Women’s State Pension Age - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 8:01 pm ar 26 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 8:01, 26 Mawrth 2024

As I made clear earlier, the report came out only on Thursday. We have said very clearly that we want to have enough time to be able to look carefully at all the details in the report. This touches on some of the points that the noble Lord has made.

Could I just say that the story the noble Lord has presented is not entirely the actual story? For example, it is important to remember the state pension age changes were considered by the courts during the ombudsman’s investigation. In 2019 and 2020, the High Court and the Court of Appeal respectively found no fault with the actions of the DWP. The courts made it clear that under successive Governments, dating back to 1995—and I make the point about successive Governments—the action taken was entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds. During these proceedings, the Court of Appeal held that the High Court was entitled to conclude, as a fact, that there had been

“adequate and reasonable notification given by the publicity campaigns implemented by the Department over a number of years”.

Just to add to that, to be helpful to the noble Lord, since 1995 the Government have used various methods to communicate the state pension age changes, including leaflets explaining the legislative changes, advertising campaigns to raise awareness and directly writing to those affected. So I would just make the point that that is one of the complexities and that it is not all as the noble Lord says. As I have made clear before, this is one of many complex issues that we need to look at as a result of the production of this report.