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Nurses could be in line for pension payout as government addresses age discrimination

Consultation seeks remedy for ‘unlawful’ public sector pension reforms

Consultation seeks remedy for unlawful public sector pension reforms

Nurses affected by unlawful age discrimination as a result of government reforms to the NHS pension scheme in 2015 should benefit from future payouts, as the Treasury announces a new consultation into the matter.

The consultation follows a Court of Appeal ruling in late 2018 that the transitional protection offered to some older workers in public sector pension schemes amounted to unlawful discrimination.

Consultation aims to find remedy for pension disparities

Transitional arrangements put in place by the government meant that older workers those within ten years of retirement age could stay in the existing schemes, while younger workers had to transfer to the new schemes.

But this decision prompted anger from unions, as they felt the new schemes offered less

Consultation seeks remedy for ‘unlawful’ public sector pension reforms


Picture: iStock

Nurses affected by unlawful age discrimination as a result of government reforms to the NHS pension scheme in 2015 should benefit from future payouts, as the Treasury announces a new consultation into the matter. 

The consultation follows a Court of Appeal ruling in late 2018 that the transitional protection offered to some older workers in public sector pension schemes amounted to unlawful discrimination.

Consultation aims to find remedy for pension disparities

Transitional arrangements put in place by the government meant that older workers – those within ten years of retirement age – could stay in the existing schemes, while younger workers had to transfer to the new schemes.

But this decision prompted anger from unions, as they felt the new schemes offered less generous terms. 

RCN will ask members for their views

The government now proposes to allow affected pension scheme members to choose between receiving legacy or reformed scheme benefits for their service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022.

The consultation is seeking views on this proposal and when workers should make the choice – either in the year or two after implementation in 2022 or at the point of retirement.


Nicola Lee: ‘Nurses must have
stable and sustainable pensions’

The RCN said those affected are nurses who were previously in the 1995/2008 NHS pension schemes, and who were subject to tapering protection or no protection when the new pension scheme came into force on 1 April 2015.

The college said it will be seeking views from its members to inform its response to the consultation, which runs until 11 October.

Age discrimination in public sector pensions affects three million people

RCN national officer Nicola Lee said: ‘Our key priority is to ensure that our members have access to good quality, stable and sustainable pension provisions now and in the future.’

The government said it now faces a £17 billion bill to remedy age discrimination in public sector pensions. The issue is thought to affect about three million people across schemes that cover workers in the NHS, civil service and local government, as well as teachers, police oficers and members of the armed forces.


Related material

Public service pension schemes consultation: changes to the transitional arrangements to the 2015 schemes


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