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Govt confirms pension changes were unlawful

Westiminster houses of parliamentThe government will have to make changes to pension schemes across the public sector after a Supreme Court ruling found reforms made to firefighter’s pensions in 2015 were discriminatory.

In a statement yesterday, Treasury secretary Elizabeth Truss confirmed that on the back of the ruling against the 2015 changes, under which workers 10 years from retirement were protected from reforms and younger workers moved to less generous pensions, the government will have to remedy the policy across the rest of the public sector.

This will include pensions spanning the NHS, civil service, local government, teachers, police, armed forces and judiciary.

Quilter estimates this will cost this will incur a multi-billion pound bill for the government.

Quilter head of retirement policy Jon Greer says: “As the two remaining Tory party candidates battle it out for the final week they are pledging anything that will win over party members, including to fix the NHS pensions allowance crisis if they are brought to power. This is, however, a pension issue that may pale into insignificance  compared to the £4bn a year public sector funding gap they need to plug thanks to a monumental mistake presided over by the coalition government.

“Arguably this will feel like a bigger pensions headache for the new prime minister than the tapered annual allowance relative to the NHS. But perversely at the same time there is a risk the judgement exacerbates that issue if senior NHS staff are awarded compensation.”


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Trevor Harrington 16th July 2019 at 10:31 am

    Extra cost of Billions ?

    Why do journalists always assume that pensions will always have to be LEVELLED UP to the best of the best?

    How about the possibility that all these public sector pensions are LEVELLED DOWN to the pension benefits of the private sector?

    A prime and perfect opportunity to do so in my opinion … and long overdue too.

    If they do this, then the “COST” factor referred to above will become a huge saving in the public sector expenditure, and if that happens … may I respectfully suggest that the Government should give us our state pensions back again – perhaps from age 65 for all, and at a liveable wage of say £200 per week for all …

    thank you.

    • Freezes Hell When Over

      Re-arrange to find likelihood of this ever happening

    • Because Politicians are public sector workers and this applies to their pensions scheme as well as others and hell will freeze over before they will take their snouts out of the trough.

    • Jonathan Greer 19th July 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Trevor,

      Where there is discrimination there is a legal requirement to “level up” benefits (until a non-discriminatory amendment can be made). This means the Govt will have to provide final salary benefits to all pre-2015 members for a longer period than it expected.

      With kind regards,

  2. This is what happens when you have someone like Danny Alexander (now Sir Daniel Alexander, vice president and corporate secretary at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) involved in public sector pension reform – keen to be seen as ‘robust’, ‘reforming’, etc., but lacking the appropriate understanding and experience.

  3. What about the 1950s born women forced to work an extra 6/7 without their pensions. Both private and public sector pensions should have equal at the outset. What a bloody mess.

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