As you all will be aware, Thompsons Solicitors are now instructed on all our age discrimination claims for injury to feelings that arise from the decision to force members to move from their Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) to the Alpha Pension Scheme from 1 April 2015. This follows the retirement of Ivan Walker, the solicitor who previously handled these claims.

The purpose of this circular is to give a general update on these claims, and to explain how to have your case transferred over to Thompsons if this has not already happened.

The Waves of Claims

The claims are split into different ‘waves’. Which wave your claim is in generally depends on when you completed the original Walkers Solicitors survey to pursue a claim. Those who completed the forms in 2017 are in the first wave. Those who completed the 2020 survey are in the second wave. Any claims not covered by the first two waves will be in the third and final wave which was effectively a “mopping up” exercise.

First Wave Claims

Everyone in the First Wave who has consented to the transfer will now have received a letter from Thompsons. We cannot reiterate in a circular what that letter says as it details without prejudice negotiations. However, you should understand what the present position is in your case as a consequence of having read that letter. You can also email Thompsons Solicitors to raise any specific queries that you have, and an email address is contained in the letter they have sent members to facilitate that process.

There are some members in the first wave who have not yet consented to the transfer. It is possible that Walkers Solicitors had an old email address for you, so if you have not seen such an email, please check any old inboxes that you may have access to. If you no longer have access to the email address you were using at the time, please contact the POA to let us know. We can then pass your information on to Thompsons, who can check their records and let you know the next steps needed.

The position with regard to your claim in the First Wave does vary depending on whether you are trying to seek a “Higher Injury to Feelings award” and/or whether you have retired or not (ill health or otherwise) and drawn on your pension. However one of those differentiating factors is now much less significant as a result of the fact the new Regulations are in place which require MyCSP to write to you if you have already retired (or when you do retire) with your pension figures to detail your entitlement under your current pension arrangements (Alpha) and with the figures you would receive if you were to restore your legacy arrangements (PCSPS) for the period 1 April 2015 up until 31 March 2022. You will then have the choice as to whether you wish to restore your benefits under the legacy arrangements or not.

Due to the large number of people who require a Remedial Service Statement detailing this option, it will take some time to complete this exercise and exact timescales cannot be provided. Individuals who left on ill health retirement are being prioritised in the first instance. 

If you are in this situation, a letter from Thompsons will explain all of this and what the position is with your “Injury to Feelings” claim now the new Regulations are implemented. We are aware Thompsons have very recently sent out correspondence to all members who have drawn on their pension to explain the position with regard to their claim.

Second & Third Wave Claims

Walkers Solicitors have this week now emailed everyone in the Second & Third Waves seeking their consent to the transfer. The email from Walkers Solicitors will explain how you do that. Once you have consented to the transfer you will receive a letter of engagement from Thompsons Solicitors with an on-line questionnaire to complete.

At present there have been no without prejudice negotiations with the Government Legal Department on wave 2 and wave 3 claims. However, the cases are currently stayed with negotiations expected to take place in the near future. Once those negotiations have occurred, we will have a clearer idea as to how your case will be pursued going forward. Thompsons will provide some advice to you in their client care letter with their preliminary observations about what is likely to be said in these discussions.

NHS Claims

Any members who are employed by the NHS are in a separate sets of proceedings. These are live proceedings and not subject to any without prejudice negotiations at the current time. We are aware our solicitors are in touch with those in the first wave NHS claims already and we anticipate the second wave claims will be transferred from Walkers Solicitors to Thompsons Solicitors very shortly. 

Sodexo Claims  

We further understand Walkers Solicitors will be transferring a small cohort of claims made against Sodexo in respect of discriminatory pension arrangements. Thompsons do not yet have conduct of those claims, but it is anticipated they will be transferred within the next 14 days. Please could any members in that cohort of claims therefore, please monitor their inbox carefully. 

Yours sincerely


General Secretary


Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.