Pension age is a massive issue for the Ministry of Defence Police and for our officers.
We recently won our claims in the court to put our officers back into the old schemes after the Government had unlawfully moved them either immediately or transitionally when the new Alpha scheme came into effect.
However, we can absolutely guarantee that the Government are going to come back and look at this again. They have to because they are trying to make savings from the pension scheme.
The bottom line is, without the proper evidence, all of our officers are going to be moved into the new pension scheme, whichever that is, and they are going to have their state pension age as their pension age, just like before.
To combat this we at the Federation have engaged with Loughborough University to carry out a study and we are asking our members to come out and get involved in that study.
It’s designed to demonstrate a fact that we all know is true. That fact is that when you get older, your fitness reduces. You are less fit the older you get.
We need to be able to prove that without a shadow of a doubt, it needs to be indisputable, because previously when we’ve negotiated on pension age – and I’ve headed that up twice – we were unable to convince the Government of the issues for our officers because we didn’t have that indisputable evidence.
They were able to ignore what we said because it wasn’t able to be proved scientifically.
We need to give them a proposition they can’t ignore. And that means our members need to get involved.
At this time we’ve had about 350 people put themselves forward to get involved in the test, which is fantastic. Our concern is that a significant part of these 350 people are the people that enjoy doing fitness and will demonstrate a high level of fitness, which may not be a real reflection of our Force.
We need everybody to get involved. We need the people who don’t enjoy fitness testing or working out as well as those that do, because we need to get a proper snapshot of what our membership really looks like.
So I am asking all of our membership to please put yourselves forward. We are just asking for a couple of hours of your life and it could change you pension age forever. Not just yours, but for everybody going forward.
We very rarely ask the wider membership to get directly involved with the issues we represent them on. A select few put themselves forward and all of our members are grateful to them for that and their tireless work.
But, on this occasion we need every officer to come forward. It is essential.
So if you’re older, if you’re less fit, if you’re female, then please come forward so we can get a proper snapshot of what the membership’s fitness looks like. That’s what we need.
We will ensure your costs are covered, but unfortunately we can’t pay overtime. This isn’t about money, it’s about the future. We are asking all of our members to show us how you feel, to demonstrate how important this is to you. We know what you say, now we need to see you back it up with a little action.
Please help us to help you. Get involved……