An Introduction to the Teachers Pension Claim
On 27 June 2019, the Government reached the end of the road in its attempts to defend claims from judges and firefighters relating to changes the Government had made to their pension schemes. The Supreme Court refused the Government permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the Government’s changes were discriminatory on the grounds of age, race and equal pay. Leigh Day represents a group of the successful judges.
These claims followed changes to public sector pensions that came into force in April 2015. The main change, and the one that gave rise to the judges’ and firefighters’ claims, was that younger workers were moved from a final salary pension, to a new career average arrangement.
Despite the successful challenges brought by judges and firefighters, the Government remains silent on how it will address the ongoing discrimination across the public sector.
The Government has certainly made no promises that it will reintroduce the previous, more favourable pension conditions, or otherwise remedy the discrimination for all workers that has been continuing since 2015.
In a public statement made in relation to the judges’ and firefighters’ claims the Government referred to remedy for “litigants”.
Similarly, at the judge’s first remedy hearing in early October, an interim order was granted stating that the judges that had brought a claim may be treated as though they had remained on the final salary scheme after April 2015. As such, only public sector workers who have brought claims have been entitled to any remedy.
The Teachers Pension Claim
Following Leigh Day’s success in claims for judges, and alongside the 15,000 police officers we represent in a similar claim in which the Government has already conceded liability, we have now begun to bring claims on behalf of younger teachers impacted by the 2015 changes.
Given that the Government has not made any offer of compensation for workers who have not brought claims, we believe that bringing a successful claim is the only way to for teachers’ to guarantee that any discrimination they have suffered will be remedied.
By Bethany Eldon-Kerr