Defined Benefit  

Judges and firefighters to get pre-2015 pensions

Judges and firefighters to get pre-2015 pensions

Younger members of public sector pension schemes who have been discriminated against by the government’s 2015 pension reforms will be treated as participants of the original pension funds.

The announcement was made by the Fire Brigades Union in a circular to its members on Tuesday (November 26), quoting a document from the HM Treasury McCloud steering group. The government has confirmed this stance.

According to the update, the government has agreed an interim declaration with claimants after they won their court case in December last year, when the Court of Appeal found the government had discriminated against the two groups on the grounds of age, race and equal pay in relation to changes to their pensions.

The update stated: “The declarations mean that the claimants are entitled to be treated as members of the appropriate pre-2015 schemes.

“The government intends to extend the same treatment to all members of the public service pension schemes (whether claimants or not) who are in the same legal and factual position of the claimants.”

A preliminary hearing to discuss the remedies in the firefighter’s case has been set for December 18.

The court case relates to a dispute started in March 2015, when the DB pension schemes for judges and firefighters were closed, and the members transferred into a replacement scheme.

Transitional provisions were put in place, which allowed older judges and firefighters to remain members of the old schemes, either until retirement or until the end of a period of tapered protection, dependent on their age.

In June, the Supreme Court refused the government’s application to appeal the court case, which marked the end of the legal process.

In July, the government confirmed the ruling will apply to all public sector schemes, with an initial estimate that remedying the discrimination will add about £4bn a year in liabilities across the board.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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