BMA loses pensions reform challenge

by Tim Tonkin

Association considers next steps after losing 'McCloud remedy' appeal

Location: UK
Published: Monday 22 April 2024

The BMA has expressed its disappointment, after a judicial review into the Government’s handling of NHS pension reforms was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The association has said it is considering ‘next steps’ after the court on 17 April ruled against legal challenges brought by the BMA and the FBU (Fire Brigades Union) into the McCloud Remedy to the Government’s 2015 public sector pension reforms.

The court upheld the Government’s decision in 2021 to pass the cost of funding the ‘McCloud remedy’ – which seeks to reverse age discrimination caused by public sector pension reforms in 2015 – on to doctors.

Responding to the ruling, BMA pensions committee chair Vishal Sharma said thousands of health service staff were being forced to pay for the mistakes of ministers, adding that the Government needed to ‘take responsibility for its own mess’.

He said: ‘We are disappointed with this ruling. It is unfair that doctors and other public sector workers are being made to pay the price for the Government’s unlawful age discrimination.

‘Having been found to have committed unlawful age discrimination when reforming the NHS pension scheme in 2015, the Government is trying to change the rules to make NHS staff pay for its own mistakes. The Government acted unlawfully when reforming the NHS pension scheme in 2015, and now it needs to take responsibility for its own mess.

‘We firmly believe that affected doctors and other public sector workers must not pick up the bill for the Government’s unlawful discrimination and we will be considering an appeal.’