The Defence Police Federation has begun working with a top University to gather evidence as part of its battle to get a fairer retirement age for members.
The Federation has commissioned scientists at Loughborough University to examine whether officers will be able to meet the fitness standards expected by the force as they increase in age.
MOD Police officers are currently excluded from The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 which gives uniformed police and the armed forces a retirement age of 60 years.
It means DPF members can only retire at the state pension age, raising concerns about their ability to carry the weapons and kit required of the dangerous role they carry out at the age of 67.
Now DPF General Secretary Mitch Batt said: “We’ve engaged with the University to do a post-doctoral study on the comparisons of fitness levels across age and gender, for the whole of society.
“It’s about whether officers, as they get older, will be able to meet the standards expected of them by the force,” he said.
“We want to prove that fitness drops off as you get older, then we’ve got an argument that the current pension age for our members should be lower.”
The full report by the University will be ready in December and members will be sent questionnaires to help inform the study.
From there the Federation is planning to use it to push for change at Government level.
“We’ve got to go to Government because it would be a Treasury decision via the MOD to move the pension age from 67 to 60,” Mitch said.
“The study will be in three parts; a literature review of all the evidence that’s that shows fitness levels decrease with age. Part two is the questionnaire for members. And then we’ll ask around 200 of our officers at different locations to run the multi-stage fitness test to their maximum.
“Then we can work out different age groups and what their standard is.”
Mitch concluded: “We’ll need as many members as possible to take part in the study. We need empirical evidence. So that we have a good enough case to take to the Government.”