Police Federation

Know all the options before opting out of police pension

11 June 2021

National Vice-Chair Ché Donald hosted a ‘pensions roundtable session’ exclusively for registered delegates at PFEW Virtual Annual Conference.

He covered a wide range of related topics during the informative hour-long session and posed a series of questions around the implementation of the pension remedy. Speakers discussed whether the schemes were in danger of becoming unviable and unaffordable, and worrying statistics that showed 20 per cent of new joiners were opting out the scheme.

During the session, National Secretary Alex Duncan admitted: “It cannot be right that we have a pension scheme the vast majority of those in it don’t understand. It needs to be delivered in a Janet and John type style.”

Ian Pollitt CBE, Independent Chair Metropolitan Police Pension Board and Independent Chair SW Region Police Pension Board, expressed fears the opt out rate for police pensions is increasingly worrying.

He said: “We need a national pension scheme rather than 43 different schemes making things more complicated.

“And the opt out rate is a real worry. I am nervous of some of the figures I see bandied about. It has gone up - it’s not a unique police problem.

“We need to find out how do we communicate with 25-year-old constables that it is worth spending money on pensions.”

Pension specialist Field Officer, Simon Horgan said that police officers who opt out of the police pension scheme to rely exclusively on the State Pension during their retirement could find their retirement problematic.

He said: “If you are thinking of opting out, get to know your options. If you are younger, ask if the state pension is going to meet your needs.”

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