Government responses to McCloud pension consultation
The Government has published its response after seeking views on the
proposed remedy option for correcting the unlawful discrimination determined in
the Court of Appeal’s McCloud judgment.
In line with UNISON’s recommendation, it has been confirmed that Deferred
Choice Underpin (DCU) will be the remedy option for the NHS Pension
Schemes covering England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. DCU
means that all in-scope members will receive a choice at retirement, on whether
they wish for all of their pension scheme service prior to 1 April 2022 to be in
their previous scheme (i.e. 1995 or 2008 Sections) or have a combination of
previous scheme benefits and the 2015 scheme for all service, up to 1 April
2022. The benefit of making a choice at retirement, is that members will be able
to make a decision based on known entitlements instead of assumptions,
thereby reducing the likelihood of making the wrong decision.
The Government response also confirms that everyone will be in the 2015
Scheme with effect from 1 April 2022. Everyone eligible for a choice will be
assumed to be in their previous scheme for all service before 1 April 2022 up to
the point of actually making their choice.
Retirements from October 2023 is when it’s expected that eligible members will
be offered this choice but it’s hoped that for those that have already retired that
these members may get a choice earlier than this.
For anyone that has already retired or will be retiring before October 2023, all
choices will be fully retrospective to your pension payment date, meaning that
your award will be amended and backdated should you choose not to be in the
2015 Scheme for any period before 1 April 2022.
You can view the Government’s consultation response here.
UNISON has also produced a series of frequently asked questions to help
members understand what this means for them. These can be found here.
Ambulance pension age survey
Since the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme was introduced, UNISON as the main
union for ambulance staff, has been leading the way in calling on the
government to bring the pension age for ambulance staff in line with other
emergency service workers.
The pension age for ambulance staff in the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme is
linked to your State Pension Age, which for many ambulance staff is up to 67 or
68. While fire fighters and police officers can take their full pension at 60. The McCloud judgment means many ambulance staff will have an additional 7
years in a pension scheme with a lower pension age. For staff purely in the
2015 scheme or those currently in the 1995 or 2008 sections who will start to
build up benefits in 2015 scheme from April 2022. The link to State Pension age
UNISON will be continuing our campaign to end the ongoing omission of
ambulance staff from the group of public service workers - armed forces, police
and firefighters – that they deem should have a lower pension age.
Ambulance staff, like the other emergency services, work in similarly unique
circumstances and this needs to be reflected in their pension age.
To help inform our campaigning on this important issue for ambulance staff
please fill out our survey and let us know your views.
The survey closes on 14 April.