As a result of the McCloud judgement the structure of the underpin is currently under review and it is expected that amending regulations will be made in due course.
The underpin protection at present (before amendment) applies to members who are close to retirement to ensure that they receive a pension at least equal to that which they would have received had the Scheme not changed on 1 April 2015. The underpin also applies to protected pension benefits transferred into the Scheme after 1 April 2015.
Those members who are protected by the underpin have to meet all the criteria below:
- were active members on 31 March 2012, and
- were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012,
- were active members immediately before the underpin date and receive payment of benefits on or after the underpin date,
- have not had a disqualifying break in service of more than 5 years, and
- have not drawn any benefits before the underpin date.
The underpin date is the date a member reaches age 65, or the date of death in service or the date they left the Scheme with an immediate entitlement to pension (including flexible and voluntary early retirement).