The Back to 60 movement, which aims to restore the state pension age to 60 for women, is gaining significant momentum in its fight for equal pension age. The movement, led by a group of women born in the 1950s, has been campaigning for several years to address what they see as an injustice and inequality in the state pension system.
The issue at the heart of the movement is the gradual increase in the state pension age for women, which was accelerated by the 1995 Pensions Act and the subsequent 2011 Act. The changes meant that women born in the 1950s had their state pension age increased from 60 to 66, in line with men, effectively resulting in a loss of up to six years’ worth of pension entitlements.
Proponents of the Back to 60 movement argue that this sudden increase in pension age was implemented without proper notice or adequate transitional arrangements, leaving many women in financial hardship. They claim that these changes disproportionately affected lower-income women who were unable to plan for the delayed retirement and are now struggling to make ends meet.
Over the past few years, the movement has gathered a considerable following and gained the support of various prominent figures and organizations. The Back to 60 campaign group has managed to secure a judicial review in 2019, arguing that the changes were discriminatory, but unfortunately lost the case. Despite this setback, the movement has continued to fight for justice and equality.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of public attention and support for the cause. Celebrities such as Amanda Abbington and Julie Graham have voiced their support for Back to 60, highlighting the societal impact of the pension age changes on women. Activists have been rallying on social media, organizing protests, and putting pressure on politicians to address the issue.
The movement has also gained political support, with the Labour Party pledging in their 2019 general election manifesto to conduct a review of the state pension age and consider options for restoring pension justice for women affected by the changes. Additionally, a cross-party parliamentary group has been formed to address the concerns of the Back to 60 campaign.
The fight for equal pension age remains ongoing, but the momentum gained by the Back to 60 movement suggests that the issue will not be easily swept under the rug. Women affected by the changes are tireless in their pursuit of justice, demanding that the government takes responsibility for the impact its decisions have had on their lives and financial well-being.
As the movement continues to grow, it is critical for policymakers to listen to the concerns of those affected and take meaningful action. While the government has argued that equal pension ages are fair and necessary in the face of an aging population, it cannot ignore the real and tangible hardships faced by a significant number of women due to the sudden changes.
Ultimately, the Back to 60 movement represents a broader struggle for gender equality and social justice, highlighting the need for fair pension policies that do not disproportionately disadvantage women. Whether or not the state pension age will be restored to 60 for affected women remains to be seen, but what is certain is that the fight for equal pension age is far from over.