The 2015 Scheme was introduced following a review of public service pensions. The 2015 Scheme offered career average pension benefits instead of the final salary pension benefits offered in the 1992 Scheme, the 2006 Scheme and the Modified Scheme (collectively known as "the Legacy Schemes"). Members who were within 10 years of retirement were offered transitional protections and were allowed to remain in the Legacy Schemes.
These transitional protections were introduced following negotiations with member representatives and were intended to protect and give certainty to those closer to retirement.
The legality of the 2015 Scheme was challenged, and in 2018, the Court of Appeal held that, although the 2015 Scheme was legally sound, the transitional protections were discriminatory as they were based on members’ age. This court ruling has become known as the Sargeant ruling.
By way of a public consultation, the Government came up with a number of proposals to remove the discrimination. The outcome of the consultation was that:
- All affected members will be put back into the Legacy Schemes for the remedy period which is from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022;
- From 1 April 2022 all affected members will transfer to a career average scheme regardless of their age or service;
- Affected members will be given the choice between final salary and career average pension benefits for the remedy period; and
- The choice between final salary and career average pension benefits will be made when the member’s benefits become payable.
Legislation must be enacted to bring these changes into effect. The Government has indicated that this will not be available before October 2023.
The sector as a whole is working through the complex process of implementing remedy, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Mechanisms are in place to deal with members affected by age discrimination prior to legislation being enacted to remove it. Please refer to the Immediate Detriment and the Framework page for further information.
How Does Remedy Affect Members?
The LGA have put together some useful information for members illustrating how remedy might affect them.
2015 Remedy - Your questions answered addresses some frequently asked questions about remedy.
McCloud/Sargeant - Pensions Remedy - Benefit illustrations provides a range of benefit illustrations based on different scheme memberships, scenarios and salary profiles. The range of benefit illustrations should help explain the impact of the 2015 Remedy on members’ benefits. This does not constitute advice for members but is intended to provide information on how benefits are calculated under the 2015 Remedy.
2015 Pensions Remedy - member benefit Illustrations - full calculations contains a detailed breakdown of the background calculations which may be useful for members who want to understand more about how benefits are worked out in the Firefighters' Pension Schemes.
Updates can also be found on the Age Discrimination Remedy section of the FPS Regs website.