Consultation launched for 'flexible and affordable' police pensions

It is time to consider options for modernising police pensions to make them "more flexible and affordable" for police officers, Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said today

Announcing a UK-wide consultation on police pensions, the Home Office has called for views on a suggested alternative to the current pension scheme, which would cater for the needs of a "more diverse workforce" and adapt to "increasing life expectancy".

It would also provide value for money and remain affordable to police officers and taxpayers.

The main features of the new proposed pension scheme would include: a full pension of half final salary plus a lump sum of four times the pension; a full pension after 35 years' service; a minimum pension age of 55 and a deferred pension age of 65; and an officer's contribution rate of between 9% and 9.5% of pensionable pay, depending on the final details of the scheme benefits, (officers currently contribute 11%).

A new police pension scheme would not affect the entitlement of existing officers to stay in the current scheme if they prefer. However, officers would be able to transfer to the new scheme if they feel it would better suit their needs, for example by being more affordable or because the new scheme would offer survivor benefits to unmarried or same sex partners.

Ms Blears said: "The existing police pension scheme provides a valuable package of benefits. However, over recent years there have been changes both in the police service and in wider society, which mean we now need to update the scheme to serve the needs of future police officers."

The new scheme would also allow the partners of officers who choose not to get married or who are in same sex relationships to receive survivor benefits.


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