Updated Direct Discrimination: Former Judge Jocelynne Scutt’s report published on the 50swomen pension delay

Former judge Jocelynne Scutt today published her full report on the plight of 1950s women who have waited up to six years to get their delayed pension. As expected it provides copious arguments why the women have been cheated, why the 50swomen were the first group targeted and contains some heart rending cases. You can download the report here. It is a large file as the report runs to 155 pages including appendices.

Here is the entire speech by Jocelynne Scutt to MPs in Parliament this week. This explains the logic of her argument.

The full speech from Jocelynne Scutt to MPs

Some 3.8 million women suffered direct discrimination by the Tory government’s decision in 1995 to raise the pension age, of women to 65 and then 66, MPs and peers will be told at a briefing in Parliament today.

This is the main finding of a big report by Jocelynne Scutt, a former Australian judge who served on the Fiji bench and was Tasmania’s first Anti Discrimination Commissioner. She now teaches law at the University of Buckingham and is a member of both the Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party and is a Labour councillor in Cambridge.

Her report followed a hearing by the CEDAWinLAW People’s Tribunal last July which specifically looked into the plight of 50sborn women where some of the women and Dr Elgun Safarov, vice chair of the UN Convention for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls (CEDAW) from Geneva, gave evidence. The UN committee is currently challenging the UK government to explain its failure to write the convention into UK law some 36 years after Margaret Thatcher ratified it.

The ruling in the report to be published in due course is much tougher than the case put forward by two members of BackTo60 in the court hearings following the judicial review. Then lawyers argued that the women had suffered indirect discrimination as their opportunities to pay contributions into the National Insurance fund, among other issues, to qualify for a full pension were not equal with men.

Jocelynne Scutt argues that this was not indirect discrimination but direct discrimination of a specific group of women who had been singled out to wait for their pension while everyone else was unaffected. It has also to be taken into account that 9.8 million men over 60 who decided not to claim unemployment benefit were given free auto-credits which ensured that nearly all got a full pension for life. It was going to be offered to women until 2018 but that idea was swiftly scrapped.

Every one of these women – many who have worked since the age of 15 as well as bringing up a family- was promised by the government when they started work that they could retire at 60 and planned to do so. And given the Department for Work and Pensions told the courts that it was not obliged under the 1995 Act to tell them personally this had changed – this only came in when men were affected by a rise in their retirement age.

Jocelynne Scutt has already delivered the report to Rishi Sunak at Downing Street. She argues that 50s women were treated unfavourably from the start. The 1995 decision did not affect any women born in the 1940s, targeted the 1950s women while those born in 1960s and 1970s onwards had much longer to adjust. The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report agrees there was partial maladministration in that 50s women were not properly informed. In fact hardly anyone was properly informed until it all changed with men and women facing a rise in their pension age to 66.

Full restitution must be honoured – Jocelynne Scutt

Jocelynne Scutt says “Government and Parliament have a responsibility to face up to and acknowledge the grave wrong done. There is no room for obfuscation or quibbling. Historical discrimination requires relief. There is a moral imperative to right this wrong. The law is on the side of the 1950s-born women. 1950sborn women alone are the group targeted. This is a debt of law and honour. Full restitution is the only proper legal, ethical and moral outcome. Full restitution must be honoured.

The briefing is in the House of Commons at 2.0pm today.

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23 thoughts on “Updated Direct Discrimination: Former Judge Jocelynne Scutt’s report published on the 50swomen pension delay

  1. There are other factors that never seem to be discussed either. Any additional pension earned on top of basic state pension was wiped out by the DWP in 2016. Although I receive the new pension I am deducted £16.76 per month for being contracted out for 1 year. Because my pension was delayed I cashed in a small work pension to pay to alter my house to accommodate a ground floor WC and a shower in the bathroom to assist with my disabilities. So it’s ok for them to make this deduction but steal my additional pension. A friend who is on basic pension gets topped up with pension credit and received more than me, the whole system is completely scandalous!

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  2. Im a 1950s woman and suffered terribly because I didn’t get my pension. I am divorced and had no one to support me as a direct result I got seriously ill and had to go to food banks for over a year, I struggled with my mental health as a result . I want my money NOW, I’ve worked since I was 15. I was never informed .

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    • Did you never watch the news or pick up a newspaper in 1995? The rise in women’s SPA was widely reported. I really don’t understand all these claims from women that they were uninformed.

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      • What was reported was not accessible to women who didn’t read the financial times! Letters should have been sent as each woman’s financial position was different according to their own ins contributions record. I worked for the employment service at that time and the information wasn’t widely known and then was changed again in subsequent years. Men got 6 years of national insurance payments made free, but women were excluded from that. The disparity and inequity in men and 50’s women’s treatment is already causing women to die younger! It’s in the official records!

