Are schools required to pay into the LGPS for employees beyond the age of 75?
No – held the employment tribunal in the case of Mr G Phillips v Woodcote High School.
Mr Phillips was a cleaner who had reached his 75th birthday and upon which the school had stopped making pension contributions towards pension into the LGPS. He argued that this was age discrimination under s13 and s61 of the Equality Act 2010. Ongoing contributions would have equated to 19% of his base salary.
As an alternative, Mr Phillips argued that the school ought to pay into a comparable and alternative scheme beyond his 75th birthday if the LGPS was to be discounted.
The employment tribunal confirmed that the Equality Act (Age Exceptions for Pension schemes) Order 2010, which Mr Philips had overlooked in bringing his claim, provides an exception to the non-discrimination principle in relation to age and occupational pension schemes. Further, that under schedule 1, section 1 of the 2010 order, a minimum or maximum age can be set for admission into the scheme.
In this situation, the regulations were passed following on from s61 (8) of the Equality Act 2010 and the LGPS Regulations and provided for a maximum age of active membership of 75. As such, his claim for age discrimination failed and there was no requirement to provide for an alternative scheme.
On face value, it is easy to see why Mr Phillips presented his claim of age discrimination. He wanted to continue working and wanted to continue benefitting from employer pension contributions into the LGPS. Ultimately, however, the legislation prohibited this and confirmed setting a maximum date as non-discriminatory.
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