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Government confirms a pause to pension improvements

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​Back in September 2018, HM Treasury confirmed 'central assumptions' that outlined how the valuation of all public sector schemes should be undertaken this year.

The valuation resulted in the need for members of the TPS career average scheme to receive improved pension benefits for employment from April 2019 until at least April 2023

However, the government has announced a pause to this element of the valuation of public service pensions, following a court ruling on part of the 2015 pension reforms.

In December, the Court of Appeal ruled that protections for older workers who were part of the 2015 reforms discriminated against younger employees who had been transferred to less beneficial schemes. The government is now seeking permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. If this is unsuccessful, the government will be required to take steps to be taken to compensate employees who were transferred to the new schemes.

As such the government has decided to pause improvements to member benefits until "there is certainty about the value of pensions to employees from April 2015 onwards."

If its appeal to the Supreme Court is successful, the government has confirmed that it will implement the "changes to employee benefits as planned". If the government is defeated, employees will be compensated in a way that "satisfies the judgement".  It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will hear this case quickly if it accepts it, this means that the judgement in this case could come as late as 2020.

NAHT will work with the Department for Education in relation to these proposed changes in order to put forward the best possible position for our members.

The employer contribution increase, expected in September 2019, will continue as planned. NAHT is campaigning to ensure full funding for schools to support the increases. 

First published 12 February 2019