The Ministry of Justice understands that many judges will want to know how the Government intends to implement the Court of Appeal’s decision of December 2018 in the case of McCloud that the “transitional protection” in the 2015 judicial pension scheme gave rise to unlawful age discrimination. An interim declaration has been agreed with the McCloud claimants which means they are entitled to be treated as members of JUPRA, the pre-reform pension scheme, from 1 April 2015.
We can confirm that the Government intends to address the discrimination identified in the McCloud case for all judges (whether claimants or not) in the same legal and factual position as the McCloud claimants. More widely, work continues to progress pension reform for the entire judiciary, as stated in the Written Ministerial Statement issued on 5 June and subsequent communications with the judiciary.
There is a hearing scheduled to take place in the Employment Tribunal early next year. Officials are in the meantime working hard to establish how best to address the difference in treatment for all scheme members with relevant service. We aim to resolve the situation as quickly as possible but the issues involved are complex and require decisions across Government departments. We do though recognise the importance of providing early clarity on tax treatment. We have prioritised this and are working with HM Treasury to progress matters. We hope to be in a position to clarify the position in advance of the deadline for filing tax returns in January 2020.
We have instructed our pay and pensions administrators to stop transferring judges from JUPRA when their taper protection ends.
We will issue a further update in December providing more detail on our proposed approach.