Andrew Sharland QC and Stephen Kosmin in challenge Treasury’s decision to close legacy public sector pension schemes

Cases

On Wednesday 15 December, Mrs Justice Heather Williams handed down judgment in R (Police Superintendents’ Association) v HM Treasury [2021] EWHC 3389 (Admin). Andrew Sharland QC and Stephen Kosmin acted for the Police Superintendents’ Association. The Police Superintendents’ Association challenged HM Treasury’s decision to close legacy public sector pension schemes (mostly final salary schemes) and move all current members to reformed pension schemes (based on career average earnings) from 1 April 2022, and the consultation process leading up to that decision.

Mrs Justice Heather Williams found that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury had acted unlawfully. The CST had made the decision to close legacy public sector pension schemes before he had considered consultation responses both in breach of the fourth Gunning requirement and in breach of the public sector equality duty.  Relief was refused, however, under section 31(2A) of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

The case is also a very important judgment on the scope of the doctrines of substantive legitimate expectation and Parliamentary privilege.

The judgment is found here.