It was announced in February 2021 that pension scheme members affected by the McCloud judgment would receive a ‘deferred choice’ of which pension schemes benefits they would prefer to take at the point they retire, and this will apply across the majority of the main public service pension schemes, including the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. Where members are already receiving pensions, they will be given a choice as soon as practicable.
The remedy was designed to be delivered in two stages: the first to bring the discrimination to an end (the prospective remedy) from 1 April 2022, and the second, to be implemented on 1 October 2023, to remedy the discrimination that had taken place (for the Armed Forces) between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022 (the retrospective remedy).
In the Armed Forces pension schemes, the prospective remedy was implemented through the Armed Forces Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which came into effect on 1 April 2022. Since that date, all serving service personnel have been members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15).
The second stage is to deliver the retrospective remedy. The retrospective remedy public consultation has been launched this week and will run for 12 weeks, ending on 29 May 2023. The link to the consultation published on GOV.UK can be found here.
The main body of the consultation outlines the principles of the 2015 remedy, including the policy on roll back and how the member’s choice will work. The enclosures deal with complicating factors; commutation, dependant benefits, early payment of pension, ill health, interest, member’s voluntary contributions, medical and dental officer AFPS 05 bonus scheme; opted out service, redundancy, pension transfers, abatement and early departure payments. There are 18 questions in the document and details on how to respond are contained in Chapter 1 of the main body.
All personnel in scope for remedy are encouraged to read the consultation and engage in the process. Briefings to outline the key elements within the consultation will take place at the following times, if you wish to attend please use the MS Teams link at the foot of this announcement. Please note, these briefings will not be an opportunity to address individual queries. Once the consultation is concluded, a number of briefing materials and additional information will be provided.
15 Mar 1200-1300
16 Mar 1800-1900
20 Mar 1800-1900
21 Mar 1200-1300
22 Mar 1200-1300
27 Mar 1200-1300
28 Mar 1800-1900
29 Mar 1200-1300
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