FAQs: McCloud Judgment

I have been approached by a company advising that to qualify for any remedy determined by the tribunal that I need to go through them. Is this the case?

Last updated 07/08/2020

The Government has confirmed that any necessary changes to pension arrangements to remove the discrimination identified by the Court of Appeal judgment will also apply to all members with relevant service, not just those who have lodged legal claims.

McCloud was only for the Judges Pension scheme, does this mean the Civil Service scheme is unaffected?

The Civil Service Pension scheme is also affected as it offered transitional protection as part of the 2015 pension reforms.

The tribunal, which is considering the Civil Service Pension scheme cases, will require steps to be taken to provide a remedy for claimants who suffered discrimination.

Alongside this, the Government has confirmed that any necessary changes to pension arrangements will also be implemented for non-claimants to ensure the discrimination is removed for all members with relevant service, not just those who have lodged legal claims.

When will the pension changes to address the discrimination be implemented?

The policy proposals for addressing the discrimination will take time to develop as there are a lot of details which need to be worked through. The government is currently engaging with the employment tribunal and other key stakeholders to ensure they are able to feed into the early policy development before launching a public consultation later this year. Legislation will then need to be passed in order to implement the pension scheme changes. While this will take time, we need to ensure the changes are carefully developed and implemented and members are able to choose the scheme which is best for them.

I am retiring soon, how will my pension be calculated?

It’s unlikely that any changes will be made before you retire so your pension will be based on the current position. For example, if you are in the alpha pension scheme and you retire before any remedy is implemented, then your retirement benefits will be calculated based on alpha.

Should there be subsequent change needed due to a remedy being implemented, then we will write to you to confirm the position however please be assured that the pension you have earned to date is safe.

If you’re moving address, please ensure you update your details with the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP).

Will my contributions be refunded?

From 1 April 2015, the vast majority of contribution rates changed to become the same across all the Civil Service Defined Benefit pension schemes. Therefore, you would have paid the same contribution rate regardless of which scheme you were participating in, and so we don’t expect to refund contributions.

What does this mean for the cost control mechanism?

On 30 January 2019 there was a Written Ministerial Statement announcing a pause to the cost control part of the valuations of public service pension schemes, following the Court of Appeal’s judgment. The pause will continue until there is more clarity about the remedy.

As announced in a Written Ministerial Statement (opens in a new window) published on the 25 March 2020, an update will be provided alongside the forthcoming consultation.

I am due to move into alpha under tapered enrolment, will I still move into alpha?

Yes. Until the changes to the pension schemes are agreed, members who have a future alpha enrolment date will continue to be enrolled into alpha.

I have only ever been a member of alpha, how will I be affected?

New entrants to the Civil Service who were enrolled into alpha when they joined are not affected by the Court’s ruling.

How will the changes affect my past Annual Allowance position?

The legal process will take into account the tax implications and HMRC are working alongside HM Treasury and the Civil Service Pensions team to make sure that this important issue is taken into account.

How up-to-date is the website?

We aim to update the McCloud judgment web pages within 24 hours of any important updates, and will ensure that FAQs are updated regularly so that members and employers have the most up to date information at their fingertips.

I've moved from one public service pension scheme to another - what does that mean for me?

This will depend upon the final policy decisions made on the pension scheme changes.

We will work with the other public service schemes to ensure that when implementing the court’s ruling you are compensated correctly.

Can I still buy AVCs or Added Pension?

I am retiring soon, how will I be affected?

All members who were subject to the discrimination will be within scope of any changes made to schemes, irrespective of their status, i.e. pensioner, still in service (active member), left service but not yet taken benefits (deferred member).

It’s unlikely that any changes will be made prior to you leaving, so your pension will be based on the current position, as shown in your annual benefit statements.  Should there be subsequent change needed due to the pension scheme changes being implemented, then we will write to you to confirm.  Please be assured, however, that the pension you have earned to date is safe.

If you’re moving address, please ensure you update your details with the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP).

I'm so worried about all of this - I've heard of pension schemes not paying members what they thought they would get, is my pension really safe?

It may feel a bit worrying for you but be assured; the pension you have earned to date is safe.

If I leave my job or retire will I still have my pension looked at?

Yes. All members who were subject to the discrimination will be within scope of any changes made to schemes, irrespective of their status, i.e pensioner, still in service (active member), left service but not yet taken benefits (deferred member).

Does this only apply to those with service before 1 April 2012?

The discrimination identified by the courts relates to the different treatment applied to members who were in service on 31 March 2012.  

I think my spouse was affected by the age discrimination but they passed away last year. Will you review the pension I get now as their spouse?

Yes. If your spouse was affected by the age discrimination your pension will be reviewed and we will write to you once we’re in a position to confirm how the changes will affect you.  Please check the website for updates.

In the WMS released on 25th March, it mentioned that it would be helpful for members to retain their tax paperwork for 2015/16, what paperwork should I retain?

As the pension policy proposals are still being finalised, it is not possible at this stage to say how they will interact with the tax system.  

Therefore, it would be helpful if you would keep tax paperwork relating from April 2015 onwards. This would include:

  • Self-assessment returns
  • P60s
  • Annual Allowance and
  • Lifetime Allowance.

Should I just opt out?

If you are thinking of opting out of the Civil Service pension arrangements, remember that if you do, you will miss out on a range of valuable benefits for you and your family.

Your pension is an important part of your pay and reward package. As well as your pension contribution, your employer also pays a pension contribution on your behalf.

I was in a civil partnership and my partner was a member of the scheme but has now died. Will I be affected?

If you receive a pension because you were in a civil partnership or your civil partner was a member of a scheme which pays a pension to a surviving adult dependent, your pension will be reviewed if your civil partner was affected by age discrimination. We will write to you once we're in a position to confirm how the changes affect you. Please check the website for updates.