Temporary Pension Measures for Returning Public Sector Workers

BLOG2nd May 2020

The government has recently revealed further plans in response to COVID-19, including temporary pension measures, to assist the public sector. It is hoped these measures will help to bring back skilled retired workers, including care workers and police officers, to help navigate the current crisis.

These proposals will temporarily suspend any ‘abatement’ to previously accrued public sector pension benefits, between 1 March 2020 and 1 June 2020, where an individual below retirement age returns to public sector employment. Individuals will therefore be assured that any decision to return to work and assist with the challenges posed by Coronavirus will not adversely impact their pension pot.

The introduction of these relaxations follows similar measures afforded to NHS key-workers and their pension schemes and helps align the position across all public sector employees.

Although HMRC is yet to issue operational guidance on these proposals, they have confirmed that the relief will only apply to individuals returning to roles as a result of coronavirus. How this will be determined is still unclear.

However, anyone who had already returned to work, or whose pension had been reduced before the pandemic, are unlikely to benefit from the changes.

These provisions are a welcome benefit for returning public sector workers and will ensure the protection of their accrued pension benefits.

If you are affected by these changes, or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us