will survive if an appeal against the government's changes to the state pension age changes is rejected.

Millions of women who were born in the 1950s have been affected by the move which brings the age in line with men.

One woman has told ITV News the extended wait for her payments has left her needing to use food banks.

Susan Scott, from Blandford Forum in Dorset, is one of millions of women born in the 1950s who has had to wait longer for her state pension because of a change in government policy.

She said: "I have sixteen months until I can retire and the biggest thing that scares me tis how am I going to survive?

"In this country our pension are £8,000 a year whereas in Germany they’re £26,000. I’ve got something like 43 years paid in, so where has that money gone? Because the government didn’t pay into it - I did and my employer.

"So the question is: what have they done with that money?"

Pauline Hinder says she has had to rely on food banks to get by without a state pension Credit: ITV News West Country

John Major’s government made the state pension age the same for men and women, saying it was a move towards gender equality. They scheduled it to happen gradually between 2010 and 2020.

Pauline Hinder, from Berkeley in Gloucestershire, says she has missed out on tens of thousands of pounds.

Having fought cancer twice, she says money has been so short she has had to rely on food banks.

Pauline said: "When these changes were made in 1995 nobody was looking at the internet, any ordinary person.

"It makes me feel devalued because of my gender, because I’m a woman, and they’ve also tried to make it latterly an inter-generational thing that young people are having to pay for older people like me and that’s ‘not fair’.

"When I was working I was paying, I think it’s about six weeks later, my national insurance was paying somebody else’s pension. So it’s always been an inter-generational thing."

Campaigners lost a High Court judicial review into the state pension changes in 2019 but have appealed in the Court of Appeal Credit: ITV News

In October 2019 the 'Back To 60' campaign lost a judicial review for women to be reimbursed - the High Court ruling the government was not discriminating.

This year the case was taken to the Court of Appeal and the judgment is due to be announced on Tuesday 15 September.

The campaign’s founder, Joanne Welch, says the fight has created a strong community.

She said: "Their mental health went from ‘I can’t cope’ to now they are like warriors, many of them.

"We’re not having this and we demand full restitution and we won’t accept crumbs."

The Department for Work and Pensions declined an interview, saying it "does not comment on ongoing court cases".