The Claimant, Annette Ellis, was employed as a Prison Officer at HMP Birmingham.
The prison was privatised and her employment transferred to G4S. She chose to retain her pension with the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). She was subsequently told that, under the PCSPS’s rules, she was only entitled to take her preserved pension when she reached the age of 60 and not 55 as had previously been the case.
This was because she was deemed to have resigned within the scheme rules. Her complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman was dismissed, but her appeal to the High Court was allowed. However, the Court of Appeal (Moore-Bick, Rafferty, Vos LLJ) allowed the Cabinet Office’s appeal and held that, on a true construction of the PCSPS’s rules, “resignation” was to be given a wide meaning, which included both voluntary and non-voluntary departure from the Civil Service and including, therefore, a transfer of an undertaking to the private sector.
Simon Cheetham and Sophie Beesley acted pro bono for Ms Ellis.
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