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      • I was never told, or read papers I was busy working trying to keep a roof over my head having just gone through a divorce.

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      • If you read the history of this case you would. The bottom line is that despite this being reported in some newspapers, it is clear that women have been discriminated against in this case.

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  3. This is very good news if it’s listened to.
    50s Women have definitely been discriminated against. I left school and started working full-time at the age of 15. and being a female wasn’t allowed to join a pension scheme. unlike my male colleagues. even working part-time. you could not join a pension scheme either. Plus, doing the same job as a male you got less pay in those days. when males get their stamps paid from 60 so they still get a full pension at 65, and women get nothing but 6 years extra to work till their 66 as l did. Without being told and nearing age 60 is blatant discrimination. And definitely NO Equality to speak of. Its taken 7 years for anyone in Parliament to listen or accept 50s women even exist , so I am not building any Hopes up just for them to be shattered again.. thankyou David for keeping us up to date and all your support in this. it is appreciated very much.

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  4. “Jocelynne Scutt argues that this was not indirect discrimination but direct discrimination of a specific group of women who had been singled out to wait for their pension while everyone else was unaffected.”

    Sorry but this is total nonsense and will not be taken seriously. Every woman born 6th April 1950 onwards was affected with women born in the 60s and 70s also having age 60 as their SPA when starting work.

    Those women may have had slightly longer to adjust but with an SPA of 67 and 68 you could argue that they are more seriously affected.

    So much for CEDAWinLaw looking to protect ALL women. Seems that they’re only interested in 50s’ women.

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    • How are the 60s/70s cohort more seriously affected than those born in 1950s? Why are you so derogatory about this process?

      Have you listened to the submission to the committee here?

      Or the summary by Jocelynne Scutt when delivering the Judge’s Report EDM430 to Prime Minister 2nd November 2022 here?

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      • Yes I listened to both. She claims that no-one other than 50s’ women were affected by the age rises and that no-one else has donated monies ( presumably their pension from age 60) to the Government.

        50s’ born women, SPA was 60 and is now for many 66.

        60s’ born women, SPA was 60 and is now for many 67. 60s’ women began turning 60 in 2020 and didn’t receive their pension as they expected.

        70s’ born women, SPA was 60 and is now for many 68.

        Can you explain why they are not affected in a similar ( if not worse way as they have to wait even longer than 50s’ born women) way?

        Unless some serious and sensible answers can be given to this question, any report can be easily dismissed.

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  5. Thank you all so much for supporting us. David you are an absolute stalwart! I am one of those ladies, born 1956 and worked at fifteen, had everything in my life set out for when I got a pension, then with hardly any notice my pension forecast date was taken, and I had to work another six years and pay another 6 years NI. Now I have just started receiving it I cannot manage on it so have to still work three days a week to cope with the cost-of-living etc. I started work 51 years ago and have never been unemployed yet now we have the little bit of pension, six years late and nearly £58k short I have to pay so much tax on the little I earn as state pension comes out of my personal allowance. This is just not acceptable, if I had that when it was due, I would not have to work now and probably will have to work until well into my seventies to manage.

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  6. Discrimination in more ways than one.
    Age,Contributions.
    I worked paying full stamp for 45 years for £145.00 a week. Now 30 years for £185.00 how is this right.

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  7. Dear David Thank you very much indeed for the email re: 1950’s women and Jocelyn Scutt’s report. I wanted to thank you again for all the wonderful support you have shown by raising awareness of this debacle and sharing the information. I have passed on the article to my friends who like myself have been adversely affected by the sudden change of retirement age fur a certain group of targeted women. I have made several contributions to your website and will continue to do so.

    I have returned to my maiden name and am officially Miss Julie Evans. I wouldn’t want to miss any of your messages, though it appears I am still receiving under my old address of jules_colling@yahoo.co.uk. Please note my new email address is jules11evans@gmail.com Kind Regards Julie Evans

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  8. My wife turned 60 in March 2022 and has been told she has to work until 67
    Another SEVEN years until she can retire and receive the state pension
    DISGRACE

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  9. I was 66 in November , the first notification I had with regard to my pension was at the end of September advising how much I will receive. As yet I have not received anything. I will be contacting DWP to find out where my pension is being deposited . For the last 6 years we have used our savings. I retired at 57 as I was caring for 3 elderly relatives all in their 80’s one of whom had altzeimers, it was very hard . I was advised that I could not claim carers allowance as I was in receipt of a small company pension. Only to find out much later that I could have claimed and had my NI stamp paid . I have been misinformed or with regard to my state pension not informed all. We have been treated like second class citizens it is totally unfair and I have lost thousands for which I worked hard all my life.

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