Introduction

  • Answer:

    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.

  • Answer:

    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.

  • Answer:

    The consultation closed on 11 October 2020 and the government has now published its response (This link opens in a new window)after considering all the submissions

    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 soon as is practicable.

  • Answer:

    The government was 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 document (This link opens in a new window).

  • Answer:

    The transitional protection was a policy that kept those closest to retirement age in the final salary (legacy) teachers’ schemes, when others were moved automatically to the career average (reformed) scheme, and it’s 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.

  • Answer:

    The legislation required to comply with the Transitional Protection remedy, as per the government’s consultation response, is being rolled out in two stages.

    The first stage was to introduce the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Act 2022. This Act legislates for how the government will remove the discrimination identified by the courts in the way that the 2015 reforms were introduced for some members. The Act also sets out that from 1 April 2022 all those in service in the main unfunded public service pension schemes, including the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, will be members of the career average (reformed) schemes, ensuring equal treatment from that point onwards.

    Stage two will address the different treatment of members between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022 (the remedy period) and will be implemented once the necessary secondary legislation is in place and our systems have been adapted. Phase two will return transition members’ service to the final salary legacy scheme for the remedy period and allow members to make the choice between final salary and career average pension benefits for that service.

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