A group legal claim has been issued on behalf of more than 300 teachers, arguing that they have experienced age discrimination as a result of changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS)
The government made changes to the TPS in 2015, with most teachers moving from final salary schemes to career average schemes. However, those within 10 years of retirement were not required to move and were able to remain in the final salary scheme.
In a previous case relating to judges’ and firefighters’ pensions, which experienced similar changes in 2015, it was ruled that changing pensions on this basis constituted unlawful age discrimination. The government subsequently confirmed that this ruling would apply to all public sector pension schemes. Last month, an employment tribunal ruled more than 6000 firefighters are entitled to return to the more generous pre-2015 schemes, and it was expected that a similar remedy would be made to public sector schemes across the board, at an estimated cost to the government of £4billion a year.
However, this latest claim brought on behalf of the group of around 300 teachers argues that the government has made no specific commitment to take action, and that ‘the only way to ensure that the discrimination is remedied is to bring legal proceedings’. Nigel Mackay, of Leigh Day, the legal firm acting on behalf of the teachers said: ‘We have started issuing claims on behalf of the growing group of teachers that we represent and we believe thousands more could bring a legal claim. We are determined to pursue these claims on behalf of our clients to ensure that the government remedies the discriminatory changes it made to our clients’ pension schemes.’
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: ‘We are working with HM Treasury to remedy the difference in treatment for all members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme with relevant service, regardless of whether they have lodged a claim.’
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