When the Government reformed public service pension schemes in 2014 and 2015 they introduced protections for older scheme members. The Court of Appeal ruled that younger members of the Judges and Firefighters Pension schemes were discriminated against because the protections did not apply to them. The Government has confirmed that there will be changes to all public sector schemes to remove this age discrimination.
The Government and the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) are having high level discussions about what this means for the LGPS. The SAB is confident that the eventual outcome will provide younger members in scope with protection that is equal to the protection provided to older members.
The protection compares the benefits payable under the current rules with the benefits that would have been paid if the Scheme had not changed in 2014 and pays the higher. This protection will apply automatically – LGPS members who meet the qualifying criteria do not need to take any action.
It is important that members are made aware that many of them will not see an increase to their pension benefits. For others any increase is likely to be small because of low salary growth since the new schemes were introduced.
The SAB will continue to work with Government to ensure that the necessary changes to the LGPS are fully implemented and that all members automatically receive the protection they are due.
Changes to the Scheme will be backdated to April 2014 and will apply to qualifying members who left the LGPS after that date.