Court of Appeal - Pension Update

Court of Appeal - Pension Update

Court of Appeal - Pension Update

5 years ago Members News

Court of Appeal - Pension Update


I am writing to provide you with a further update on Pensions in respect of the Judges and Firefighters Court of Appeal Ruling. 

As many of you will know, the Firefighters union won what it referred to as ‘a landmark ruling’ in respect of Government changes to firefighters pensions in 2015. 

On the 20th December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Governments changes to pensions with regards to Firefighters and Judges were discriminatory on the grounds of age. 

This case did not challenge the introduction of the new CARE scheme but rather the transitional arrangements (tapered protection) which has been ruled by the Court of Appeal as “not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’.

From the outset, we have watched developments in the FBU and the Judges’ cases carefully, our position being that should the need arise to take a separate legal action in support of our members, we would do so. 

As a result of the Ruling we have sought  updated Legal advice , taking into consideration all available information, including the most recent statement by Government regarding its intention to Appeal and, in the event of being required to do so, considering compensation for anyone affected by it. 

I include the following links for your information:

The legal advice is that there is no basis for issuing proceedings on behalf of our members at this stage -  the outworkings of these cases are likely to have an impact across all Public Sector Pension schemes in England and Wales and these would be mirrored in NI. We are advised that it is unlikely that time limits would run from the date of the Court of Appeal ruling in any event.

Should any member have specific circumstances which they believe gives rise to a claim on their part, we will of course take legal advice on those issues.

We will consider the position again when the outcome of the Court of Appeal case and the Government’s response are clearer and should further legal advice be necessary at that stage we will revert to Counsel once again and communicate the next steps, in a clear and timely manner.

This information was briefed out today at Central Committee and will be placed on the PFNI web-site.  Our Chairman will update the entire membership in the next few days but we felt it was important that each of you had these details well in advance.

I trust that this is of assistance to you.

Colin McCrum, PFNI Secretary


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