Government Response to the Public service pension schemes

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has published a written ministerial statement to announce the government's response to the public consultation (which closed in October 2020) on proposals to address the discrimination caused by transitional protection arrangements when the reformed pension schemes were introduced in April 2015.

Click here to go to the ministerial statement (This link opens in a new window).

The outcome only affects those of you who were in service on or before 31 March 2012 and have continuous service on or after 1 April 2015, including if you have a qualifying break in service of no more than five years.

Following consideration of the wide range of views expressed through the consultation, the government intends to implement the deferred choice underpin.

This means that those of you affected will receive a choice of which pension scheme benefits you would prefer for the period between 2015 and 2022 (known as the remedy period). The choice will be between your legacy (final salary) or career average (reformed) scheme benefits. The choice will be made at the point in time when benefits are put into payment, which for the majority of you will be at retirement. Until you make your choice, you’ll be in their final salary (legacy) scheme for the relevant period.

The government states that by deferring the choice you’ll have more certainty over your benefit entitlements when making your decision. This means you’ll be able to choose the scheme benefits that are most likely to be best for you.

The response also confirms that the final salary (legacy) scheme will end on 31 March 2022. Any pension you have built up in the final salary (legacy) scheme up to that date, and the Normal Pension Age at which your benefits can be taken in full, are protected.

What do the proposals mean to you?

  • If you are eligible, you’ll choose between your final salary (legacy) and career average (reformed) pension scheme benefits for service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022. You’ll make your choice at the time you take your pension benefits (e.g. when you retire), this is named the Deferred Choice Underpin (DCU).
  • Initially, those of you who were moved to the career average (reformed) scheme in 2015 (or later if you had tapered protection), will be moved back into the final salary (legacy) scheme for the remedy period. However, when you then take your pension benefits, for example at retirement, you’ll get to choose between your final salary (legacy) and career average (reformed) scheme benefits. At this point, you’ll receive the necessary information to be able to make a choice about which pension scheme benefits are better for you.
  • Those of you who are affected members who have already taken benefits from the final salary (legacy) scheme, or will before April 2022, will be given a choice between your final salary (legacy) and career average (reformed) scheme benefits for service between 2015 and the date you take your pension benefits. This choice will be offered as soon as possible after legislation is implemented and any change to benefits will be backdated.
  • From 1 April 2022 all active members will accrue service in the reformed career average scheme.

What happens next?

Once we have had an opportunity to analyse the consultation response further with the Department for Education and our stakeholders on the next steps, we will provide you with further information as soon as possible.

Click here to go to the ministerial statement (This link opens in a new window).

Please be patient and wait for us to contact you.

What do I have to do?

You don’t need to do anything now; we ask you to wait for us to contact you as we’re identifying those of you who are affected. You can keep up to date by checking the information on the website. We’re currently working on the timescales for when we’ll be contacting members.

We suggest that you read the response or the factsheet we have created to help you understand what the changes will mean for you. We’d also suggest you look at our FAQs for further information.

Click here to download our factsheet on the consultation response.

Keeping in touch

We’ll be providing you with more information on these changes in the coming months so please keep up to date via our website, newsletters and social media channels.

Last Updated: 04/02/2021 13:23