Govt urged to act quickly in addressing 'continued discrimination' following McCloud

The National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) has urged the government to address "continued discrimination" by allowing retirees to access the deferred choice underpin (DCU) at the same time as those of working age.

The government confirmed in the first week of February that it intended to proceed with the DCU approach when responding to the McCloud judgment, allowing members to make a decision between legacy and reformed scheme benefits shortly before benefits are paid from their scheme.

However, NARPO stated that, since the government confirmed its intention to proceed with the DCU approach, it had “become clear that pension scheme members who have already retired will now have to wait at least a further two years to see the discrimination they’ve suffered be remedied”.

The organisation argued that this was unfair and would result in retirees having to live on reduced pensions for further years as they are having to wait until legislation passes through the Houses of Parliament, which was projected to take until October 2023.

The government’s initial statement on having chosen the DCU route had stated that those who had already retired or received a pension award would be offered a choice “as soon as practicable” after necessary legislative and process changes can be made, and the position they opted for would be applied retrospectively back to the date the award was made.

This compares with currently working members, who will experience no such delay if they reach retirement age in the intervening period.

NARPO chief executive, Steve Edwards said: “There is no logical reason why those already retired cannot have their cases dealt with as soon as practicably possible. The original judgment from the courts on this matter found that there had been age-based discrimination, to continue to deny retired members the pension they have earned is not in keeping with the spirit of that judgement.

“That’s why we have called on the Treasury to urgently look at this issue and stop this continued discrimination against older retired public sector workers.”

In response, a government spokesperson said: "We are conscious of the impact of the McCloud judgment and the government recently published the response to the public consultation and set out how it intends to remedy the discrimination.

"The Home Office, NPCC Pensions Team, local force and pension administrators continue to work through the implications of the announcement and will be publishing further information in due course, including updates on the situation for existing scheme members."

The McCloud judgment found that changes made to judges and firefighter’s pensions were discriminatory on the grounds of age, and applied to all public sector pension schemes.

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