This guidance explains the changes being made to public sector pension schemes following a Court of Appeal judgement in December 2018 that ruled that transitional protection in the firefighters’ and judges’ occupational pension schemes gave rise to unlawful age discrimination – it has since been accepted that this discrimination was applicable to all public sector pension schemes including the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and LGPS. Please note: members in the Isle of Man and the Crown Protectorates do not have this issue as these public sector pension schemes were not amended in the same discriminatory way.
The crux of the issue was that pension schemes introduced rules where members near their normal retirement age could stay in the legacy schemes (final salary schemes) whereas other younger members were forced to move to the 2015 schemes (career average schemes), and this was ruled as discrimination.
This guidance explains how the government is going to address the discrimination and also confirms that all members of public sector pension schemes, even members who believed they were protected and able to remain in their original final salary schemes, will move to a career average scheme from April 2022 for future service benefits. Please note all pension benefits earned up until April 2022 will be protected.
First published 03 June 2021