In 2015 The Government introduced reforms to public sector pensions meaning that most public sector workers moved into a new pension scheme in 2015.
A case was brought to the High Court by members of the Judicial and Firefighters’ pension schemes. Their case related to the transitional protection that was offered to members of final salary arrangements when public sector schemes were reformed. Their complaint was on the grounds of age discrimination (that some members who were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age remained in the final salary arrangement while others transitioned into a new arrangement). In December 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled in their favour and said the changes were discriminatory based on age and that the government hadn’t been justified in their decision.
Following the judgment, the Government announced that the ruling will apply to all the main public service schemes, including the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, and has confirmed that any resulting changes to pension arrangements will apply to all members with relevant service, whether or not they have lodged legal claims.
The Government is continuing to develop changes that will address the identified discrimination. At this stage it’s too early to speculate on the outcome of this work, but the Government has committed to ensure every member is treated equally, and that members can keep benefits that they have already accrued.
In the coming weeks, the Department for Education will begin technical discussions with unions, employer organisations and other key stakeholders to factor their views into the proposals. Those discussions will focus on the work the Government has done to identify possible solutions and to inform a formal public consultation that is expected to be launched later this year.
To help ensure members have the correct understanding of what is happening Teachers Pensions have created a factsheet, and they will keep updating their website and the member and employer bulletins with additional information as and when they have it.
The fact sheet can be found on the Teachers Pensions website www.teacherspensions.co.uk
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