Scottish Ministers respect the decision of the Supreme Court to refuse the UK Government’s appeal in the McCloud and Sargeant cases.

Occupational pensions policy is reserved to the UK, and the UK Government is now required to make remedial proposals to the Employment Tribunal.

We will publish more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, SPPA will continue to administer pension schemes in line with the existing regulations.


The transitional protections provided as part of the 2015 public service pension schemes allowed those closest to retirement to either stay in their final salary scheme or move over to the CARE scheme on a tapered basis. The transitional protections were based on a member’s age and have been subject to challenge in the Judiciary (“McCloud”) and Firefighters’ (“Sargeant”) schemes on the grounds of age discrimination. The Court of Appeal agreed that the transitional protections do discriminate of the grounds of age and that there was no evidence to support an objective justification for that discrimination. The UK Government sought leave to appeal that decision but on 27 June the Supreme Court rejected that request.

The case will now refer back to the Employment Tribunal so that a remedy can be put in place for those affected. The UK Government must now propose a remedy that will compensate individuals for the difference in treatment since 2015 in the Judicial and Firefighters’ schemes and ensure that any future discrimination is removed. Transitional protections introduced in other public service schemes were similarly based on age and consideration is now being given to how this decision impacts on those other schemes.

Published on 1 July 2019