News

Written Ministerial Statement on Pensions

We are currently considering the contents of the Written Ministerial Statement and will be publishing more information later today. For the moment, more information can be found on the following section of the Home Office website:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/pension-reform

Responding to the Home Secretary’s written ministerial statement on pensions, Paul McKeever, Police Federation of England and Wales says;

"Staff Side, which includes the Police Federation of England and Wales, has engaged in the Home Secretary’s consultation on long-term reform of police officer pensions.

"Despite being disappointed with aspects of this announcement, Staff Side accepts it within the context of the Government’s wider public service pension’s reform agenda. It is clear from our discussions with the Home Office that, compared to the reference scheme offered by the Home Secretary of 27 March, this was the best deal possible to protect the unique position of police officers."

Notes

  • The Police Negotiating Board (PNB)is made up of two constituent parts;
    • The Employers including chief officers and the Home Office - called the Official Side, and;
    • The Employees which includes police officers up to and including the rank of Superintendent - known as the Staff Side.
  • More info on the Home Office Reference Scheme: http://www.polfed.org/Letter_HS_to_John_Randall_Pensions_270312.pdf.
  • Uniqueness of policing: police officers are officers of the crown and as such are subject to much constraint. Police officers cannot affiliate with or work too closely with other trade unions, are legally prohibited from going on strike and are available for duty 24/7, on and off duty.
  • The Police Federation of England and Wales is not a trade union and is therefore reliant on negotiation on behalf of its members to reach agreement on pay, pensions, terms and conditions.

 

 

General Secretary's Update on Police Pensions 5/5/12

Dear Colleague,

Further to my letter of 29th April.

At the first meeting of both sides of the PNB Working Group to consider police officer pensions on Wednesday 2nd May, the Official Side informed us that whilst some of the information in the letter of 27th March from the Home Secretary had been marked ‘restricted’, this should not have been the case. They apologised for the error and confirmed that the information provided could now be circulated.

I therefore forward the Home Secretary’s letter for your information, together with a letter to me from the Home Office outlining details of accrued pension rights for the 1987 Pension Scheme (PDF links below).

When considering the information contained within this correspondence it is important to understand that we are now entering an extensive period of consultation on these proposals and will be providing a formal response to the Home Secretary’s letter by 22nd June. Whilst it is difficult for me to provide you with any certainty about the future police pension scheme at this time, I can assure you that with the support of our advisors we will be doing our very best for the future pensions of police officers.

It is important that you help us influence both the future of Police Pensions and the wider debate on the government’s policing agenda and it’s detrimental impact on the service by attending the march in London on 10 May.

I look forward to seeing you then.

Regards,

Ian Rennie

General Secretary
Police Federation of E&W

Home Secretary Letter to John Randall PNB - Long Term Reform Of Police Pensions (PDF)

Home Office Letter to Ian Rennie - Accrued Pension Rights (PDF)

General Secretary's Update on Police Pensions 29/4/12

Dear Colleague,

I am aware that the future of Police Pensions is an issue of great concern for all police officers, particularly as the consultation process on a new police pension scheme is about to commence.

I can confirm that the Home Secretary wrote to John Randall, the Independent Chair of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) on the 27th March 2012 outlining the government's position for the future of police pensions and required both sides of the PNB to consider and respond to these proposals by the 22nd June. This reaffirmed the government's intention to introduce a pension scheme for police officers in line with the recommendations made by Lord Hutton for all public sector workers, in that existing public sector pension schemes would be replaced by Career Average Schemes by April 2015. Further information can be found on the HM Treasury website:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/tax_pensions_police_cost_ceiling.htm

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/tax_pensions_frequently_asked_questions.htm

The Staff Side considered the Home Secretary's letter at a meeting on 11th April 2012. It was decided to form a Staff Side working group who with the support of our professional advisors would prepare for a series of meetings with the Official Side prior to providing our formal response to the government's proposals. Because some of the detail provided by the Home Secretary had been provided on a restricted basis Staff Side decided not to circulate it wider at that time. I have now become aware that some of the information contained within the Home Secretary's letter has been circulated to forces by the Official Side, which is likely to raise significant concern to members who may believe that this is a done deal, when in fact this is not the case.

