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PDA continues to assist members following changes to the Boots Pension Scheme

The PDA Union is continuing to assist members who are unhappy with changes to the Boots Pension Scheme. These changes were introduced as a consequence of the decision to transfer responsibility for paying benefits to Legal and General under a buy-in arrangement announced last year.

Tue 11th June 2024 The PDA

The specific change that PDA members are contesting is the decision to describe the payment of an unreduced pension from age 60 as discretionary and therefore remove this benefit prior to the transfer to Legal and General. PDA members should note this only applies to the Boots Pension Scheme and the closed final salary scheme. No other Boots schemes are impacted by this.

At the end of 2023, the PDA Union provided members with advice and template letters to lodge a stage one complaint under the scheme’s internal dispute resolution process. The PDA understands that these have now been considered with the outcome supporting the action of the trustees and rejecting member’s cases that an unreduced pension from 60 was in fact a right under the rules and could not, therefore, be removed.

The PDA Union, after receiving detailed advice from pension lawyers, has now issued template letters for members to use to appeal these decisions and seek resolution at stage two of the internal dispute resolution process.

Paul Moloney, PDA Union National Officer and who is leading the union on this issue explained, “While we are not confident these appeals will succeed it is important that members use the process as it is a legal requirement for internal procedures to be exhausted before the Pension Ombudsman can look at this. Our intention is to continue to assist members through the process, including lodging a complaint with the Ombudsman if necessary, who will make a legally binding decision on whether the action of the trustees in removing this benefit, was in accordance with the governing documents of the scheme. We have yet to see any documentation that confirms beyond doubt the trustees are correct, but plenty of documentation that gives members the very clear impression an unreduced pension from age 60 was a right.”

Any member who has not yet submitted a stage two complaint after having received the outcome to their stage one complaint should do so as a matter of urgency.

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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