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Officers near retirement need advice on pension claim, Fed warns

Officers retiring soon need clarity on pension options, the Federation has warned.
Published - 12/02/2021 By - Chris Smith

Officers impacted by the pensions discrimination that are set to retire need urgent answers, the Police Federation has said.

In its reaction to the offer by the Treasury to resolve the cases hit by its 2015 reforms, the Fed welcomed the choices offered to officers but warned people approaching retirement needed advice now.

The Fed warned calculating and implementing the remedy for each individual which will take some time.  Because of this, the actual implementation of the remedy won’t be completed until October 2023 at the latest.

The Fed and the Police Superintendents’ Association have met with other members of the Police Scheme Advisory Board to decide their advice.

The board has been in talks with the government and have been waiting for the offer which followed a consultation with the thousands of people affected.

The government’s response last week gave officers the choice of which pension scheme they wanted to opt into. For some, joining the reformed scheme could be a better option.

But there are concerns that taxation will need to be reassessed in order to return members to the position they would have been in had the discrimination not occurred.

The Fed’s analysis in summary is that:

  • The Remedy applies to all who were members of a ‘legacy’ public service pension scheme (or eligible to be) immediately prior to 1 April 2012 and have a period of service after 31 March 2015 during which they were members of a legacy or reformed scheme. 
  • If you joined the police service on or after 1 April 2012 the Remedy will not apply to you.
  • The Remedy period is 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.  Eligible members will have a choice on retirement whether their scheme benefits relating to the Remedy period remain in their legacy scheme, or they choose to convert it to 2015 scheme membership. This is particularly helpful as we know there will be some who are better off in the reformed schemes than the legacy schemes.

  The Fed’s statement said: “Whilst it is positive that the government has chosen to use deferred choice to implement the Remedy, it is disappointing that those who are due to retire soon still don’t have the clarity they need and deserve to be able to make a decision about their retirement.”

It added:  “We will be involved in the consultation on the primary legislation and will be seeking legal advice on certain aspects of the implementation throughout the process.

"In particular we are scrutinising the updated Equality Impact Assessment to ensure that no unjustifiable discrimination is caused as a result of remedying the existing discrimination.”

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