Reform of pensions and tribunals on the cards

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Reform of the tribunal system and the long-term reform of pensions both featured in the Queen’s speech at today’s state opening of parliament.

Early calculations indicate that, in a hefty legislative programme, the government is planning to introduce more than 40 pieces of legislation including 29 bills during the next session – although two are carried over from last year.

The pensions bill follows on from the white paper and is widely expected to raise the state pension age to 68 as well as introduce the already-criticised National Pensions Saving Scheme.

It is unclear what form changes to the tribunal system will take. The DTI is planning to re-look at the dispute resolution procedures but there are fears the system will have to deal with many more cases as age discrimination starts to bite.

If the experience of the Republic of Ireland is anything to go by, age discrimination could add nearly 21,000 cases to the tribunals service’s workload each year.

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