Although the Home Secretary's letter relates to how a Career Average Police Pension Scheme may operate in the future together with suggested transitional arrangements, the complexities of these matters require us to take professional advice so that the implications for our members can be fully appreciated and understood, which will assist Staff Side to achieve the best possible pension scheme for police officers. The development of any future Police Pension Scheme of this type will involve consideration of the relationship between the accrual rate, the retirement age, the contribution rate of both the officer and the force, together with an uprating mechanism to maintain the value of the officers pension during their service. There are also significant complexities in relation to the transitional arrangements of both the 1987 and 2006 Police Pension Schemes.

The first meeting of both sides of the PNB Working Group to consider these matters is on Wednesday 2nd May and will be followed by a number of other meetings. As we are now entering an extensive period of consultation on these proposals it is difficult for me to be definitive about the future police pension scheme. I would however assure you that with the support of our advisors we will be doing our very best for the future pensions of police officers.

Whilst the proposed changes to police pensions are currently the subject of consultation the details of the final scheme have yet to be determined. It is important that you help us influence both the future of Police Pensions and the wider debate on the government's policing agenda and it's detrimental impact on the service by attending the march in London on 10 May.

Please contact your local Federation Office for details of the march. I look forward to seeing you at the march and I will keep you informed of developments.

Regards,

Ian Rennie

General Secretary
Police Federation of E&W

Check Your Tax Code

It has come to the notice of the Staffordshire Police Federation that not all Staffordshire Police Officers will be on the correct tax code, particularly concerning the ability to claim for professional subscriptions, (Federation) and a flat rate expense, (laundry). It is not possible to give examples as an Officer’s tax code will be personal according to individual circumstances, however it is recommended that you make contact with the HM Revenue on the below telephone numbers to ensure you are on the correct tax code.

HM Revenue and Customs: 01355 359022 or 08453000627.

You will need your National Insurance number.

It is also possible that this incorrect tax coding has occurred for some period of time and it is advised to check the rates for the past 6 year period, the maximum at which can be claimed. If a rebate is due, then the HM Revenue may require a written letter for a claim to be made. The below table will assist with the figures that can be claimed…

 

Tax year 

 

  Police Federation Subscriptions 

 

  Flat Rate Expenses

 2005/06

 £188.76

 £55

2006/07 £194.61 £55
2007/08 £199.68 £110
2008/09 £205.92 £140
2009/10 £210.60 £140
2010/11 £221.76 £140

2011/12

2012/13 

2013/14 

2014/15

2015/16

 2016/17 

2017/18

£258.96

£258.96 

£258.96  

£258.96 

£258.96

£258.96

£258.96

£140

£140 

£140

£140

£140

£140

£140

 

 

 

Police Pension Scheme Contribution Increase

Dear Colleague

This morning the Home Secretary announced that she would implement the first year of increases to police pension contribution rates (i.e. 2012-13), in line with the proposal put to PNB in July 2011.

We have received confirmation of the Pension contributions increase for members of both the PPS and NPPS from 1 April 2012, which will be tiered as follows:

  • Tier 1: those on basic annual salary of under £27,000 (equivalent to Constable with less than 2 years’ service);
  • Tier 2: those on basic annual salary of more than £27,000 but less than £60,000 (equivalent to Constable with 2 years’ service or more, to Chief Inspector); and
  • Tier 3: those on a basic annual salary of £60,000 and over (equivalent to Superintendent and above).

The actual increases are as follows:

  • Tier 1:
    PPS – n/a 
    NPPS – 0.6% increase (a contribution rate of 10.1%)
  • Tier 2:
    PPS – 1.25% increase (a contribution rate of 12.25%)
    NPPS – 1% increase (a contribution rate of 10.5%)
  • Tier 3:
    PPS – 1.5% increase (a contribution rate of 12.5%)
    NPPS – 1.25% increase (a contribution rate of 10.75%)

The proposal from the Home Secretary that was sent to the Staff Side of the Police Negotiation Board for consultation in July 2011 included proposed increases to the police pension contribution rates, which were in accordance with the recommendations within the Hutton Review of public sector pensions and were to be phased in over 3 years from April this year.

Within our response to the consultation we identified our concerns that police officers were being consulted on year-on-year increases for the next three years whereas other public service groups were being consulted on the increase for 2012-13 only, with the increases for 2013-14 and 2014-15 being subject to further consultation and discussion.

The Home Secretary has now decided that it would not be right to implement all three years of increases for police officers when other public service schemes are only implementing the first year. Instead the Home Secretary has decided to implement the increase for 2012-13 and will ask the PNB to consider the proposed increases for 2013-14 and 2014-15 in line with other public service schemes. I will keep you informed of any further developments.

Regards,

Dean Colley

Joint Branch Board Secretary