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Judicial Review Update

As explained in the previous update BT have brought an application to the High Court to look at a Government decision (a Judicial Review) on public sector pensions which also affects the BT Pension Scheme.  In particular, how increases are applied to the GMP part of certain Section B members’ pensions. On 5 June 2018, the Trustees wrote to those members who could potentially be affected by these proceedings.

On 30 July 2018, there was a short interim hearing for the Court to decide how any questions regarding the interpretation of the BTPS Rules should, as a matter of process, be dealt with.

As a protective measure, the Trustee also proposed the option of the Court ordering the appointment of a representative beneficiary. A representative beneficiary would act for the potentially affected members and present their views in relation to how the BT Pension Scheme Rules should be interpreted in respect of the GMP increase rule.  

At the hearing, the Judge was satisfied that the Judicial Review process would not require the Judge to make a decision at the final hearing regarding the interpretation of the BT Pension Scheme Rules  and instead any such issues could be decided separately at a later date if needed.

Given the outcome, the option of appointing a representative beneficiary to protect members’ interests on any issue of interpretation fell away. This will be re-visited if any interpretation issues arise in due course.  

The Trustee continues to be an interested party in these proceedings and will monitor how the proceedings progress. The final hearing in relation to this matter is due to take place on 7 and 8 November 2018.

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