20th March 2018
Employer Funded Effective Pension Age Option For The alpha Pension Scheme
As you will no doubt recall, the long and drawn out MDP Terms And Conditions of Service (TACoS) review was concluded and implemented with effect of 1st April 2016.
The review was wide ranging, but a major concern to the DPF was around the pension provision for MDP officers following the Governments reforms of the Public Sector pension arrangements.
During the TACoS negotiations the Government agreed to provide an employer funded Effective Pension Age (EPA) option for MDP officers in the “alpha” pension scheme as part of an overall agreed package of reforms to MDP terms and conditions of service.
This EPA would allow members to receive an unreduced “alpha” pension from the higher of 65 or three years below state pension age.
The MDP employer funded EPA that was agreed is the first such scheme across Government and is, as we understand complex to introduce.
However the Force and Department are currently refusing to recognise the effective implementation date of 1st April 2016 for the EPA in line with the other changes introduced as part of the TACoS review. Instead they want to introduce the EPA back dated, to whichever date agreement is finally reached.
This is clearly not what we agreed during the TACoS negotiations and will result in the additional service during that time in the “alpha” pension scheme being linked to individuals State Pension Age (SPA) and not the lower EPA of 65.
It is disappointing that the Department and Force are continuing to try to undermine MDP pension provisions and the wider TACoS agreement.
We have directed our legal team to lodge a formal complaint with the Pension Ombudsman in order to resolve this issue and have the EPA as agreed in the TACoS negotiations implemented as soon as possible and back dated to 1st April 2016.
We have received confirmation that the complaint has been received by the Ombudsman and is now in the process of being reviewed.
We will provide further updated on this and other pension matters as they develop.
Pension Sub-Committee Chair