A ruling has stated that nearly 9,000 firefighters are set to receive a £3,750 pay out following a case that found they were receiving less money in their pensions than they should.
The figure was awarded as compensation for anxiety, distress and related feelings, while some claimants with additional reasons for being aggrieved were awarded £7,250 in total.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) brought the case forward as it said the UK government had tried to bring in public sector pension reforms back in 2015, which included provisions that protected only older firefighters. The union successfully argued that this amounted to age discrimination and the result ruled that the pre-2015 pension scheme applied to time served between 2015 and 31 March this year.
Pensions are now being adjusted accordingly. The government agreed to settle the compensation case for members of the FBU, which represented the firefighters throughout the process.
Matt Wrack, general secretary at the FBU, said: “We are pleased to have been able to win this for our members. [This] agreement on starting the process for making those payments to our members underlines the amount of distress our members have been under. Some had significant uncertainty with regards to their financial futures.
“Our members work long careers saving the lives of others and risking their own in what is often a very stressful job. They do not deserve to be treated like this and be caused unnecessary distress. This is a significant step on the road to putting the situation with regards to firefighters’ pensions right but there is still further to go. This is a mess of the government’s making.”
The Department for Work and Pensions was contacted for comment prior to publication.