On 25 March 2020 the Economic Secretary to the Treasury laid a Written Ministerial Statement before the UK Parliament to provide an update on the progress the government is making to address the discrimination identified by the Court of Appeal in the 2015 reforms in some of the public service pension schemes.

The statement reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to removing the discrimination across all public service pension schemes for all affected scheme members, not just for those who have lodged claims. The Scottish Government shares this commitment.

The statement also provided an update on the recent development of the policy proposals for achieving this. This is a complicated process which will take some time but the UK Government is committed to making progress on this despite the current situation with Covid-19.

The recent technical discussions held by pension schemes with member and employer representatives are now coming to an end. These have provided helpful insight which will be factored into the government’s policy making process. The UK Government will be publishing more detailed proposals as part of a formal consultation later this year.

The WMS also notes the UK Government may need to consider whether previous tax years from April 2015 onwards should be reopened to correct tax positions for those whose pension circumstances change as a result.

The UK Government is currently finalising the pension policy proposals ahead of formal public consultation, these proposals will have the tax implications that the government is carefully considering. Ahead of confirmation of the policy position, it is recommended that members keep their paperwork related to pension tax payments from 2015 onwards.

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Published on 25 March 2020