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Sargeant Remedy

When the 2015 Firefighters’ Pension Scheme was introduced, it brought in career average pension benefits, as opposed to final salary.  In a legal case, known as Sargeant, the Court of Appeal decided that the way in which members were protected from going into the new scheme was discriminatory as it was based on age.

The Government published a consultation containing a number of proposals to remove the discrimination.  The consultation response was published on 4 February 2021, and the discrimination will be removed in two parts:

  • From 1 April 2022 all members regardless of age will be moved into the reformed career average pension schemes; and
  • For the remedy period (from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022) eligible members will be able to choose to receive final salary scheme benefits OR career average scheme pension benefits for the full remedy period. This choice will be offered at retirement.

New legislation is being introduced to bring these changes into effect.

So what does this mean for you?

Each member has different a pay, service and employment history.  Even if you joined the service on the same day as a colleague and have both had permanent promotions at similar times, things like divorce debits, transfers in, temporary promotions etc might mean that your pension benefits look completely different.  Each case will need to be assessed on its own merits to determine what remedy means for individual members.  Once the software is available, West Yorkshire Pension Fund will be able to provide more detailed calculations as part of the pension estimate/annual benefit statement process.

If you are unsure about how remedy will affect you, please visit the sections below for more information.  Regular updates can also be found on the FPS Regs website.

We are in the process of developing a Q&A section on the portal to deal with specific queries.  Until that is available, please use the comments box on the portal.