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PFEW Pensions Statement

The Police Federation of England and Wales has set out its response to a High Court decision on pension changes affecting police officers.

The Government’s 2015 public sector pension changes have been ruled as being discriminatory towards some workers and a High Court ruling has now deemed that it cannot appeal that decision. The 2015 changes meant that longer-serving Public Sector workers could stay in the existing, more favourable Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS), while those who had joined the service later would have move to a new ‘Alpha’ scheme.

The appeal ruling applied to Judges and Firefighters, who launched and won a legal battle on the grounds of age discrimination.

It means a remedy and/or compensation must be offered by the Government to those affected by the changes, including police officers, but it is still not clear how that will happen or whether only those who officers who brought claims will receive compensation.

In a statement on its website, the PFEW says it is monitoring the situation. It reads: “With regard to the legal challenge relating to the discriminatory aspects of the scheme – taken through an employment tribunal and then beyond – there are two possible outcomes of a legal victory.

“A remedy is likely to address the root cause of the discrimination and is aimed at getting members to a position where there is no discrimination. Compensation, by contrast, is a separate payment, likely to be paid to claimants for hurt feelings, or distress.

“The government has indicated a remedy will be applied to all in the public sector schemes listed. That is, the schemes themselves will be changed and therefore all those who have been subject to discrimination will be subject to the remedy. The government sees this as being likely to be valued at around £4 billion. The remedy will apply to all, regardless of whether they have taken a personal or group legal case, or not. Officers who signed up to the pension challenge may additionally get compensation.

“The compensation has not yet been valued and there is no certainty over how much it will amount to.”

Date posted: September 1, 2019

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