Why we’re still owed our 2% overpaid pension contributions - pension justice now!
The government has been forced by the McCloud judgement to give back access to pension benefits at 60 for members who were in the scheme on 31 March 2012. They now propose to give members a choice between having service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022 treated either under Alpha rules or the legacy pension rules. From 1 April 2022 Alpha will be the only defined benefit scheme. The proposal is the subject of a public consultation.
There is a sting in the tail of the government’s proposal because the cost of this remedy which is required of the government by the Court of Appeal will be offset against the breach of the employee cost cap, which should have reduced employee contributions by 2% from April 2019. This undermines the integrity of the cost cap arrangement and the 2016 valuation of the scheme.
We say this is unacceptable because each month our members are overpaying and the government is seeking to pass the cost of its defeat in court on the issue of age discrimination back to the members of the scheme. When major changes to the pension scheme were announced in 2012 it was claimed that the cost of the old schemes was excessive. To justify their approach four yearly valuations and an approach which was claimed to underpin cost sharing was adopted. When the 2016 valuation showed costs 5.4% below target things proved not to be so simple.
The government is hoping the legal remedy disposes of the cost cap issue. It does not and because the government isn’t listening we will keep the Civil Service Pension Scheme at the front and centre of our national campaign over your pay pensions and redundancy rights.
We will also take legal action and we are discussing with other public service unions how the latest development affects our application for judicial review of the cost-sharing principles which were claimed to underpin what the government refers to as the reformed pension schemes.
We’re urging our members to find out about the government’s proposals and about the constantly exaggerated price tag put on public service pensions to whip up public hostility.