Police pensions have a long history, dating back to 1829 when the Metropolitan Police Act introduced certain benefits for London officers “worn out by length of service”. A full pension scheme for all members of a police force became available in 1890.
There have been many changes since then, but entitlement to a police pension has always been regarded as a key element of the remuneration of members to enable them to undertake their role with confidence.
The present arrangement for officers who joined on or after the 1 April 2015 is called ‘The Police Pension Scheme 2015’ (2015 Scheme) The 2015 Scheme is established by Regulations (the Police Pensions Regulations 2015) made under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013. Every new entrant is automatically enrolled into the scheme although they can opt out.
The 2015 Scheme came into effect on 1 April 2015. Members who started in the police force before that date were able to join the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (1987 Scheme) until 6 April 2006 or the New Police Pension Scheme 2006 (2006 Scheme) from 6 April 2006 until 31 March 2015.
Full details on each scheme are available here:
- 2015 Scheme (current scheme, for officers who joined the service on or after 1 April 2015 and for those who were moved across from the 1987 and 2006 schemes)
- 2006 Scheme
- 1987 Scheme
Injury benefits are separate to the pension schemes and are governed by separate regulations.
Please note that each of the pension schemes above apply to members of a police force in England and Wales. Different schemes have been established for both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Who should I speak to if I need help understanding my pension scheme?
The Police Pension Scheme it is administered locally by each police force. If there are any points about which you would like further help, please contact the pensions’ administrator for your force.
If you are looking for help understanding the 2015 scheme, or for information about your pension if you are a member with service in both the 1987/2006 scheme and the 2015 scheme, you may find our list of FAQs helpful, available here.
Federation JBB Secretaries can also assist you with pension queries. You can contact them here.
PFEW cannot provide members with financial advice, including advice on pension provision. The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service and its website has useful information, such as how to go about obtaining independent financial advice: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
How do I contact my pensions’ administrator?
If you are not sure where to find the pensions administrator for your force, your human resources or personnel section should be able to provide the right contact. Alternatively, there is a full list of the pensions’ administrators for all forces in England and Wales on the gov.uk website here. Please note that Mouchel are now called Kier.
Please note that your Federation Rep is not able to provide pensions advice or calculations, they can only point you in the direction of who to speak to.
I’ve heard that forces are supposed to provide me with a pensions benefit information statement, is that true?
Yes, the Scheme Manager is under a statutory obligation to issue benefit information statements and will delegate their production to scheme administrators. These should have been provided to members by 1 September this year and then annually after that.
If you haven’t received yours yet contact your provider. If you are not sure where to find the pensions administrator for your force, your human resources or personnel section should be able to provide the right contact. Alternatively, there is a full list of the pensions’ administrators for all forces in England and Wales on the gov.uk website here. (Please note that Mouchel are now called Kier) Also, contact your local Federation Secretary as they will be able to raise any issues with the local pension board. Your Secretary should also inform the Research and Policy Support team at the national Federation who will feed the information into the national governance body - the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB).
If the Government is responsible for police pensions, what role can PFEW play?
Although the Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) has no legal right to negotiate with the Government on pensions, it can and does influence police pensions’ arrangements by engaging with the Home Office and other key stakeholders at statutory and non-statutory meetings, through consultations and via correspondence. For more information on the work PFEW does to protect police pensions visit our ‘what we do for you’ webpage here.
I’ve heard that there was a legal challenge to the new 2015 scheme, is this true?
Yes, a group of officers decided to put in a legal challenge when the 2015 scheme was introduced. The Federation sought legal advice which strongly advised that a challenge was unlikely to be successful. More information and FAQs on the Pensions Challenge and the legal position can be accessed here.
Find out more about what we have done to protect police pensions
Find out more about the 2015 CARE scheme