Update on 2015 Pension Remedy and news on Public Consultation
In 2015, public service pensions were reformed in order to make them sustainable and affordable over the long term, while ensuring that they would continue to provide excellent pensions for public service workers. In 2018, the Court of Appeal found that one part of the reforms, which had treated older members differently to younger members by allowing them to remain in their legacy scheme until retirement, was unjustified age discrimination. Once identified, the Government set about the process of implementing a remedy to address the issue. This required a two-stage approach. The first was to implement a prospective remedy. The prospective remedy closed earlier Armed Forces schemes (legacy schemes) to further accrual on 31 March 2022 and ensured all personnel serving on and after 1 April 2022 would do so as members of AFPS 2015. This was enacted through the Armed Forces Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2022.
The second stage is to deliver the retrospective remedy. This is the most complex element of remedy and will deliver two elements; the first will be to roll back AFPS members who have not yet started drawing pension benefits to the position they would have been in had the reformed schemes not been introduced. This will happen on 1 October 2023. The roll back period, known as the remedy period, is 1 Apr 2015 to 31 March 2022. The second element is the introduction of the Deferred Choice Underpin (DCU). The DCU permits individuals to choose the pension benefits (either legacy scheme or AFPS 2015 equivalent benefits) they wish to receive for the remedy period at the time when their benefits (including Early Departure Payment) are due to come into payment. Individuals who have already left the services and have pensions in payment will not see any change in their pension as a result of the roll back but will be contacted as soon as practicable after implementation and offered a choice of benefits for the remedy period.
The MOD Armed Forces Pension Scheme Retrospective Remedy Consultation will open in early February 2023. You will be able to access the consultation when it is published by searching ‘Armed Forces Pensions’ on Gov.uk. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and the document provides a background to the remedy and an explanation of the various aspects it entails which will affect people in different ways. The consultation applies to Regular, Reserve and Veteran UK Armed Forces personnel who were in pensionable Service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1st April 2015 and did not have a gap in Service longer than 5 years. The consultation presents you with an opportunity to provide feedback directly to the MOD on the legislation and remedy polices and their impact. You will be able to submit your responses by following the consultation response link to Microsoft forms and then answering the consultation questions listed.
For more information on the 2015 remedy, please use one of the links below!