Court ruling allows widow to claim state pension at 65, not 67

old couple pensioners ageA 60-year-old widow has won the right to a state pension at the age of 65, even though she should not be officially entitled to one until she reaches 67.

The woman, from the Frisian town of Joure, has health issues and will lose her right to widow’s benefits when she turns 65. She has too many assets to qualify for welfare benefits to fill the gap until she reaches 67 and faced a two-year income stop.

Judges in Leeuwarden said the pension gap would place an ‘unreasonably heavy burden’ on the woman and ruled she should receive her state pension (AOW) when she turns 65. The social insurance bank is considering an appeal.

However, the ruling does not open the door to thousands of claims, news magazine Elsevier points out. Her specific individual circumstances are crucial and in a 2014 case, involving a soldier who took early retirement, went against the claimant, the magazine says.

Tens of thousands of people who took early retirement and expected to get a state pension at 65 have been hit by the increase in the pension age. Most early retirement schemes stop payments at 65.

The cabinet has introduced a basic bridging benefit but this is subject to strict asset tests.

MPs want junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma to look into the implications of the ruling and what it means for conditions attached to the bridging benefit.

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