Govt moves ahead with 'final step' in McCloud remedy

The government has confirmed that it will continue with its proposed approach to the McCloud remedy for civil service pensions, with the new scheme remediable service regulations statutory instrument to be laid in parliament in early September.

The plans were confirmed following its recent industry consultation, and the updated timescale is in line with the government’s 1 October 2023 deadline for the McCloud remedy.

The latest update was highlighted by the government as the “final step” in removing the discrimination identified by the Court of Appeal in December 2018.

This ruling found that the transitional protection afforded to older scheme members unlawfully discriminated against younger members, as transitional protection was only offered to older scheme members.

In its consultation response, the Cabinet Office said that it was pleased that respondents who specifically replied to the direct questions were broadly in agreement with the proposals.

However, there were some areas of concern, particularly around the importance of providing members with clear, accurate and timely information.

In particular, the government revealed that the treatment of mixed service, or tapered members, was a concern for 17 per cent of respondents, whilst a further 14 per cent were concerned about the treatment of partially retired members, and 10 per cent raised concerns for immediate choice members and members with transferred service, respectively.

In its response, the Cabinet Office acknowledged that respondents had raised a number of “helpful points”, which it will use to inform the practical implementation of the retrospective 2015 Remedy.

Despite this, the government's response clarified that many of the responses did not challenge the proposed regulations, but rather, sought clarity on future processes and communication and engagement methods, with the government stating that it was "clear" from the consultation responses that there are still differing levels of understanding about the 2015 Remedy.

Given this, the government reassured savers that the remedy programme will ensure that members are fully supported up to and following the receipt of their Remediable Service Statement (RSS).

It also confirmed that the RSS pack, which will be issued in paper format, will include supporting information and details of useful information on the Civil Service Pensions website. Additionally, there will be query handling support and guidance offered by the MyCSP contact centre.

In addition to this, the government confirmed that address checking and validation is being considered, as is the inclusion of a reminder or prompt stage in the process for members who are yet to record an immediate choice is under discussion.

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