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Teachers' Pensions
Transitional Protection

Transitional Protection

Our Frequently Asked Questions below will help you answer many of your common questions about Transitional Protection.

  • What happens after the consultation has closed?

    Once the consultation closes on 11 October, the government will consider all submissions and publish its response in due course.

    Members who are already affected by this, i.e. retired, part retired, or suffering ill-health, will have their case prioritised. We’ll be in contact with them as soon as we’re able to process cases.

  • What will Teachers’ Pensions be doing after the consultation has closed?

    While we’re waiting for government’s response, we’ll continue to work with the Department for Education on our plans to meet the outcome of the consultation for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

  • When will a member see any changes to their pension?

    It will take some time before any changes to individuals’ pensions are implemented because we need to make amendments to our systems and processes to make it happen, and regulatory changes need to be put in place. Please be assured, information will continue to be shared so members are kept up to date.

  • What were the McCloud and Sargeant court cases about?

    Several judges and firefighters made claims (McCloud and Sargeant cases) in the Employment Tribunal on grounds that the transitional protection offered to older members when schemes were reformed in 2015, which meant they remained in their old pension schemes (Final Salary), was discriminatory. They argued that younger members were treated less favourably than older members who were given transitional protection.

    The Court of Appeal ruled, in December 2018, that transitional protection in the judges’ and firefighters’ pension schemes gave rise to unlawful discrimination.

    In July 2019, the government confirmed that they accepted that the Court of Appeal’s judgment has implications for all the main public service pensions schemes, including teachers, as these schemes also provide transitional protection arrangements for older members.

    In March the government confirmed, in a written ministerial statement which can be found here (This link opens in a new window), that it would address the difference in treatment since 2015 for all affected members regardless of whether they had submitted a legal claim and ensure equal treatment going forwards.

  • What is Transitional Protection?

    Transitional protection allowed members, who were within ten years of their normal retirement age, to remain in their final salary schemes, while other members moved to the new career average schemes in, or after, 2015.

  • What is the Transitional Protection that was provided to some members?

    The government’s proposals to address the discrimination are now subject to public consultation. This is your opportunity to provide views on the proposed options. The consultation ends on 11 October and the government will take decisions following consideration of the consultation responses.

    There has been no decision made as to which option is preferable. That decision will not be made until the consultation process is complete.

     

  • What do I need to do?

    You can read the consultation and provide feedback on anything the government needs to be aware of. This is your opportunity to put forward your views on their proposals to address the discrimination. You can find details on how to respond to the consultation here (This link opens in a new window).

  • What are the changes the government is consulting on?

    The government is consulting on two options to remove the discrimination caused by transitional protection arrangements. Both options provide members in scope with a choice of receiving either their old or new scheme benefits. Full details are set out in the consultation here (This link opens in a new window).

  • Who is in scope of the consultation proposals?

    Scheme members who were in post on or before 31 March 2012 and still in post on or after the 1 April 2015 will be in scope of these proposals. This includes those members who are active, deferred or retired and those with a non-disqualifying break in service of no more than five years. Service from 1 April 2015 until the end of the remedy period (the period of service affected) will be subject to the consultation proposals. The consultation is proposing to bring in legislation to end the remedy period by 1 April 2022.

  • What period of service is covered by the ‘remedy period’?

    The consultation reference to the ‘remedy period’ is the period for which members would be offered the choice as to which scheme their service should be considered under. The consultation states the remedy period will be from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

  • What is the public consultation and what are the deadlines to respond?

    The government consultation sets out the detailed proposals to address the discrimination and provides you with the opportunity to feedback your views on the proposed changes.

    This consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close on 11 October 2020. Responses can be sent by email to:

    PensionsRemedyProjectConsultation@hmtreasury.gov.uk.

    Alternatively, you can send your response by post to:

    Pensions Remedy Project Team,

    HM Treasury,

    1 Horse Guards Road,

    London

    SW1A 2HQ

  • Where can I find out more information on the consultation?

    You can find further information on the consultation on the government website (This link opens in a new window).

  • What are the immediate and deferred choices?

    These are the two proposed options contained in the consultation. Both options involve members having the choice between the legacy (final salary) and reformed (career average) scheme benefits for the service they have accrued during the remedy period (the period of service affected from 1 April 2015, with the consultation proposing an end date of 31 March 2022).

    Under the immediate choice option, most members would make this decision soon after the point of legislative implementation. Under the deferred choice underpin for the majority of members this decision would be deferred until the point at which they take their pension benefits (e.g. retirement).

    Full details are set out in the consultation document and a supporting leaflet, which you can find on the government website (This link opens in a new window).

  • Is the 2015 Teachers’ Pensions scheme discriminatory?

