MOD States Impact of Pension Ruling Personnel Unclear

Soldiers face a wait to find out how they will be affected by a recent ruling on firefighter pensions.

An earlier court decision found that changes made to the emergency service workers’ arrangements in 2015 discriminated against younger staff who were forced to move to less beneficial schemes.

The government tried to appeal against the verdict but was denied permission by the Supreme Court and has since admitted the judgement has implications for all public sector workers, including Armed Forces personnel.

An employment tribunal is now deciding how to compensate those impacted by the unlawful policy.

In response, the Forces Pension Society (FPS) has stated that troops should not ‘hold their breath’ for a swift remedy, but added that it would engage with government on their behalf.

A statement by the FPS read: “This judgement is likely to benefit a good number of Service personnel, but it won’t benefit all – especially those who joined up after April 1, 2015 – so do not expect the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) to go away. It will not.”

The body also warned the government would have to plug the £4 billion hole created by the ruling with other cost-saving measures.

“We don’t know what these will be, but the new 2015 public sector schemes came with a promise that the government would not need to look at new schemes for 25 years,” the FPS added. “We would imagine it now feels released from that promise.”

The MOD said personnel will not see any reduction to pensions they have already earned, regardless of their scheme or the decision of the employment tribunal.

Reference

Soldier. (2019) Impact of Pension Ruling Unclear. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. September 2019, pp.12.

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