The National Association of Retired Police Officers is astounded at the attitude of the West Yorkshire Police towards elderly former police officers, who were forced to retire early from the Police Service following an injury they received whilst doing their duty. These officers are paid a pension to recognise the losses associated with their injury.
West Yorkshire Police started to reduce the pensions of all such officers who were 65 years of age or older in 2008. The method they chose to do this was not in line with the requirements of the relevant legislation.
NARPO have from a very early stage in this process tried to warn the force and local Police Authority of the consequences of failing to properly conduct reviews of these pensions and have been ignored by the force. Recently four former officers have successfully challenged the West Yorkshire force on this issue. We understand the force has settled this matter prior to a decision by the courts. It is our understanding that the force have admitted that the method they used in the reduction of officers pensions for these pensioners who are over 65 years of age did not comply with legislation.
The former officers have been returned to the level of pension their injuries justify and compensated for the reduced pension paid since the initial decisions were made from 2008 and onwards. The force are refusing to recognise other former officers in exactly the same position and are effectively inviting further individual challenges to a policy they have already admitted is illegal.
Clint Elliott the Chief Executive at NARPO said, ‘This whole affair is a dreadful waste of public funds as well as being extremely stressful to old and infirm former police officers injured at work, who have seen their lifestyle and financial wellbeing effected by this process. Initially I am sure the force simply saw this as a way of saving money but they have done this at the expense of older and weaker pensioners.
They have also operated a system that is neither fair nor justifiable and rather than admit this to all those they have wrongly taken money from, they continue to put as many obstacles in the way of a fair outcome to this sorry affair as they can think of. It is frankly disgraceful behaviour that has led some of those affected to speculate that they will die before the matter is settled.’