Unison forces court case over Govt pension plan

Public sector union Unison went head-to-head with the Government last week in a judicial review hearing over local government pensions.

Unison in-house solicitor Helen Phillips instructed 11 King’s Bench Walk’s James Goudie QC to fight the judicial review on the union’s behalf.

Supported by eight other unions, including Amicus and the GMB, Unison argued in favour of the retention of the ’rule of 85’ for local authority pension schemes. The rule, which the Government plans to scrap, allows local government workers to retire on full pensions when their age and years of service add up to 85.

The Government, represented by Blackstone Chambers’ James Eadie, argued that the rule breaches EU age discrimination legislation.

Goudie countered by saying that the rule of 85 did not breach the European directives.

In a statement, Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said: “We want to expose the incorrect financial information on which the Government has based its decision to single out for unfair treatment some of the lowest-paid workers in the country. By using invalid actuarial assumptions, the Government has produced a flawed consultation period.”

The judicial review hearing was argued last week before Andrew Nicol QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge.