The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 laid out new government framework regarding reforms to public service pension schemes. The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) was the first to undergo its reform in 2014, with other schemes following. The changes brought in the new career average revalued earnings schemes (CARE) with some transitional protection for members who met certain criteria.
Employment tribunal claims were subsequently brought by members of the judges (McCloud) and firefighters (Sargeant) pension schemes, who argued that the transitional protection arrangements were discriminatory on the grounds of age.
On 20 December 2018 the Court of Appeal found that these protections were unlawful on the grounds of age discrimination and could not be justified.
The Employment tribunal issued interim orders meaning claimants are entitled to be treated as if they had remained in the final salary scheme when the schemes were reformed in April 2015.
Impact on the Local Government Pension Scheme
Although all public sector schemes underwent a similar reform in 2014/2015, the changes affected members of each respective scheme differently. The new 2014 LGPS regulations protected active members, who were within ten years of their 2008 scheme normal pension age on 31 March 2012, through what was called the statutory underpin. Protected members who meet the criteria for the underpin to apply will receive the better of their CARE pension, or one calculated under the 2008 final salary scheme rules.
On the 26 March 2020 a ministerial statement was published which confirmed no qualifying scheme member would need to make a claim for the remedy to apply to them.
GMPF will work out if you qualify for the protection and will apply it automatically – you do not need to take any action. This will also apply if you left GMPF after 1 April 2014.
These changes will only impact a very small number of GMPF members. To find out more about how your LGPS benefits are calculated, please visit the page on our website called ‘Calculating benefits’