We at NARPO are disappointed that the review appears to have taken little cognisance of some of the representations made during the consultation process particularly in our view failing to recognise that the police pension scheme is currently and should remain to be tailored to the specific challenges and demands of policing.
This should continue to be recognised by retaining the current option of retirement at age 55 years with whatever benefit one has accrued, recognising the difficulties that many are likely to experience in continuing in front line policing at that age.
The requirement to work until 60 years of age in what can be an extremely hostile, volatile and stressful environment, together with the reduced benefits available upon retirement is in our view unrealistic and could lead to future recruitment and retention problems as individuals no longer see the Police Service as a 'vocation' and leave the job after a number of years to start employment elsewhere. This could also lead in our view to a lack of 'experienced officers' in the future as they move to other employment in search of better pay and conditions with less risk to their health and well-being.
Both the current Police Pension Schemes were designed to overcome these specific problems and Lord Hutton now proposes yet another greatly reduced new pension scheme, which we see as a disincentive to join and remain within the police service 'for the full term' and which totally ignores the rigors and demands placed upon police officers every day of their working lives.
The Police Pension Scheme 2006 has already made significant savings to the future cost of police pension but any further erosion of the police pension scheme would in our view have a detrimental effect on the number and calibre of applicants to join the police service.
It is also worthy of note that Lord Hutton has made no specific comments in relation to the proposed change to the CPI from the RPI as the measure used to increase public sector pensions despite the arguments made within our submission to him.
Eric Evans President of NARPO said:
'Lord Hutton appears to have ignored the demands and rigors of policing and seems to expect police officers to be patrolling the 'thin blue line' until they are 60, whilst greatly reducing the benefits they receive upon retirement. This is in my view unrealistic and yet another 'kick in the teeth' for the serving officer who is now going to have to pay more, pay longer and receive less. The long term effects of these proposals could be far reaching for the future of policing as we know it in this country.'
About the National Association of Retired Police Officers
The National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) is a member organisation founded in 1919 to represent the interests of former police officers of all ranks from Police Forces in England and Wales, their widows, widowers and former partners. Currently we have in excess of 79,000 members in over 100 local branches throughout England and Wales. Our principle aim is to safeguard the rights of members and promote measures for their welfare, with particular regards to pensions.More Articles by National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) ...