Opening of Public Consultation by HM Treasury to Address Discrimination Caused by the 2015 Pension Reforms

By DPF Admin16th July 2020Circulars, Latest News

All Members

 Circular 27/20

As you are all aware, the DPF lodged discrimination claims with the Employment Tribunal on behalf of over 1000 members following the 2015 public sector pension reforms.

You will also be aware that these claims were successful and the Government has been developing a remedy to remove the discrimination.

HM Treasury has today commenced a public consultation exercise outlining how the Governments intends to comply with the Tribunal ruling to remove the discrimination as well as setting out the Governments future plans for public sector pensions. This consultation process opens today and closes on 11th October 2020.

The consultation documents can be accessed via the following link:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/public-service-pension-schemes-consultation-changes-to-the-transitional-arrangements-to-the-2015-schemes

The DPF intend to submit a comprehensive response on behalf of members in due course and further updates will be published as this process moves forward.

Paul Hunter

National Executive Committee

Pension Lead

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • Avatar DAVID EVANS says:

    I am somewhat confused on a number of issues regarding both the pension update and fitness harmonisation. If the courts agreed that it was discriminatory to change the pension where exactly has this arbitrary date of 31/03/2022 come from that supposedly fixes this problem? Why is it only the 7 years of service between 2015 and 2022 that addresses this problem and no time beyond, and as importantly when deciding what is best for myself when the time to decide what to do arrives I will not be able to do this as the employer funded EPA to lower our pension age to 65 which was part of the TACOS agreement has still not been implemented! Why exactly are the only people living up to their side of this agreement the members who voted for it! No EPA, no shift allowance and to add insult to injury having recently carried out my test and achieving the standard required as a legacy officer I and several colleagues were informed by the trainer that between now and 31/03/2021 the Force will be making legacy officers who are required to achieve 5.7 on the MSFT carry out further tests in order to achieve the higher 7.6 standard. Clearly this takes no regard of my years qualification and I believe is another bullying tactic being used by management to align us with COP standards. I would be grateful if you could confirm whether this is the case and what recourse we have in addressing this. We obviously have limited scope in relation to Home Office forces when it comes to leaving the Firearms world and lowering any fitness standards applicable to role. Once again we only seem to want to align with the Home Office when it suits the aims of our Force management and never for anything to benefit the officers they profess to lead. Any thoughts?

    • DPF Admin DPF Admin says:

      Reply from DPF HQ

      On Pensions, as a result of the public sector pension reforms the “alpha” pension scheme was introduced on 1st April 2015. The “alpha” scheme is not in any way discriminatory, the way the government decided to implement the scheme gave rise to the discrimination.

      Anyone who was within 10 years of their earlier scheme Normal Pension Age (NPA) on 1st April 2012 were fully protected and remained in their earlier scheme.

      Other members who were between 10 and 13 1/2 years from their NPA were in the tapered protection group and moved to the new “alpha” scheme on various dates after 1st April 2015 depending on their date of birth

      Everyone else moved into the “alpha” scheme immediately on 1st April 2015.

      It is these transitional arrangements that the courts have upheld as being discriminatory and which must now be removed.

      The Government currently propose to remove this discrimination by moving all civil servants to the “alpha” scheme with effect from 1st April 2022. This will prevent the discrimination continuing because everyone will be in the same scheme for service after that date.

      The Government then needs to address the period between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2022 during which the discrimination occurred. This is referred to as “The Remedy Period”

      The Government are currently proposing to address this in one of two ways, either by letting all members decide as soon as possible after 1st April 2022 which scheme they want the pensionable service from 2015 up to 2022 to be applied. Alternatively, the second option is to defer the choice until the individual retires or levels the service in order that a better career profile is available for the individual to base their choice.

      It is our understanding at this time that a single option will be decided at the end of this consultation process and applied across all public sector schemes.

      We understand your frustration with regards to the Effective Pension Age (EPA) option of the higher 65 or three years below State Pension Age which was agreed in 2016 as part of our Terms and Conditions of Service (TaCoS) negotiations, but which are not yet implemented.

      We were unable to agree with the Department the effective date for its implementation. We maintain that it should take effect from April 2016, the same as the other revisions to our terms and conditions. However the MoD disagreed wanting to implement it over a year later. We were left with no choice and instructed our legal team to make a formal complaint to the Pension Ombudsman.

      This Ombudsman complaint has been ongoing for some time. However our legal team are expecting a determination imminently and a circular will be published as soon as that determination is known.

      On fitness the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) carried out a study in 2015 and found that the required level needed to maintain our role as Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) within the MDP was a VO2 Max of 35.6.

      INM gave a number of ways this could be achieved including the Rockport Walking Mile, a 20 metre Multi Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) and a 15 metre MSFT.

      Chief Constable Alf HITCHCOCK chose the MSFT and a VO2 Max of 35.6 equates to 5.7 on the 15 metre MSFT.

      INM’s 2015 report also included a wellbeing programme that should have been rolled out in 2016 when our TaCoS was negotiated and agreed as this was part of the initial INM agreement. The Force Fitness Team posted out leaflets on diet and lifestyle changes and had little or no interaction with the majority of stations in those initial stages.

      Our TaCoS clearly state that the required Fitness Level for an MDP AFO is 5.7 on the 15m MSFT and until our TaCoS change that is what we are required to achieve.

      The Force is perfectly within their right to ask that you attempt a higher level through best effort, but your COS is 5.7 until it is changed through agreement and this has not happened yet.

      The paperwork and correspondence issued by the Force stating that everyone will be required to reach 7.6 by April 2021 has not been agreed with the DPF and is issued in isolation.

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