AFPS 75 / 05 / 15 Crowdfunding Court Case

Le Chiffre

Swinger
*Mods - please kindly do not relocate this to some obscure sub-forum about pensions - it's current and important, and probably relevant to tens of thousands of serving and ex-serving*.


I haven't posted on here for years, but I'm looking to rally a bit of ARRSE power, as a load of us have been fcuked over and no-one is really sure what we are going to do about it:

Situation
Some of you will have heard of McCloud & Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (also known as the Judge's and Fire Fighters pension case). Basically, changes that HMG made to public sector pensions in 2015 have been ruled unlawful on the grounds of age discrimination.

HMG last week said it would, of its own kind heart, 'extend' the validity of this ruling to cover the Armed Forces. Or more to the point, it is probably wanting to avoid another costly and embarrassing Court case.

What does this mean for me as serving or recent ex-forces?
It means that if you were on AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 and got forcibly transferred to AFPS 15, you were almost certainly unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of age and will be entitled to a remedy at law. Probably back-dating of your pension to the original scheme. But I bet you the MoD will try and worm its way out of this. Depending on your rank, this could be worth tens of thousands of pounds, or maybe even more.

So what?
Interestingly, and unless I am super-sh1t at using the 'search' function, no-one really seems to be talking about this on ARRSE. Which is strange, because it potentially affects tens of thousands of people who are still serving or have recently retired. And, from what I hear, everyone seems to be talking about it in messes up and down the country.

Ok, so what's the plan?
I am aware of someone who has put a Service Complaint in asking for their AFPS15 pension to be 'restored' to the AFPS 05 provisions that they joined on, thus 'reversing' the unlawful discrimination and putting them in the position they would have been in 'but for' the unlawful transition to AFPS 15.

The average time to resolve a Service Complaint is 26 weeks. So in all probability we won't know the outcome until next year. Given that it's on such an important point, it may take even longer than that to resolve. And given that the MoD has a history of 'picking and choosing' the parts of law it wants to follow, there is no guarantee our Complainant will be offered any meaningful redress.

Go on...
I am one of those caught up in this. I want to issue a class-action in either the Employment Tribunal or High Court, on behalf of those affected. Which probably includes YOU. The idea is to force the MoD's hand and prevent them from implementing a crap compromise solution before we are time-barred (there is a 6 year time limit in Court cases - and it may take 6/12 months to get this to the point where we are ready to issue proceedings).

The plan is to get a 'Judgment', i.e. a legally binding decision of the Court or Tribunal, that says we were unlawfully discriminated against. I am going to ask for the remedy to be restoration of everyone's pension to the scheme that they joined on, i.e. AFPS 75 or AFPS 05. This could, potentially, be worth tens of thousands of pounds to some people, perhaps more, over their retirement. Another problem with AFPS15 is that you have to wait until 67 to get most of your benefits.

So what do you want?
A vague promise by the MoD to sort this out is not enough. It's likely that some bean-counter is going to try and shaft us with a half-baked solution.

I intend to take 'professional' (i..e paid for) legal advice, hopefully from one of the firms who acted in the Judges and Fire Fighter's case. I will then issue Court or Tribunal proceedings if they think it's worthwhile (they probably will - what solicitor doesn't want to take on new work).

Instructing solicitors is not cheap; it will probably take £5,000 minimum to get this off the ground inclusive of Court costs.

So...

1. I am willing to 'stand' as lead Claimant. I am seeking a number of other people who are affected by this to join me as Claimants in the class action. This will involve us disclosing our real names for Court purposes. We cannot issue as ARRSE v MoD. I will setup an e mail address for people to get in contact - that way you don't have to disclose your user-name and full dodgy ARRSE posting history.

If we have a case, then it will cover everyone affected by this situation and force the MoD to properly make good our loss, hopefully by restoring us to our original pension schemes.

2. I may shortly be looking for financial contributions to any legal advice or possible Court case. Basically crowd-funding. If a few hundred (or more!) of us chip in then we won't need to give much each. Literally £20 a head from 250 people will meet the initial £5000 target. Given the vast amount of people involved, I am hoping we can raise even more than this as an 'insurance policy' if it drags on and we need to go to Court.

