A large group of women born in the 1950s were recently given the bad news that their efforts to fight delays in their state pension have been rejected by the High Court.
These women - as many as 3.8m - have seen the age at which they are entitled to a state pension rise from 60 to as high as 66 in some cases. The increases have been imposed by successive governments and for different reasons. Many other people are also affected, but none as much as this group of women.
The case heard earlier this month argued that the increases were not communicated properly, meaning many have been forced to tear up their plans for retirement at short notice and work many years beyond their expected retirement date.
The first plans for increases in state pension age for women were made in 1995, when a process of equalising the retirement ages of men and women began. Before then women had been able to get their state pension at age 60 but this was gradually raised in stages until 2018, when the state pension age for both men and women reached 65.
But further increases for both sexes were confirmed in 2011, meaning some women had to wait even longer. Campaigners have argued that the double-impact of the increases in 1995 and 2011 have fallen disproportionately on this group of women, many of whom will have suffered gaps in their state pension entitlement already because they had taken time out of work to care for children or relatives.
The case may have further to run, with an appeal against the ruling expected. The episode underlines the importance of the state pension - and of knowing exactly when you should expect to receive it.
What will you get - and when?
The state pension is the backbone of most retirement plans - the money is guaranteed and will form the bulk of retirement income for most people. The current full state pension is £168.60 a week - or £8,767.20 a year.
To get the full entitlement you need to have made National Insurance (NI) contributions for 35 years, either from working and paying NI, or through NI credits that can be claimed if you cannot work - for example because of illness or disability, or if you’re a carer or you’re unemployed.
You can check what state pension you’re in line for by using this government tool.
The tool will also tell you at what age you will be able to claim your state pension - vital information for making your retirement plans.
Find out if you are on the right road to retirement and read more on how you can make you’re your retirement savings last here.
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Withdrawals from a pension product will not be possible until you reach age 55. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.