A party seeking to restrict another's commercial activities must consider whether such terms are normal in similar, factual and contractual circumstances.
The Government has been refused permission to appeal a decision ruling that transitional arrangements in public sector pension schemes are discriminatory.
This could add £4 billion to public sector pension scheme liabilities and result in further contribution rate rises, as well as the possibility of scheme re-design and trade union opposition.
The Government must feel like the gods are conspiring against them right now! As if Brexit and a leadership contest were not enough, the Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal the outcome of the McCloud case. When the public-sector schemes moved from providing benefits based on final salary to benefits based on career-average earnings, transitional arrangements were put in place to protect workers closer to retirement, and therefore with less time to make alternative arrangements. The Court of Appeal decided in the McCloud case that the transitional arrangements for judges and firefighters were indirectly discriminatory against younger employees, as well as on the grounds of sex and race.
This decision now stands, and so the pension schemes will have to honour the transition measures for all members. This decision will also impact the other public-sector schemes. It is estimated that the Local Government Pension Schemes’ liabilities will increase by 1%, and other unfunded public-sector schemes maybe more, as they must honour improved pension provision.
The Supreme Court’s decision has not come as a huge shock as the Government was anticipating this direction of travel, and so in January announced that it would be pausing the cost cap mechanism in the absence of any certainty as to pension costs and funding. The Government has said that it is impossible to assess the value of the current pension arrangements until there is more certainty and the results of the schemes’ four-yearly valuation are received.
We bring rather pessimistic advice to the end of this article. In light of this decision, employers can expect to see a rise in pension costs and should start the budgeting process so as to prepare for this scenario! Depending on the flavour of government over the next few years, we may also see further steps taken to re-design the public-sector schemes to make them more affordable. This, in turn, is likely to provoke opposition from trade unions, which, if the last round of changes is anything to go by, could lead to strikes affecting employers participating in the public-sector schemes.
If you would like further information on this briefing, or for any pension enquiries, please contact Doug Mullen.
This ebriefing considers the Government’s proposals for challenges, as set out in Chapter 7 of the Green Paper entitled 'Fast and fair challenges'.
We’re delighted to announce that we have been ranked in the top five national legal advisers in the Top 3000 Charities 2021 directory.
The Law Commission published its report on Technical Issues in Charity Law in September 2017 following a public consultation.
Changing charitable purposes and amending governing documents.
Charity registration financial thresholds.
One of the stated aims of the Green Paper is “to deliver the best commercial outcomes with the least burden on the public sector".
The proposals concerning dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) and framework agreements are the most disappointing aspect of the Green Paper.
Family team partner, Elizabeth Wyatt, is delighted to congratulate Kadie Bennett for attaining Resolution Specialist Accreditation in both children law - private and complex financial remedy matters.
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