If I raise more money than we need I will split the rest equally between the 3 main Service charities. All money will be kept in a separate bank account (i.e. not my personal account) and I promise to publish full 'accounts' of every penny spent and received.

This is a wind up or scam, right?
Nope, i'm genuinely serious. I have been fcuked over myself by the unlawful pension changes.

I am going to speak to the solicitor this week and, subject to what they say, look to setup a 'Crowd Funding' page on Justgiving or something. I will report back when I know more.

So...who's up for it?
 
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Have you suffered any loss being on AFPS 15? If not, what is the point?
 

Le Chiffre

Swinger
The average person who is still serving will have to work several years longer on AFPS 15 in return for far less than they would have received at their original immediate pension point on AFPS 75 or AFPS 05.

They will also have to wait until 67 to receive most of those benefits, whereas under 75 or 05 there was a decent immediate pension point on the day they left the Service if they did long enough (16 or 18 years for officers under the respective schemes I think...not sure what it was for the 'chaps' but I think they had a half pension point somewhere around 12 years).

Those who have left the Service should have their pension pots 'topped up'.

So, as I was saying, worth tens of thousands (if not more) to some. Depending on rank and length of service.
 
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You haven’t read the cases you cited properly have you?

Within a few lines of a quick search on the internet I can see why your case will not succeed.

The cases you cited were brought forward on the grounds of age discrimination. This was because when the pension schemes were changed, some were allowed to remain on the old scheme if they were within 10 years of their pension date.

When AFPS 15 was introduced, everyone moved over to it. There is no discrimination, therefore you cannot rely on the stare decisis of those cases.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a claim, but on what grounds are you bringing it?
 

Le Chiffre

Swinger
You haven’t read the cases you cited properly have you?

Within a few lines of a quick search on the internet I can see why your case will not succeed.

The cases you cited were brought forward on the grounds of age discrimination. This was because when the pension schemes were changed, some were allowed to remain on the old scheme if they were within 10 years of their pension date.

When AFPS 15 was introduced, everyone moved over to it. There is no discrimination, therefore you cannot rely on the stare decisis of those cases.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a claim, but on what grounds are you bringing it?
Fire Fighters and Judges have already succeeded on exactly the same claim when their pensions were changed to a new 15 scheme, and HMG says they will extend the ruling to armed forces personnel.

An exact replica of the claim has already succeeded and HMG has said it will apply this to us, as armed forces personnel. I don't trust them and want to get this in a Court Judgment, since at the moment all we have is their 'good word'.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
I have a 75 pension but can I claim discrimination cos I left before being moved onto a worse scheme?
 

Tired_Tech

On ROPS
On ROPs
You haven’t read the cases you cited properly have you?

Within a few lines of a quick search on the internet I can see why your case will not succeed.

The cases you cited were brought forward on the grounds of age discrimination. This was because when the pension schemes were changed, some were allowed to remain on the old scheme if they were within 10 years of their pension date.

When AFPS 15 was introduced, everyone moved over to it. There is no discrimination, therefore you cannot rely on the stare decisis of those cases.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a claim, but on what grounds are you bringing it?
Actually.

Those within ten years of their pension date on AFPS 75 and 05 were allowed to stay on that pension...

So, what were you saying?
 
When AFPS 15 was introduced, everyone moved over to it. There is no discrimination, therefore you cannot rely on the stare decisis of those cases.
Well no, not everyone. That’s the point.

“Transitional protection
The government has offered transitional protection for those who were within 10 years of their respective scheme’s normal pension age (NPA) on 1 April 2012.
AFPS 75, AFPS 05 and FTRS 97 (full commitment) have a NPA of 55. RFPS, FTRS 97 (on limited or home commitment) and NRPS have a NPA of 60.
This means if you are a member of AFPS 75, AFPS05 or FTRS 97 (FC) and were aged 45 or over on 1 April 2012, you will stay on your current pension scheme and your benefits will be unaffected.
If you are a member of the RFPS (including those on additional duties commitment), FTRS 97 (on LC or HC) or NRPS and were aged 50 or over on 1 April 2012, you will remain in your current pension scheme and your benefits will be unaffected.
This transitional protection was a government decision for all public service schemes, for those personnel who were nearest to their NPA and who will, therefore, have less time to adjust their financial plans in response to the changes to their pension scheme. About 7,800 officers and 7,000 other ranks will benefit from transitional protection.”

Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015: guidance
 

Tired_Tech

On ROPS
On ROPs
Transitional protection
The government has offered transitional protection for those who were within 10 years of their respective scheme’s normal pension age (NPA) on 1 April 2012.

AFPS 75, AFPS 05 and FTRS 97 (full commitment) have a NPA of 55. RFPS, FTRS97 (on limited or home commitment) and NRPS have a NPA of 60.

This means if you are a member of AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or FTRS 97 (FC) and were aged 45 or over on 1 April 2012, you will stay on your current pension scheme and your benefits will be unaffected.

If you are a member of the RFPS (including those on additional duties commitment), FTRS 97 (on LC or HC) or NRPS and were aged 50 or over on 1 April 2012, you will remain in your current pension scheme and your benefits will be unaffected.

This transitional protection was a government decision for all public service schemes, for those personnel who were nearest to their NPA and who will, therefore, have less time to adjust their financial plans in response to the changes to their pension scheme. About 7,800 officers and 7,000 other ranks will benefit from transitional protection.

Taken from

Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015: guidance
 

Le Chiffre

Swinger
Actually.

Those within ten years of their pension date on AFPS 75 and 05 were allowed to stay on that pension...

So, what were you saying?
That is the exact point and Dinger completely misdirected himself as to the law. The position is as follows:

Those who were within 10 years were allowed to stay on the old scheme (75 or 05). Those who weren't were transferred onto a substantially inferior scheme (15) and have to work longer in return for less. They also have to wait until 67 to receive most of the benefits they were originally promised on the day they walked out.

The age discrimination point is because those who were transferred were, on the whole, younger in age then those who weren't.

It will work like this, because this is how it worked for Judges and Fire Fighters in a carbon copy case:

A and B are on the same scheme (75 or 05). A has 4 years of Service to go whilst B has 15. The cut-off is 10 years so A is allowed to stay on the old scheme whilst B is forcibly transferred.

B has been discriminated against, either directly or indirectly. This is because B (and everyone else like him or her) is more likely to be younger than A, and thus B is a victim of age discrimination.

It's quite a subtle point...and not one some people will instantly be able to get their head round. Which is why I am genuinely trying to help people by explaining it and offering to do something about it. I am not making a penny from this and the solicitor I will instruct is not a friend or relative. I just want to try and help out people who have been genuinely shafted, of which I am one.

But some will just try and take the p1ss...because this is ARRSE and they left 15 years ago on their gold-plated pension and don't give a fcuk about the young 'uns. Sigh...
 
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Goddammit. I wasn't thinking.

Like, maybe I was/wasn't in the Brexitsphere, man.

I'm too old to be affected by this event (as are you, you old, old brute) but if there's been an abject injustice I'm peripherally interested, if only for the fact that I tend to believe that Government in the UK has been substandard for some years. Seriously; Blair started a fashion, and it's been very 'B', if not 'C-' since then. I had faith when I was young, but cynicism has been hard on me.
 
The OP appears to be perfectly correct in suggesting that the recent Supreme Court ruling refusing a right of further appeal affects some armed forces pensions. The BAFF FB feed says the Government has now accepted that the ruling has implications for a wide range of public sector pensions including the armed forces. Whether the Govt's review will be satisfactory remains to be seen.
 
Whether the Govt's review will be satisfactory remains to be seen.
I doubt it will be satisfactory. I bet that the people who stayed on 75 and ended up serving over 37 years won't be able to get 42/37ths.
 

9.414

Old-Salt
I am not sure that a Service Complaint about loss of pension entitlement will get far. The service complaint scheme has a number of excluded items and a schedule of matters that I seem to remember includes pension items that are subject to a review under the pension scheme.

Probably requires a pension review request etc instead - but I am not a pension scheme expert!
 
D

Deleted 60082

Guest
Has anyone bothered to contact the Forces Pension Society about this?
 

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