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15 February 2012
The NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, has issued a further legal challenge to the Government in relation to its plans for changes to the Teachers' Pension Scheme.
The NASUWT has argued, since the Government unveiled its plans for pension reform over 12 months ago, that before embarking on changes there should be a valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme. A valuation would reveal whether there was a problem with the viability and sustainability of the Scheme and, if there was, the scale of the problem.
The NASUWT has served a pre-action letter on the Government Actuary's Department, the Secretary of State for Education and HM Treasury.
The basis of the legal action is that the NASUWT contends that the Government had a statutory responsibility to conduct a valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme. The last valuation was conducted in 2006 and the Regulations require a further valuation in a period not exceeding five years.
The NASUWT has therefore set in train, with the pre-action letter, a claim for judicial review.
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
"The Government has ignored our repeated requests to produce a valuation of the Scheme.
"It is simply unacceptable and irresponsible for a Government to embark on changes which will have such a profound adverse impact on the financial future of teachers and their families without having evidence to demonstrate that a problem even exists.
"Not only is the Government failing to meet its obligations to teachers, it is failing in its duty to act in the interests of the public.
"It is, however, probably safe to assume that if a valuation would have provided evidence to support the Government's changes, it would have produced it.
"The failure to provide the valuation has deeply angered teachers.
"The NASUWT has pledged to leave no stone unturned to defend teachers and their conditions of service and if this means recourse to legal remedy, the Union will pursue such action."