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North Yorkshire Police Federation

PFEW to obtain further legal advice on pensions

10 January 2019

The PFEW to obtain further legal advice following the findings of the judges' and firefighters' pension cases

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the introduction of transitional protections to judges' and firefighters' pensions was not a proportionate means to achieving a legitimate aim. These cases were originally brought to an Employment Tribunal in 2016 due to changes to public sector pensions in 2015, which also affected police officers.

Your National Secretary Alex Duncan said: "The judgement handed down is a positive outcome for those engaged in the process. The difficulty is determining what a positive outcome means for you, our members. Within the ruling, there is reference made to other rulings that have been decided upon since we obtained our initial legal advice on whether to challenge the pension changes some five years ago.

"As a result, we will be obtaining further legal advice, which will incorporate a thorough review of our previous advice, including this recent ruling and arguments put forward within the Court of Appeal. This will allow us to better understand what this ruling means for you and how we can best represent your interests moving forward. We anticipate that this review will be completed early in 2019."

Pension cost cap breach decision expected early in 2019

A decision on how to address the public service pension cost cap breach reported by HM Treasury in September last year is expected in the coming months. The Government Actuary Department's (GAD) draft actuarial valuation report for the police pension schemes indicates that employer contributions need to increase for the period 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2023 and also that the cost of the schemes are not on target.

The public service pension scheme cost cap is designed to limit the cost to the taxpayer of providing pensions to public service workers. The target level of the cap is set as a percentage of pensionable payroll. If a valuation shows that costs have risen or fallen by more than 2%, action must be taken to redress the balance. In this case the costs have fallen by more than 2%.

The Home Office and Police Pension Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) are currently in discussions and must seek to reach an agreement on how to proceed in January. Your National Secretary Alex Duncan said: "Scheme members - including ourselves - have been consulted via the SAB. We are considering the options available, but we will ultimately be pushing for what is in your best interests."