Police Federation

PFEW response to Government’s Public Pensions Consultation

Wed, 14 Oct 2020

We have today (Friday 9 October) provided our formal response to the Remedy proposal set out by the HM Treasury in the Government’s Public Pensions Consultation.

The public consultation was published on 16 July after the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government’s changes to pensions in relation to the introduction of transitional arrangements was discriminatory on the grounds of age.

PFEW has concerns that a rushed implementation will lead to mistakes and inaccuracies which is not in the interest of any of the parties involved.

PFEW National Secretary Alex Duncan, said: “Pensions remain one of the biggest issues to our members and the lack of clarity as to when people can retire and what they will receive is unacceptable.

“Engaging with the Government around the police pension schemes is one of our most important areas of work because a police pension has always been regarded as a key element of the remuneration of our members.

“Our policy and pension specialists have been reviewing the proposal document alongside our legal team, taking expert advice from 4 Queen’s Counsel and we have today (Friday 9 October) submitted our formal response.

“Our position has always been, and remains, that officers should be permitted to remain on the pension scheme they joined, if this is to their benefit.”

The aim of the consultation is to gather feedback on the proposed ways of implementing a remedy to the discrimination.

Alex Duncan continues: “The implementation of the Remedy in the police scheme is more complex than other public sector schemes due to the localised way in which the scheme is administered and the complexity of the schemes.

“We are concerned about the provision of adequate and competent resources to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Remedy. The Government needs to provide the necessary resources, funding and oversight to ensure it is implemented correctly and consistently.”

The consultation proposes that members should be given a choice of benefits for the remedy period (April 2015 to March 2022) between those that would apply under their original scheme and those that would apply under the 2015 CARE Scheme. There are two alternative methods suggested: in one, members choose which scheme shortly after the implementation of the Remedy in April 2022 (IC - Immediate Choice); in the other members choose at retirement (DCU - Deferred Choice Underpin).

“Members should be given projections of what each of the options mean on an annual basis.

“We have expressed a clear preference for the DCU option so that members get a choice when the benefits are known, rather than having to choose based on assumptions about what might happen in the future,” Alex Duncan concluded.

Our full response to the consultation details our concerns around other complexities outlined in the proposal and is available to read here.

Further information on the public pensions scheme consultation is available on the Government’s website.

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