McCloud Judgement

The McCloud Judgement relates to two employment tribunal cases that were brought against the Government. The claimants argued that protection introduced following changes to public sector pension schemes in 2014/2015 amounted to unlawful discrimination as the protections only applied to certain older members.

What is the McCloud court case about?

When changes were made to public sector pension schemes in April 2015, they introduced protections for older members to ensure that the changes would not negatively impact their pension (i.e. reduce it.)

In December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that younger members had been discriminated against because the protections only applied to older members.


What does this mean for the Pension Scheme?

In 2015 the LGPS changed from a final salary to a CARE pension scheme. Protection was introduced at this time in the form of an “underpin”. This ensured that anyone who was 10 years or less from Normal Retirement Age on 1st April 2012 would not be worse off, and they would receive a pension at least equal to the one they would have received, had the scheme not changed. Under the Ruling, this is considered a form of protection which is age dependent and therefore amounts to age discrimination

The Government will need to provide younger members with a protection equal to the underpin protection provided to older members in order to remove the discrimination. It is currently considering exactly what changes need to be made to do this.


Will the changes apply to me?

You can use our handy Underpin checker below to see if these changes affect you.

McCloud and Underpin Check

We've created a helpful tool for you to see if you qualify for the underpin and the amendments as a result of the McCloud Ruling. Simply answer each question by clicking 'Yes' or 'No' to see if you're eligible.

  1. Were you an active member, paying into the pension scheme before 31 March 2012?

  2. Were you still an active member, paying into the pension scheme after 1 April 2015?

  3. You have underpin protection and the revised protection as a result of the McCloud Judgement. Even if you have since left the pension fund or are receiving your pension.  But remember being eligible for the underpin does not mean your pension will increase. 

  4. You do not have any underpin protection and do not qualify under the McCloud ruling.

  5. You do not have any underpin protection and do not qualify under the McCloud ruling.

Disclaimer - This tool is not intended to cover every personal circumstance, nor does it confer any contractual or statuatory rights and is provided for information purposes only. In the event of any dispute over your pension benefits the appropriate legislation will prevail.

Will my pension increase?

Most members are unlikely to see an increase to their pension, and where an increase is applied, it is likely to be small. This is because most members build up a higher pension in the CARE scheme than they would have under the final salary scheme.


When will the changes come into effect?

We do not expect any changes to be introduced before April 2023.


What do I need to do?

Nothing, you do not need to do anything.

If you have already retired, and your qualify for protection following the McCloud changes, we will automatically perform the “underpin” check and apply any increase to your pension. This would also be back dated to the date you left.

If you are still working, or you have left but you are not receiving your pension, when you come to retire or take your pension, we will perform the underpin check at this time.

Please be aware that there are some companies actively encouraging members to make an employment tribunal claim. You do not need to do this. These claims could be costly and are unnecessary because, if you’ve been affected you automatically benefit from any protection that’s provided and you risk sharing any benefits you would automatically receive with a third party.

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