These two appeals both focus on age discrimination in transition arrangements for pension schemes, and were heard consecutively at EAT.
1.Ministry of Justice v McCloud
In McCloud, the ET had decided that the New Judicial Pension Scheme (NJPS) was discriminatory. The Claimants are judges, and were entitled to pensions under the Judicial Pension Scheme (JPS). The less generous NJPS was introduced in 2015, following the Hutton report to government on Public Sector pensions. Transitional arrangements were proposed, whereby judges born before April 1957 and in the JPS before April 2012 would remain entitled to full benefits; those born between April 1957 and September 1960 would receive tapered benefits; and those born after September 1960 would receive no tapering and would transfer to NJPS as of 1 April 2015. The claimants claimed that they were treated less favourably on the grounds of age, with younger judges disproportionately affected, and it was not justified. The EAT determined that the ET had misdirected itself in concluding that there was no legitimate aim. However, it had found correctly that the new pension scheme was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, and the discrimination was not justified. The appeal was dismissed.
2. Sargeant and others v London Fire
In Sargeant, the ET had concluded that the Respondents were pursuing a legitimate aim, which could be justified even though it had a discriminatory impact on age. The ET determined that the means adopted were proportionate. The Claimants in this case are fire fighters, and had been entitled to pensions under the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (FPS). A new pension scheme was introduced, and again (in line with recommendations to government) was less generous. As with the judicial pensions, older firefighters were protected, with a tapering affect in three age groups. The claimants were claiming that they were treated less favourably on the grounds of age. The EAT agreed with the ET, the aim was legitimate, and could be justified. However, it remitted the proportionality point back to the ET as it only applied the level of scrutiny from the decisions of the EU courts, and not domestic case law.