More than 10,000 people have signed a Manchester police officer’s petition to stop women receiving higher lump sum payments from their pension funds than men.
DC Mick Pearson, of Greater Manchester Police, has used the government e-petitions website to seek support to prevent what he sees as discrimination against male police officers, as their female co-workers generally receive £12,000 more than men when it comes to taking a lump sum payment at retirement.
In some cases, female chief superintendents could gain £26,000 more than a man in the same role.
The Government Actuary’s Department, which controls the lump-sum payment system for police pensions, says the difference reflects the fact that women. statistically, live longer than men.
Pearson told Personnel Today: “Not all females live longer than males – and many other factors come into it, for example, some ethnic groups may live less than others, people who smoke tend to live less, or hereditary factors.
“To offer women higher lump sum payments purely because they are women is discrimination.”
He added: “Everybody should be treated equally – if it’s a financial investment, we all pay the same contributions each year, so we should all get the same contributions back.
“I don’t think the scheme should take into account different factors like gender, or factors such as hereditary disease or health factors [like life insurance funds do] as this is a financial investment – we should all get the same. Even if it’s legal, it’s still unfair.”
Pearson tried to raise the inequality between men and women in lump-sum police pension payments with the Police Federation three years ago, but said he was frustrated to find they “took the attitude that rules are rules – and they were set in stone”.
He is again calling on the Police Federation to review the current system. “The petition will be put before the new Prime Minister, and I can use it as a basis to ask the Police Federation to do something,” he said.
The petition closes on 27 May.