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Pension claim pay-outs by March 2022, predicts Federation

The pensions compensation claim over bungled government reforms could be settled by Spring 2022 for all officers, according to the Police Federation.
Published - 23/11/2020 By - Chris Smith

All officers affected by the 2015 pension changes will have their pay-out by Spring 2022, according to the latest update from the Police Federation.

The Fed also clarified that no final settlement has been made to any officers in a bid to counter speculation on social media. It also rejected messages claiming the Fed’s claim had been refused.

Claims had been circulating that the private firm representing some officers had agreed a deal with the government.

Alex Duncan, National Secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales explained: "I am aware of recent unhelpful posts appearing on social media. These messages claim an Employment Tribunal had awarded a ‘final remedy’ to Leigh Day claimants and reinstated ‘Challengers’ back into their old pension schemes. It also stated our PFEW claim had been refused.

"The inference from this post was that those members who suffered discrimination but had not lodged a claim were not going to have the discrimination remedied. That is not the case.”

He added: “The judgment of the Tribunal is limited to the claimants, but those who did not lodge a claim will have the situation rectified - as stated by the government.”

One potential reason for the confusion is that the social media account leading the campaign for compensation has now closed because the deal is being negotiated.

Resolving the dispute, caused by botched reforms of pensions in 2015 that created less generous new conditions, has moved forward despite the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.  

The last update focused on resolving how individual officers would be assessed for the personal injury element of their claim.

Seven official groups from the staff associations are representing officers including the Fed which is also agreeing how it will settle its legal bill for the claim.

The Fed’s latest progress report set out that:

  • Pension ‘Challenger’ claimants will be entitled to remain in their original pension scheme for a ‘remedy’ period
  • This remedy period is not indefinite and is scheduled to end on 31st March 2022
  • All active members of police pension schemes are currently scheduled to be transitioned into the 2015 CARE scheme from 1 April 2022
  • The Employment Tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to extend the remedy to those who were not claimants in the case
  • Non-claimants will benefit from the rectification being undertaken by Government. This will provide them with the option to remain in their original pension scheme for the duration of the remedy period
  • Both claimants and non-claimants (who were discriminated against) will therefore be entitled to remain in their original pension scheme for the remedy period.

The cross-public sector consultation on how to approach the implementation of the rectification has now closed, and submissions (including one from PFEW) are currently being considered by the Treasury.

The deal is being agreed following an industrial tribunal brought by firefighters, judges and others who were also affected. They won and the government said it would not appeal the result.

The government has already committed to rectifying the discrimination caused by transitional protections (not only claimants). Discussions have been focused on how best to achieve this, as well as considering other knock-on effects that any remedy will have, such as the impact on contributions, taxation, and – crucially – on the most vulnerable, such as officers who have ill-health-retired.

The government has already estimated that the final bill is likely to be more than £4bn.

The Police Superintendents’ Association, which is also part of the seven-strong association group engaged in the talks, has also made clear that no settlement has been made.

It said in its latest update: “Matters arising from the M

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