Britain's High Court has decided that almost 4 million women born in the 1950s are not entitled to restitution for money they lost out on when the pension age was raised from 60 to 66.
The BackTo60 campaign argued that women affected by the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Act changes were unfairly treated by hikes in the state pension age to 66 between 2010 and 2020.
Joanne Welch, from the BackTo60 campaign, told the Guardian: "Many women did not find out about the changes to the pension rules until they went to get their pension or were finally sent an official letter 16 years after the changes were made, leaving them with no time to make alternative financial arrangements."
This ruling will come as a bitter blow to the millions of women who had been hoping the Courts would roll back the tide on state pension age increases."
State pension age changes are unlikely to stop at age 66 - plans are already in place to increase the retirement age to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2039, which means that future retirees will need to plan for a world where the state provides less in retirement.
The judges, in a summary of their decision, said: "There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law. Rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men."
Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, commented: "The High Court's decision to dismiss claims made by campaign groups that the state pension age rise was discriminatory will be a blow to women born in the 1950s. It had been claimed that if the equalisation of state pension ages between men and women were to be reversed it could cost the government in excess of £180bn, so from their perspective they will be very relieved, particularly given current concerns about state pension funding as it is."
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: "This ruling will come as a bitter blow to the millions of women who had been hoping the Courts would roll back the tide on state pension age increases.
"The financial impact of having to wait up to 6 more years to receive the state pension is significant and for many just scraping by it has pushed them into serious financial hardship.
Selby added: "While some of these stories are heart-breaking, increases in the state pension age have been a long time coming and are deemed necessary to ensure the costs borne by younger taxpayers don't spiral out of control."
The full ruling can be read here.