TENS of thousands of Gwent women could be affected by a High Court ruling rejecting a challenge against controversial changes to the state pension age.

In 2010 the then-coalition government accelerated the increase of the age at which women can claim their state pension to 66, to bring it in line with men. This meant some women born in the 1950s faced having to work longer than they had previously planned before being able to claim their pension, with many claiming they were not given enough time to plan accordingly.

The move, which saw the retirement age increase to 65 last year - two years earlier than previously planned - has affected around four million women in the UK, including around 34,000 in Gwent.

In Newport, 8,100 women were born in the 1950s and face being hit by the changes, with 60 per cent - around 4,800 - yet to reach the age at which they can claim their pensions. In Caerphilly the numbers are even greater, with 10,000 women born within the time period, and about 5,900 - or 59 per cent - are yet to be able to claim their state pension.


In Monmouth 6,600 women are affected, with around 3,700, 57 per cent, yet to be able to claim their entitlement, while in Torfaen 5,800 women are impacted, while 3,300, 58 per cent, of these have not yet reached pension age. And in Blaenau Gwent the plan has affected 4,100 women, of whom 2,400, or 59 per cent, cannot yet claim their state pension.

Although two women – Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 63 – launched a legal challenge against the changes, last week this was dismissed by the High Court.

Among their supporters was Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, who said: “The outcome in the High Court last week was a disappointing one for the millions of 1950s women affected by the accelerated changes to the state pension age, but I know their determination to fight the injustice they have faced has not been dimmed.

South Wales Argus:

Jessica Morden

“I’ll continue to work with local campaigners and colleagues on the All Party Parliamentary Group for State Pension Inequality for Women to look at what can be done to support the women affected.”

The High Court judges stated: “The wider issues raised by the claimants, about whether these choices were right or wrong or good or bad, are not for us; they are for members of the public and their elected representatives.

"There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law.

"Rather, it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men."

The state pension age for women will rise to 66 next year.