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West Midlands Police Federation

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Pensions ruling – Federation seeks new legal advice

21 January 2019

The Police Federation is awaiting fresh legal advice after the Court of Appeal ruled the Government’s changes to the pension schemes of judges and firefighters were discriminatory on the grounds of age.

It is also expecting the Government to respond to the latest ruling.

The legal challenge on behalf of the judges and firefighters came after changes to public sector pensions in 2015 which also affected police officers.

Alex Duncan, national secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, (PFEW) said when the ruling was announced in the run-up to Christmas: “This remains a complicated issue, with no certainty over how the Government will choose to address the ruling.

“The judgement handed down is both lengthy and complex, but nonetheless, a positive outcome for those engaged in the process. The difficulty is determining what a positive outcome means for our members and those officers engaged with Leigh Day solicitors.

“Furthermore, within the ruling, there is reference made to other rulings which have been decided upon since we obtained our initial legal advice on whether to challenge the pension changes some five years ago. There have been previous requests for our legal advice to be shared publicly, however, our view has been that it could be unhelpful to those engaged in the current challenge and could, at any stage, undermine their position or our own.

“We have always closely monitored the developments within the cases lodged by the judges, firefighters and our colleagues represented by Leigh Day and at every stage we have stated that we would review our position dependent on developments.

Following the Court of Appeal ruling, the Federation is seeking further legal advice, including a thorough review of its previous advice and the arguments put forward at the last court hearing. It will also consult its pensions specialists.

“We anticipate that this review will be completed early in 2019, at which point we will be better informed to be able to decide on what the next steps should be,” said Alex.

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September 2020
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