When the Government reformed public service pension schemes in 2014 and 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 had been discriminated against because the protections did not apply to them.
From 1 October 2023, the Government changed all public service pension schemes, including the LGPS, to remove the discrimination. The ruling is often called the ‘McCloud judgment’ after a member of the Judges’ Pension Scheme involved in the case. The changes to remove the discrimination are known as the ‘McCloud remedy’.
When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2015, members who were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 were protected 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.
From 1 October 2023, the LGPS rules changed to remove the discrimination. Younger members now also have underpin protection on the pension they built up in the remedy period. The new rules include much more detail about how the underpin works for different members.
The remedy period runs from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022. Underpin protection finished earlier if you left the LGPS or reached age 65 before 31 March 2022.
You can use our ‘Am I affected?’ tool to find out if you are protected by the underpin.
You are protected if you:
If you left the LGPS or reached age 65 before 1 April 2015, you are not protected.
You will also be protected by the underpin if you: