15 May 2020
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is launching a compensation claim against the Government on behalf of members who were victims of discrimination and suffered any ‘injury to feeling’ as a result of changes to members’ pensions caused by the introduction of a new scheme in 2015.
In 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government’s changes to pensions with regard to judges and firefighters were discriminatory on the grounds of age. PFEW’s Group Action claim follows unsuccessful discussions with Government about compensating police officers for pension losses suffered through the discriminatory 2015 pension changes.
The claim is to ensure members who have not already submitted a claim in respect of pension discrimination are also considered for any compensation the court considers appropriate for the distress caused by the discriminatory changes.
In a joint statement, PFEW national secretary Alex Duncan and chair John Apter said: “We have consistently said on the issue of pensions that we would closely monitor any decisions made by Government and litigate if, and when, this was necessary.
“The Government has made it absolutely clear all members who suffered age discrimination because of the enforced 2015 pension changes would be remedied. This still leaves the question of compensation for those affected and, unfortunately, the Government has been unwilling to consider this issue.
“Having reviewed this, PFEW decided to ensure members are treated fairly and we are now taking the only step available which is to pursue a Group Action. This legal action against the Government and forces is being launched to compensate members for the distress caused by the discriminatory 2015 pension changes.”
The Group Action is being handled on PFEW’s behalf by the leading UK and international law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper.
What is a Group Action?
Group Action Litigation is the term to describe what may be called Class Action or Collective Redress Actions in other jurisdictions. Group Actions are a way for individuals with similar complaints to join together against an alleged wrong-doer.
The key advantage of a Group Action is that test cases are often selected from within the group so the rest of the group members may benefit from decisions involving those cases.