A BARROW woman has described how she lost out on £40,000 as a result of changes to women’s state pensions.

Catherine Williams, 65, is one of nearly four million women affected by the Government decision to increase the female retirement age from 60 to as high as 66.

The state pension age was increased, most recently in 2011, in an attempt to ensure “pension age equalisation”, so women’s pension age matched that of men.

Two women have now taken the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to court, arguing that raising their pension age “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined”.

They also claim that they were not given adequate notice in order to be able to adjust.

Mrs Williams explained how the changes to the state pensions left her reliant on her husband's pension.

She explained she would struggle to return to work as a nurse due to not being able to cope with the intense workload as a result of a serious illness she suffered at age 55.

“Over the years, I’ve lost out on around £40,000," she said.

“But it is not always about the money, more about the loss of dignity.

“I have always worked and had my own money, now I am unable to contribute for the first time.

“I am lucky to have my husband and be able to rely on him.

“But some women are not so lucky.”

She said: “There are a lot of women in Barrow who have had to go back to work as a result of the changes.

“I’ve heard about people having to move house as a result."

A DWP spokesman said: “The Government decided more than 20 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality, and this has been clearly communicated.

“We need to raise the age at which all of us can draw a state pension so it is sustainable now and for future generations.”

Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple will hear submissions over two days.