A HEARING in the Court of Appeal later this month will have far-reaching implications for the 200,000 women in Wales born in the 1950s.

The hearing, listed for July 21, is crucial for the 5,000 women in Ceredigion who have been denied up to six years of the State Pensions they paid into throughout their working lives.

The Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011 gave very little notice of this major change to their financial positions after the age of 60.

In June last year the case was heard for the first time in the High Court, brought by the Back To 60 Campaign and led by Michael Mansfield QC.

The High Court announced in October that the women’s case of sex and age discrimination had been rejected “on all grounds”. A fresh hearing will now take place in the Court of Appeal.

“This is a more senior court,” said Pamela Judge, of Ceredigion Women Against State Pension Injustice (WASPI). “The justices have committed to looking at all the legal grounds again. WASPI groups all over the UK, including here in Ceredigion, have contributed to the costs of bringing the case. We are very hopeful that this time the judgement will go in our favour.”

Last June WASPI members took to the streets of Cardigan and Aberystwyth in suffragette clothing to highlight the court hearing. Senedd Member Elin Jones marched with them.

“I really hope that this time 1950s women will get the justice they deserve,” she said.

“They have been treated very unfairly. They paid into the National Insurance fund for decades, only to be told at the last minute that they would have to wait several more years for the pensions they were relying on from age 60.”

Meanwhile, Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has written again to the Chancellor supporting calls for 1950s women to have early access to their pensions and pension credit.

In a second letter to Rishi Sunak, Mr Lake asks for support for the thousands of WASPI women in Ceredigion and the 3.8 million 1950s women UK-wide, who have been severely affected not only by the current COVID-19 crisis but also by the rise in their State Pension Age.

“The coronavirus outbreak is having a disproportionate impact on 1950s-born women who are already suffering severe hardship, and now find themselves in an even more challenging position”, said Mr Lake. “Many 1950s women are working through financial necessity rather than choice, often in jobs they struggle to do.

“Making State Pension and Pension Credit available now to 1950s women would free up the jobs they occupy and allow the younger generation and the unemployed to enter the workplace rather than claiming welfare benefits.

“Furthermore, allowing 1950s women to access their State Pension would also release them to help with the childcare of their grandchildren, allowing parents to go back to work."

Mrs Judge added: “We thank Ben for continuing to press our cause with the government. It is very disappointing the Chancellor didn’t reply to his letter in April. Let’s hope he pays attention now and adopts these practical measures to help get the economy back on its feet.”

For more information contact waspiceredigion@gmail.com or follow Waspi Ceredigion on Facebook.