Pension proposals force police to work extra five years

Police
will have to work an extra five years to get their pensions under new
government proposals.

A
consultation paper issued by the Home Office proposes that police officers
would eligible for maximum pensions after 35 years instead of 30 years at
present.

The
Home Office said it wants to modernise police pensions to make them more
flexible and affordable for officers.

The
plans are also designed to cater for the needs of a more diverse workforce and
to adapt to increasing life expectancy.

Home
Office Minister Hazel Blears said the existing police pension scheme provided a
valuable package of benefits.

"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," she said.

The
main features of the new proposed pension scheme include:


A full pension of half the final salary, plus a lump sum of four times the
pension


A full pension after 35 years service


Even build-up of benefits over a career – no accelerated accrual after 20 years


A minimum pension age of 55 and a deferred pension age of 65


Life-long survivor benefits (ie no cessation on re-marriage or cohabitation
with a new partner)


Survivor benefits for unmarried (including same-sex) partners


An officer’s contribution rate of between 9 per cent and 9.5 per cent of
pensionable pay, depending on the final details of the scheme benefits
(officers currently contribute 11 per cent).

By Michael Millar

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