McCloud Judgment and Remedy FAQs - Retiring soon or thinking of leaving?

NICS Pension Schemes - McCloud Judgment Remedy FAQs

What does it mean for those members who have taken ill health retirement since 1 April 2015 or are due to retire before the remedy has been implemented? 

The Department of Finance accepts that affected members of the reformed pension schemes who have retired since 1 April 2015 or will retire before the remedy has been implemented, already have an entitlement to be treated as a member of their legacy scheme for the remedy period if they wish.

However, giving effect to this entitlement before legislation is implemented creates complex issues, particularly where there are interactions with the tax system. Legislative changes will be made where necessary for devolved schemes through the Public Service Pensions & Judicial Office Bill at Westminster. There are also tax and scheme-specific legislative changes which will be required before the remedy can be implemented.

We will make sure that details of the process are updated to the website and provided to both members and employers when they become available.

I am retiring soon, how will I be affected?

All members who were subject to the discrimination will be within scope of any changes made to schemes, irrespective of their status, i.e. pensioner, still in service (active member), left service but not yet taken benefits (deferred member).

It’s unlikely that any changes will be made prior to you leaving, so your pension will be based on the current position, as shown in your annual benefit statements.  Should there be subsequent change needed due to the pension scheme changes being implemented, then we will write to you to confirm. Please be assured, however, that the pension you have earned to date is safe.

If you’re moving address, please ensure you advise Civil Service Pensions (NI) of your updated details.

If members have already retired before the settlement is worked out can they change their pension for the years since 1st April 2015?

Yes - Retirees from both legacy and reformed schemes who were in service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015 will be offered the choice on which arrangement they wish to be in for the remedy period.

How will people who retire before the introduction of the deferred choice underpin be treated?

Members who have retired before the DCU is implemented and have a period of relevant service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022, will be offered a choice once the legislative changes have been made to implement the DCU. The choice will be retrospective and backdated to the point that payment of pension benefits began.

There are still complex issues to be resolved before schemes are in a position to process cases on a consistent basis - further updates will be provided as soon as possible.

In all cases where an individual receives a revised pension award, this will be backdated to the date their pension award relating to the remedy period was originally made.

If I leave my job or retire, will I still have my pension looked at?

Yes. All members who were subject to the discrimination will be within scope of any changes made to schemes, irrespective of their status, i.e. pensioner, still in service (active member), left service but not yet taken benefits (deferred member).

My State Pension Age (SPA) is less than 65, can I retire from alpha at my SPA or do I need to wait until 65?

Some female members may have a SPA below the age of 65, however according to the Public Service Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, the Normal Pension Age (NPA) of the reformed scheme (alpha) is the same as the members SPA or 65, whichever is higher.  You may however retire before that date but your pension would be subject to Actuarial Reduction.

Should I just opt out?

If you are thinking of opting out of the Civil Service Pension (NI) arrangements, remember that if you do, you will miss out on a range of valuable benefits for you and your family. Your pension is an important part of your pay and reward package. As well as your pension contribution, your employer also pays a pension contribution on your behalf.

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