October 15, 2019
Many of you will be aware of the recent Supreme Court Judgement on Public Sector Pension Schemes which has been widely reported.
A recent update by the NCOA was published within the autumn edition of Under Cover. As highlighted within that article, I recently attended a meeting with Senior Cabinet Office officials in order to gain a better perspective of any government response and how the ruling might affect our members within the NCA.
In short, whilst the government has made it very clear it will respect and honour the judgement, it is simply unable to do anything until the Employment Tribunal remedy hearing has provided clarity, in what it expects should be done to remove any element of discrimination.
Although a date for the all-important remedy hearing has not yet been set, a number of case management hearings were scheduled for this month, two of importance to our membership group are scheduled to take place at the end of this month. One of these hearings relates to the Police Pension and the following day, the Civil Service Pensions schemes. Whilst these will not deliver any determinations in their own right, they represent an important step in ensuring everybody is ready, when the Tribunal remedy hearing finally takes place.
At this early stage it is important to understand;
1. This is now a Legal process and not a management process.
2. There is a commitment from Cabinet Office (and HM Govt) to a ‘no detriment position’. i.e. no-one will be worse off.
3. It is going to take a long time to implement any remedy. Realistic timescales of 2yrs or more to effect wide ranging changes.
4. Given the differences in the various pension schemes affected, and 490,000 Civil Servants in scope, it will be critical to get it right - first time.
5. To reflect this, the remedy response by Cabinet Office has already been classified as a ‘major project’.
I appreciate this is an important issue for many, if not all of you within the NCA and as more information becomes available, the NCOA will endeavour to communicate with you as soon as possible.
NCOA General Secretary