Millions of women’s state pension age rises are set to be fought in the Court of Appeal after campaigners won permission for a new hearing.
Women lost a landmark High Court battle “on all grounds” in October against rises to their pension age – which they say left many penniless and retirements ruined.
But the Back to 60 group now says it has now won permission to contest the ruling in the Court of Appeal.
The case now has a new urgency as one of the two women making the claim, 61-year-old Julie Delve, is being treated for breast cancer.
A date for the Court of Appeal hearing has not yet been set. Legal fees will be paid with the help of £80,000 in crowdfunding online.
It comes after years of battles for around 3.8million women born in the 1950s, who are having their state pension age hiked so it reaches 66 by this autumn.
Ministers say the change is to make women’s retirement age equal to men’s – and would cost £181bn to fully reverse.
Two women took legal action saying the rises were unlawful age and sex discrimination and came with too little notice. But two judges at the High Court dismissed their claim.
The Back to 60 campaign – which brought the case – says women had a “legitimate expectation” to receive their pension aged 60 and demands “the return of those earned dues”.
Separately, Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is calling for “fair transitional arrangements” to help women financially, but not a full return to age 60.
Back to 60 spokeswoman Joanne Welch said: “The issue is about pensions but it’s also about women’s rights. The 1950s women have suffered, they experienced all of life’s inequalities. Why should they carry the City on their backs?”
Before October’s ruling, Boris Johnson said he would “return to this issue with fresh vigour and new eyes and see what I can do to sort it out.”
But during the election campaign he said he “would love to magic a solution” but it is “very expensive” to sort out.
He added: “I’m going to be honest with you tonight. I cannot promise that I can magic up that money for you tonight. All the demands the WASPI women have made.
“It is not possible to satisfy all the demands of the WASPI women. I’ll put my hands up and confess that.”
Ms Welch told the Mirror: “Boris Johnson promised to look at it with fresh eyes and new vigour.
“We are holding him to that undertaking and it’s very important because the court has recognised that we can appeal on all grounds.”
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) declined to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.
Previously a DWP spokesman said: “We welcome the High Court’s judgment. It has always been our view that the changes we made to women’s State Pension age were entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds.
“The Court decided that arguments the claimants were not given adequate notice of changes to the state pension age could not be upheld.
“This follows the extensive communications that DWP made to publicise these changes over many years.
“The government decided in 1995 that it was going to make the State Pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality. Raising State Pension age in line with life expectancy changes has been the policy of successive administrations over many years.”