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TPS changes

Public service pension scheme update

31 July 2020

Since the last update in February 2020 there have been some developments:

1. Age discrimination - your choice

The Fire Brigade's Union and members of the Judicial Pension Scheme both won their age discrimination cases, which means their younger members have deemed to have been discriminated against as they were treated differently from older workers because they were moved to a new pension scheme.

The outcome for the rest of the public service schemes including TPS is that everyone is getting a choice, including those moved to the reformed career average scheme in 2015 or one of those kept in the old final salary scheme, those who were moved across later than 2015, those who have retired or left or moved from one public service scheme to another.

What choice? The choice will be that for the period 2015 -2022 (remedy period) an individual can say whether you want that to be in the old final salary scheme or the reformed career average. From 2022 everyone whatever their age if still working will be moved into the reformed 2015 career average scheme.

The consultation, launched 16 July, is about the details of this choice when you make the choice, immediately (2022) or when you retire, deferred choice underpin (DCU).

We understand that many members in TPS are better off in the new 2015 scheme, but it will be determined by personal circumstances.

Not an easy call. Each member will be looked at individually. The government made each affected scheme set up a working group to look into all the issues. UCU was represented on this for TPS and with the other unions thought a deferred choice gave members a better deal as they could look back. An immediate choice gives certainty but people may regret a choice if circumstances changed.

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. The UCU TPS working group, with elected representatives from HE and FE, will be developing this work.

2. Cost control

Members will recall the promise the government made to improve your benefits due to cost control measures but then once the age discrimination cases arose these were paused. This link describes how although the issues are 'unpaused' the cost of the age discrimination remedy is now seen as a cost to be included. Unions PCS, FBU and others are challenging this in court with UCU as an interested party.

3. Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

The age discrimination issue will be dealt with differently in the LGPS. In 2014 all members were moved to the new career average scheme and those in the protected age group were given a choice on retirement based on calculations in both schemes new and legacy. The government is now consulting on giving all members who were in post at the relevant time the choice of the 'best of' underpin for the remedy period in this case 2014 to 2022. These appears to be a sensible option. Details of the consultation are here.

Any questions and comments please email Dooley Harte and look out for a Webinar in early September.

Last updated: 13 January 2021