17 May 2022
The first day of the Police Federation Annual Conference 2022 concluded with a brainstorming session on pensions, which remains one of the most contentious issues affecting police officers of England and Wales.
The discussion was anchored by PFEW National Vice-Chair Ché Donald and comprised Alex Duncan, PFEW National Secretary, Simon Horgan, Field Officer for Metfriendly, Paul Turpin, Pensions Advisor, Metropolitan Police Federation and Binder Bansel, Partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper.
During the hour-long discussion, panel members accepted present pension arrangements did not put all police officers on the same platform and agreed it had given rise to widespread misinformation amongst members about pension calculation. Mr Horgan stated: “Being aware of your exit point is very important as we are dealing with lots of myths around pension calculations.” He continued: “Find out your exit points. Some are affected more than others. That is why it is important to know what is a good exit point for you.”
Highlighting the hardships faced by female officers of the Met, who had availed unpaid maternity leave, Mr Turpin said that the problem had been caused because of inaccurate communication.
During the discussion, Mr Donald sought to bring out the disparity in pension benefits to police officers because of the changes in the pension scheme, which were addressed by Mr Duncan, who said: “We have raised with the Government issues with the scheme advisory board. We think the Government can fix it in a number of ways.”
Furthering the discussion on the ‘Pension Trap’ issue, Mr Bansel said examples of discrimination are unfair but not necessarily unlawful. “We are in this situation because the Government’s response has been unsatisfactory and unlawful.”
Metfriendly provides myth-busting guidance free of cost and is also offered to police officers other than those of the Metropolitan Police force.