The government has now issued their consultation on correcting the unlawful age discrimination that was identified by the Court of Appeal in the 2015 reforms to the Judicial and Firefighters’ pension schemes.
The consultation sets out two possible mechanisms for correcting the discrimination, an immediate choice exercise and a deferred choice underpin.
Each remedy will allow members to be put back in their pre 2015 final salary scheme that will have a lower normal retirement age.
The consultation will close on October 11th and more information can be found here.
The views of the ambulance sector are very important in forming UNISON’s response to this consultation, so over the coming months we will be in contact to seek your views.
UNISON nationally will be responding to the consultation as well as providing input into the responses by the NHS Pension Scheme Advisory Board and the TUC.
Ambulance pension age
Since the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme was introduced, UNISON, as the main union for ambulance staff, has been leading the way in calling on the government to bring the pension age for ambulance staff inline with other emergency service workers.
The pension age for ambulance staff in the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme is linked to your State Pension Age which for many ambulance staff is up to 67 or 68. While fire fighters and police officers can take their full pension at 60.
Further to the government consulting on the ways to remove the age discrimination from the NHS Pension Scheme they have also set out their intentions to move all affected staff back into the 2015 scheme from 1 April 2022.
UNISON will be using this opportunity to remind the government that the ongoing omission of ambulance staff from the group of public service workers – armed forces, police and firefighters – that they deem should have a lower retirement age should end.
Ambulance staff, like the other emergency services, work in similarly unique circumstances and this needs to be reflected in their pension age.