For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in Scotland
A list of questions on popular topics. This is where you will find information about death benefits, the McCloud court case and pensions and divorce.
When the Government reformed public service pension schemes in 2015 it introduced protections for older members. In December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that younger members of the Judges’ and Firefighters’ pension schemes have been discriminated against because the protections do not apply to them.
The Government has confirmed that there will be changes to all the main public service pension schemes, including the LGPS, to remove the discrimination. This ruling is often called the ‘McCloud judgment’ after a member of the Judges’ Pension Scheme involved in the case.
When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2015, members who were within ten years of their Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 were given protection from the changes. The Normal Pension Age in 2012 was generally 65. In simple terms, when a protected member takes their pension, the benefits payable under the career average and final salary schemes are compared. The higher amount is paid. This protection is called the underpin.
To remove the discrimination, the Government will need to provide younger members with protection equal to the underpin protection already given to older members. It consulted on the proposed changes to the LGPS to do this in 2020. We expect a full response to the 2020 consultation in 2023.
We understand that the changes will apply to members who:
If you left the LGPS before 1 April 2015, you built up benefits in the final salary scheme only. These changes will not affect your pension.
There will be no change to your pension until you take it. This means that any adjustment for early or late payment can be taken into account when your pension fund compares your career average and final salary benefits.
Most members are unlikely to see an increase to their pension. Where there is an increase, it is likely to be small. This is because most members will build up a higher pension in the career average scheme than they would have built up in the final salary scheme.
We expect the changes to the LGPS rules to come into effect on 1 October 2023.
You do not need to take any action. The Government has confirmed that members who qualify for protection do not need to make a claim for the changes to apply to them.
If you qualify for protection and have membership in the LGPS after 31 March 2015, the changes will apply to you even if you have left the Scheme.
If you qualify for protection and have membership after 31 March 2015, the changes will apply to you even if you are already receiving your LGPS pension.