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Barnardos – pension increases: RPI or CPI?

The Supreme Court has now heard Barnardos’ final submission that the measure to be used to determine increases within the Barnardos’ scheme is to be Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than Retail Price Index (RPI). 

This is despite the fact that the scheme’s rules have clear wording about using RPI and when a change of the inflationary index can occur. 

We await the final judgment with interest to see if the Supreme Court is sufficiently brave to allow this move. It is certainly not one which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are keen to encourage through primary legislation, judging from the comments in the March 2018 White Paper.

RPI still not “inappropriate” 

BT Case – The RPI/CPI rules lottery 

No doubt BT and the trustees of the BT scheme will also be watching the results of the Barnados’ case with interest. BT lost a case in the High Court earlier this year on whether there was the ability in the rules of this section of the BT scheme to move from RPI to CPI for benefit increases, due to RPI having become “inappropriate”. 

There, the judge decided this was a high hurdle to overcome and objectively RPI was not yet an inappropriate measure for benefit increases.

Published: July 2018


Pensions Law Update - July 2018

Key Contact

Penny Cogher