UK govt to launch consultation following McCloud case

The UK government plans to launch a consultation on addressing age discrimination identified in the McCloud court case while ensuring members keep all their benefits.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, in response to a parliamentary question, Economic Secretary, John Glen, said that schemes are currently discussing “high level proposals” with employer and member representatives to address these concerns.

These discussions will “inform a full public consultation”, he noted.

In December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of firefighters and judges who argued that changes to their pensions constituted to unlawful age discrimination and confirmed that the ruling would be applied across all public sector schemes.

The changes, imposed in 2015, stipulated that older firefighters and judges could stay in the existing and better pension scheme, and younger members had to transfer to a new and worse scheme, causing financial losses.

Glen added: “The government has committed to addressing the discrimination identified in McCloud in all public service pension schemes, while ensuring all members can keep their accrued benefits.

“In addition, Employment Tribunals are considering the remedy for claimants in the various cases.”

Labour MP for Wirral South, Alison McGovern, had asked when the 2016 valuations for public sector pension schemes would resume, after they were paused in January 2019 due to the uncertainty around benefit entitlements following the McCloud ruling.

Glen responded: “While these processes are underway, the cost control mechanism remains paused as the value of pension schemes to members cannot be assessed with certainty.”

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