Firefighters lose discrimination appeal regarding Firefighters' Pension Scheme

Written by Talya Misiri

Firefighters have lost their claim that the 2015 Firefighters’ Pension Scheme was discriminatory.

The Employment Tribunal ruled on 14 February 2017 that arrangements made concerning the transitional proposal for the 2015 Firefighter’s Pension Scheme did not discriminate on the grounds of age, sex or race.

The Fire Brigades Union is set to consider the reasons for the decision with its legal team in the near future and then decide whether or not to appeal further.

Firefighters under the age of 45 on 1 April 2012 were transferred into a new scheme in 2015. The FBU claimed that the new scheme was discriminatory as members were required to work longer and make greater contributions into the scheme but receive a lower-value pension.

In addition, claimants said the scheme discriminates on race and gender as an unequal number of women and ethnic minority firefighters are affected by the amendments.

Commenting on the decision FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, said: “This is obviously very disappointing. Our lawyers believed that we have a strong case and that remains their view. A differently constituted Tribunal considered a parallel claim regarding the Judicial Pension Scheme, and reached the opposite conclusion a month ago.

“We have always known that this would be a long fight and we anticipated that the case would be appealed by the Government if we had won.

“We regard the transitional arrangements, which force younger firefighters into having to work on to age 60 are totally unrealistic. We will pursue the argument for our members in whatever venue is likely to deliver us the correct result.”

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