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billysboots

Judges pensions - a right old can of worms

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To a certain extent I have no sympathy with the Judges position as their current scheme is literally one that money can't buy, however I also believe that schemes shouldn't be changed after they have been entered into and therefore their pension shouldn't be changed for current Judges.  I am also looking forward to the arguments that they will put up and to see how the Tories react.  Its going to be the case that the old boys network will be up against the old boys network with each having the establishment on their side!

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Surely the issue, Skydiver, is the fact that the PFEW have repeatedly argued that police officers discriminated against on the grounds of their age don't have a case, and that their (secret) legal advice confirms that.

It would seem to be at direct odds with what appears to be happening with the judges, who are progressing through the Courts in what appear to be identical circumstances.

The fall out from this could be massive.

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The area I have no sympathy with is that the Judges don't make any contributions to their current final salary scheme and even after it is reformed they still won't be expected to make much of a contribution, however that being said I don't think that it should be changed for people who are already in it.  If that had happened there wouldn't be any issues of age discrimination.  I now say good luck to them because as you say Billy the fallout could be massive.

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Surely the issue, Skydiver, is the fact that the PFEW have repeatedly argued that police officers discriminated against on the grounds of their age don't have a case, and that their (secret) legal advice confirms that.

It would seem to be at direct odds with what appears to be happening with the judges, who are progressing through the Courts in what appear to be identical circumstances.

The fall out from this could be massive.

I think you will find that the Fed are now saying that officers do have  a case and they may win but it is what happens after that they are scared off, as they won the transitional period to prevent a cliff hanger.

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It is interesting isn't it- We have no legal recourse allegedly, constantly told to shut up. That our contributions won't be spent on what matters most to us.... And now some of our foremost legal minds feel they have a case and they arguably have worse legal footing than us.

Federation are you watching this?

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I think you will find that the Fed are now saying that officers do have  a case and they may win but it is what happens after that they are scared off, as they won the transitional period to prevent a cliff hanger.

 

Yes... Whereas before there was no case at all and we should just let it drop.... But now there is! ...But if we win then things will be worse than they are now......

 

Perhaps the Fed should tell those Judges- They are probably blissfully unaware of the pitfall they are about to walk into and need expert legal advice...

 

Ok. I'm going to stop being sarcastic now... This has always been morally and legally wrong. People entered into pension agreements-Individually paid hundreds of thousands of pounds into them, then had the rules changed retrospectively.

In order to do that the law was changed- Generally when that happens it doesn't act retrospectively in any case. Aside from that people were discriminated against.

 

Reform is reform not retroform. I am tired of being fed manure and being told it's apple pie. Enough people spit it out and eventually someone owns up to it being manure but tells us we should feel fortunate enough to eat it. 

 

Well not me - I call BU775#1T.

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Anyone seen the result?!

 

Not sure it's the great news everyone will be hoping for, which option do you think they'll choose if pushed!?

 

The Ministry may not appeal, and instead seek to remove the unfairness. 
There are a number of ways the Ministry might do so:

1.       The Ministry could offer all judges the same protection that members with transitional protection get – but that would cost more money from the public purse – possibly an additional £80,000,000 for judges alone. (The same across the public sector would cost billions of pounds).

2.       Bearing in mind that the unfairness has been deemed to be insofar as those with transitional protections have been treated better (in the judge’s view) than they might have been, one option may be to remove transitional protections completely. 
This would reduce the cost to the public – possibly by £28,000,000. 
Unfortunately if this latter course is taken, some members of the pension scheme lose out. Ultimately it would mean no member of the pensions’ scheme will gain from the claimants’ win, in this ET.

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So what we are afraid of is.... We have actually been discriminated against and it's unfair but if we prove that, then the remedy will be to make things equally bad for everybody, as Draconian and bad PR as that would be- so everyone, still in the service now... even those with 29 yrs plus... they all get converted to CARE. Not just the Police, all the civil services... and the rt Hon MPs????

Yes let's fear the outcome - if you are being bullied, under no circumstances ever fight back as the bully might hit you even harder....


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It does not help that the bully is in a position tom hit you harder. I thought that thye Judgement was a good one for the Police but I was wrong. It just shows that you should rad the whole judgement not just the headlines.

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So, what was the case about?
The case was solely about transitional protections, and whether these caused direct discrimination by age, and indirect by gender and ethnicity.
•    There was no challenge to the legality of the introduction of a new judges’ pension scheme.  
•    The judge acknowledged that there is no statutory ban on reducing pensions and pay.
•    The judge was very clear that he was not ruling on wider public sector pensions’ reform, as this is a matter of public policy.

 

What are transitional protections?
Transitional protections are a mechanism that was lobbied for by unions – including PFEW - across the public sector to protect members.

The aim is to ensure those members who cannot remain entirely in “old” schemes, but who have fewer years to serve before retirement, are given special arrangements to help them adjust.  The rationale was that these members would already have based future plans on an expectation of a certain pension pot.

There are three types of scheme members:
•    Those solely in the old scheme
•    Those in the new scheme but with transitional protections
•    Those solely in the new scheme

 

What does the judgement say?
The judgement does not state that either judges only subject to the new scheme (without protection) or in the old scheme have been treated illegally.

It only states that those judges afforded transitional protection have been treated in a way that causes discrimination. In fact, the judge goes further, and states that those with transitional protection have been treated better than they could have been. When considering whether transitional protections were a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim, the judge considers whether they may have been “excessive” and states that an option might have been to simply follow Hutton’s recommendation that accrued rights under the old scheme be protected. The judges’ schemes both protected old rights and offered transitional protection. (As do the police schemes).

The judge states that in conceding to unions that transitional protections were needed, the employer (the Ministry of Justice) failed to seek or providence sufficient evidence of need.

 

What might be the next steps?
There are a number of things that may happen:
•    The Ministry of Justice may appeal. However, if it does, it will actually be forced to adopt the position the unions initially argued for – i.e. that transitional protections are a good thing.
•    The Ministry may not appeal, and instead seek to remove the unfairness.
There are a number of ways the Ministry might do so:
1.    The Ministry could offer all judges the same protection that members with transitional protection get – but that would cost more money from the public purse – possibly an additional £80,000,000 for judges alone. (The same across the public sector would cost billions of pounds).
2.    Bearing in mind that the unfairness has been deemed to be insofar as those with transitional protections have been treated better (in the judge’s view) than they might have been, one option may be to remove transitional protections completely.
This would reduce the cost to the public – possibly by £28,000,000.

 

Unfortunately if this latter course is taken, some members of the pension scheme lose out. Ultimately it would mean no member of the pensions’ scheme will gain from the claimants’ win, in this ET.

Edited by Mark101

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It should also be noted that accrued benefits cannot be retrospectively removed. They can either upscale by putting everyone back on the '87 scheme, or downscale by removing whatever is left of anyone's transitional tapering period.

If they elect to fight the matter then it is anticipated this will take 2-3 years by which time tapering periods will be all but elapsed.

This has always been worth fighting. I'm frustrated by those who just can't accept they were wrong not to represent us; and even now looking for reasons to keep cowering and not fight back. As General Hogmanay Melchett once said, "If all else fails, a pig-headed refusal to look facts in the face will see us through!"

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I believe tapering goes up to 2021 so some people could lose out.

There is another email that has come out from the Fed explaining their reasons, the main one, is that the Fed fought for tapering (as the original pension draft had no provision for this) so they could not fight against it…….. To me, that sounds reasonable.

The Pension challenge is only challenging the Transitional Tapering officers deal at this time and nothing else.

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