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Judges to lose thousands in public sector pension shake-up
Judges' pensions will be cut by over £10,000 a year and they will lose a generous lump sum under new proposals.
Britain’s judges will be forced to take a cut in their pension as the government tries to rein in the cost of public sector pensions.
The government has already warned public sector workers that they will have to work longer and contribute more to their pensions and judges will not escape the cuts.
A high court judge who has served for 20 years currently receives a pension of £86,500 a year and a lump sum of £173,000. Under the new plans this will fall to £75,000 with no lump sum.
A circuit judge who sits in the crown and county courts can expect to receive a pension of £64,000 a year after serving for 20 years plus a lump sum of £144,000, but that amount will fall to £55,000 a year and the lump sum will be scrapped.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling said the judiciary should not be ‘immune’ from the wider public sector pension reforms. Judges have only just started contributing to their pensions from April 2012, before that date they did not need to make contributions.
‘Our judges are rightly held in high regard, but at a time when there is widespread pension reform across the public sector the judiciary cannot be immune, particularly given the exceptional economic circumstances,’ said Grayling.
‘The new scheme still provides a good way of saving for retirement and will remain among the most generous in the public sector.’
There is speculation that the judges’ dissatisfaction with the reforms could lead to a legal battle and lord chief justice Lord Judge said at a select committee last week that although the judges were ‘aware that the country is broke’ the changes ‘will not be very welcome’.
He added: ‘It’s a very serious and delicate issue.’
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