“Unlawful” Changes To Armed Forces Pension

Posted on July 24, 2019

Armed Forces Pensions are expected to be reviewed after the Government accepted a court ruling that found changes made to some public sector workers’ pensions were ruled discriminatory. The Government has accepted a Court of Appeal decision that ‘transitional arrangements’ and changes made to public sector pensions were discriminatory and thus unlawful, and plans are now underway to remedy public sector pension schemes.

It was a group of judges and firefighters which challenged the amendments to public service pensions by launching a legal battle against the government at an employment tribunal.

In December 2018 The employment tribunal concluded: “We have found that in both the judges’ and firefighters’ cases the manner in which the transitional provisions have been implemented has given rise to unlawful direct age discrimination.”

The government launched an appeal against the decision and the case was then brought to the court of appeal – where the Government lost its right to appeal.

The Government has now accepted the court’s findings and is set to remedy the pensions issue. The ruling means the Government could now be facing a potential annual cost of up to £4 billion in a decision that will have repercussions across the entire public sector including the British military.

On 15 July 2019 the Government issued a ministerial statement and confirmed that as ‘transitional protection’ which was offered to members of all the main public service pension schemes, the difference in treatment will need to be remedied across all those schemes, including the Armed Forces pension schemes.

An MOD spokesperson said: “We are working with HM Treasury to fully understand the implications of this ruling and our next steps.” Adding that service ‘members will not see any reduction to the pensions’ that they have earned to date and that ‘service personnel, serving and retired, will be updated on next steps in due course’.

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