    No. The transitional protection was a policy that kept those closest to retirement age in the legacy final salary teachers’ schemes, when others were moved automatically to the reformed career average scheme, and it is this policy that the court found to be discriminatory. The proposed remedy will ensure that all affected members have access to the scheme that they consider is better for them for the period involved.

  • What happens if I have already taken my benefits?

    Members in scope who have already retired and received a pension award, from either the legacy or reformed scheme, will be given a choice as soon as practicable once the legislative changes are implemented. Any revised award will be backdated to the date their pension award was made. Members who retire between now and the implementation of the changes will be treated in the same way.

    Full details are set out in the consultation document and a supporting leaflet, which you can find on the government website (This link opens in a new window).

  • When will these changes be ready/implemented?

    The consultation is seeking views on two different ways to eliminate the discrimination identified by the court of appeal. Each of these proposals will require different legislative and administrative changes before schemes will be able to implement the new provisions. Until a final decision is made, we cannot provide an accurate implementation date, but government is committed to starting this process as early as possible.

    What we can confirm is that the government intends to make legislation on 1 April 2022 that will confirm the end of the remedy period and move all active scheme members into the 2015 career average scheme. In the meantime, schemes will be progressing with cases where possible. The consultation document (This link opens in a new window) provides details on these cases.

  • Why isn’t the government proposing to return everyone to their old schemes?

    Depending on members’ personal circumstances, many members may be better off in the career average (reformed) scheme so it’s not fair to simply move everyone back into the final salary (legacy) schemes. The government therefore wants to provide members with the option to choose between these scheme benefits for the period between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022.

    This consultation seeks views on two possible approaches to how this choice might work, further details are set out in the consultation document and a supporting leaflet, which you can find on the government

    Full details are set out in the consultation document and a supporting leaflet, which you can find on the government website (This link opens in a new window).

  • Does the immediate choice option allow a member to change their decision in the future?

    The consultation sets out that the immediate choice decision is irrevocable and cannot be changed.

  • What will the Scheme look like after 31 March 2022?

    The government wants to ensure public service pension schemes remain appropriate and affordable while also treating members equally for their future service. All active members will be placed in the career average (reformed) scheme from 1 April 2022. The final salary link for members with prior service in the final salary (legacy) scheme would be retained.

  • Will members who were previously covered by ‘transitional protection’ also be moved into the new schemes?

    From 1 April 2022, all active members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme who continue in service will be moved into the career average (reformed) scheme.

  • What will a member see a change to their pension?

    The consultation is seeking views on two options to eliminate the discrimination identified by the court of appeal. Both proposals provide an opportunity for members to choose whether service accrued during the remedy period will be calculated on final salary (legacy) scheme or career average (reformed) scheme rules. If you have already retired, or otherwise are in receipt of benefits, we’ll write to you once a final position is confirmed. Until such time as the solution is in place and your choice has been made, it’s not possible to quantify changes to pension.

  • Does a member need to submit a claim to the courts to be eligible for the pension changes?

    No. The government confirmed that whichever solution is implemented, it will apply across all public sector schemes and for all members with relevant service, regardless of whether they’ve lodged a claim.

  • In the Written Ministerial Statement released on 20 March, it was mentioned that it would be helpful for members to retain their tax paperwork for 2015/16, is this still the case?

    Yes. Depending on the eventual policy, members may need the relevant paperwork to help them reassess previous tax liabilities. Therefore, it would be helpful if people kept their paperwork related to tax from April 2015 onwards.

    This would include all self-assessment returns, P60s, the annual statements from your pension scheme administrator and documents relating to any other personal or occupational pension schemes.

  • Which members are affected?

    If you were in post on the 31 March 2012 and still in post on the 1 April 2015 then the consultation will apply to you. Please read the consultation and provide your feedback to the government’s proposals.

  • What if a member entered the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on or after 1 April 2012?

    The proposals set out within this consultation will apply to all members who were in service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015, including those with a qualifying break in service of less than five years, across all affected public service schemes. This includes those members who are currently active, deferred or retired.

    Members who first joined their scheme after 31 March 2012 were ineligible for transitional protection regardless of their age, and so are not affected by the discrimination identified by the court.

  • What is the cost control mechanism?

    The cost control mechanism was introduced in 2015 with the public service pension scheme reforms.

    It’s part of the valuation process to ensure the costs of public service pensions remain sustainable, protecting the taxpayer from increased costs; but also maintaining the value to members when costs fall.

  • How will the unpausing of the cost control mechanism affect the 2016 Teachers’ Pensions Scheme Valuation?

    HM Treasury will set out in directions how the cost control part of the 2016 valuations will be completed. This will determine how the cost cap calculations are to be completed for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The part of the 2016 valuations that determined the employer contribution rate will not be re-visited.

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