Pension Update 14th February 2020
Recent developments concerning the police pensions situation have occurred and I feel it is necessary to offer an update. This includes the PFNI’s involvement in Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings both here in Northern Ireland and in London.
Matters arising from the McCloud judgment on the discrimination caused by the current transitional protections in the CARE 2015 scheme will be complex to unpick, and this will take some time.
The seven main staff associations: Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI), Superintendents’ Association of Northern Ireland (SANI), Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), Scottish Police Federation (SPF) Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA), Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS), and Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) are working together with key employer representatives to reach a solution.
The first meeting of the TWG in London was held on 11 February 2020. In the first instance the collective staff associations role was to ensure that the UK government understand the scale and breadth of the problem for the police pension scheme.
The UK government has already committed to rectifying for everyone the discrimination caused by transitional protections (not only claimants). Discussions in the TWG focus 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.
Consequently, for this first meeting we worked with legal advisors and pensions specialists to put together a series of questions that we see as critical. These include seeking reassurances that officers will have access to sufficient information and potentially, independent financial advice to assist in understanding which scheme provides them the better outcome.
Today in Belfast I am attending a meeting of the Public Service Pensions Collective Consultation Working Group (CCWG). This meeting will be a forum to look at the same TWG matters from a Northern Ireland perspective (as pensions are a devolved matter).
As things develop I will ensure that timely updates are provided. This will include a list of FAQs which will be published in due course.
Liam Kelly, Secretary