Liz Firmstone (Service Manager, Finance Transformation) introduced the report which provided an update on information previously provided to the Committee in respect of the McCloud / Sargeant judgements and handling of immediate detriment cases.
Liz Firmstone advised that the Government had developed a new legal remedy to address the Court of Appeal ruling that the transitional provisions of the 2015 Firefighters Pension Scheme discriminated against scheme members on the grounds of age. She reported that within the Firefighters Pensions Scheme, it was acknowledged that some firefighters would experience ‘immediate detriment’. This impacted upon ‘Category 1’ firefighters, who would retire between now and the date of the introduction of new legislation, and ‘Category 2’ firefighters, who retired since April 2015 and were already receiving pension benefits. In November 2021, it had been decided not to process any changes for the five ‘Category 2’ firefighters in Warwickshire until the new legislation was in place. They would continue to receive a pension and adjustments would be made once the new legislation came into force.
Liz Firmstone provided a summary of changes to Home Office guidance relating to the payment of ‘Category 1’ immediate detriment cases. The report set out the rationale for processing of ‘Category 1’ payments to be paused. Formally, this decision was delegated to the Assistant Director for Finance as Deputy Section 151 Officer. However, given the sensitivities involved, it was appropriate that details be shared with the Staff and Pensions Committee.
That the Committee notes the position set out in the report and the decision from 1 April 2022 to pause the processing of all ‘Category 1’ cases.