Six High Court judges have succeeded in their claims against the
Ministry of Justice about the introduction of the judicial pension
scheme reforms. All six judges alleged that they had been
discriminated against on the grounds of age, and two claimants also
alleged that they had been discriminated on the grounds of sex and
race respectively. The changes at the heart of the complaints were
to the judicial pension scheme and affect more than 200 judges.
A summary of the two pension schemes is provided below:
Old scheme (before 2012)
No employment contributions
Income of a 40th of the judge's final salary multiplied by
that judge's length of service
Final lump sum on retirement after the age of 65 two and a
quarter times the judge's annual rate
Contribution rates due to rise to 8% of pensionable pay
Income of 43rd of the judge's final pensionable pay per
year of service
No final lump sum payment
In 2015, as part of transitionary arrangements, older judges
were permitted to keep more generous pension arrangements
(depending on their age, they either remained in the old scheme or
remained in the old scheme for an extended period). At the same
time, their younger colleagues were required to transition straight
into the current, less generous, pension scheme.
The Employment Tribunal found that the Ministry of Justice and
the Lord Chancellor discriminated against the younger judges and
that the discrimination could not be justified as a proportionate
means of achieving a legitimate aim. The Tribunal noted that the
younger judges compelled to join the scheme were the worst
Broader concerns have been expressed about individuals being
dissuaded from applying for judicial positions because of issues
over remuneration and other terms and conditions.
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