The Government has announced the outcome of the public consultation on how to remove the discrimination identified by the courts in the McCloud/Sergeant case. The consultation affects eligible Armed Forces personnel and it has been decided that the Deferred Choice will be taken forward as the way to remedy the identified discrimination.
As a result of age discrimination linked to the introduction of 2015 public service pension schemes identified by the McCloud and Sergeant court cases, the Government sought opinion on 2 options (Either Deferred Choice or Immediate Choice) to resolve the discrimination through a public consultation. The Government’s announcement establishes that the Deferred Choice option will be given to eligible personnel. This means that members will be given a choice of which pension scheme benefits they would prefer to take, for the period 1 Apr 15 to 1 Apr 22, at the point they leave with benefits in payment. This was the approach favoured by the majority of individuals and organisations who responded to the public consultation.
To be eligible personnel must have been in the Armed Forces on or before 31 Mar 12 and on or after 1 Apr 15. This includes those with a break in service of less than 5-years. Personnel who moved to the reformed pension schemes on 1 Apr 15 will firstly be placed back into their legacy pension scheme for the remedy period 1 Apr 15 to 31 Mar 22 which will remove the discrimination. They will then receive a choice at the point at which they leave with benefits in payment whether to take legacy pension scheme benefits or reformed scheme benefits in relation to that period
Personnel who continue to serve in the Armed Forces from 1 Apr 22 will do so as members of the 2015 scheme, regardless of age, with all legacy schemes being closed from that date. This will mean that all members will be treated equally and no further discrimination will exist in the future.
No decision is expected of personnel at this stage and the process for implementing the remedy needs to be worked through. Personnel should not contact DBS or unit HR staffs as they will be unable to provide any more information than has been provided.
Frequently Asked Questions are here.
Further information on Armed Forces Pensions, including previous MOD McCloud resolution communications is available here.