McCloud Scotland: Amendments to underpin

McCloud Scotland: Addressing discrimination – Amendments to the statutory underpin – PLSA’s consultation response

The PLSA supports the proposal to address the discrimination found in the McCloud and Sargeant cases by extending the underpin to younger scheme members with the underpin period applying from the 1st April 2015 to the 31st March 2022.

The proposal to include information about the underpin in members’ annual benefit statements is sensible. Consistency for members across the LGPS will be key and so we welcome plans to ask the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) to develop a standardised approach to how this information will be communicated.

Implementing these changes will present a significant challenge to funds and their administrators given the number of members who could be potentially impacted. A substantial number of pension records will need to be updated, while benefit calculations relating to members who have left the scheme since 2014 will need to be reviewed. This will be a very large undertaking, particularly at a time where pension administrators are already stretched, due to the impact of Covid-19 and an increasing workload resulting from GMP rectification, as well as projects to improve their data and systems.