Fighting fund banner


TPS changes

Discrimination judgments, TPS and the 'better' scheme

21 February 2020

You may recall that the recent valuation of teachers' pension schemes (TPS, STSS, NITPS), like other public service pensions, initially resulted in a significant improvement to the accrual (build up) of pensions for career average scheme members from April 2019 at no extra cost to members. UCU and the other unions in the schemes negotiated a faster build-up of pension to benefit members. However, this was put on hold due to ongoing age discrimination cases.

The Fire Brigade's Union and members of the Judicial Pension Scheme have now both won their age discrimination cases, which means their younger members have deemed to have been discriminated against because they were treated differently from older workers because they were moved to a new scheme. The outcome is that they have to be moved into the 'better' scheme, which for them is a final salary pre-2015 scheme in both cases.

However, as this judgment rolls out across the public sector, we understand that many members in TPS are better off in the new 2015 scheme. So the different schemes have to do a lot of work to determine what will be a good way of resolving which is the 'better' scheme for members who may be affected.

Members may now be asked which scheme they want to be in. They could either make the choice now or when they retire. Not an easy call. Each member will be looked at individually. The government has made each affected scheme set up a working group to look into all the issues. UCU is represented on this for TPS (LGPS is not included). The outcomes from these working groups will lead to a public consultation in March/April where we will be able to feed in again.

At the moment it is too early to determine what would be the best solution for UCU members. We should be able to make a clear input into the public consultation after the working group deliberations. The UCU TPS working group, with elected representatives from HE and FE, will be developing this work.

We will keep you up to date with progress.

Pensions officials are available to answer questions or visit branches to discuss issues with members. Email

Last updated: 21 February 2020