UK - Capping pension pots at £1.4m will prompt an "exodus" from the judiciary, Britain's most senior judge warns.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, described the Green Paper proposals as “frightening” and claimed they would gravely damage recruitment unless they were modified.
Lord Woolf – giving his annual speech to the Bench – said the problem would be exacerbated by the Inland Revenue, which was encouraging people nearing retirement age to take up their pensions before the changes come into force in April 2005.
He said this would mean that judges – many of whom are near retirement – would take up the Revenue’s offer to avoid being hit by the changes.
A spokeswoman for the department of constitutional affairs explained: “A senior judge’s pension scheme will generate values of close to or above £1.4m and the average judge serves 20 years. With pre-appointment pension benefits already included the benefits will comfortably exceed that figure.”
She said the DCA was considering the impact of the changes and would make representations to the Revenue.
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