Circular 57/14 Pension Age for MDP
Members will be aware that there is conflicting information being circulated around the DPF position on Pension Age for our members.
This circular is designed to clarify that position.
The DPF are clear that the proper pension age for our members should be the same as that for our colleagues in the Home Department Forces, currently 60 years of age. This position has never altered, however under recent legislative changes our Normal Pension Age (the age at which an un-reduced pension may be payable) will move to the State Pension Age with increases in contributions in excess of 7% in some cases.
Once the DPF were aware of these changes we challenged these in Parliament and as a result of our intervention, the issue had to be reviewed.
The reason for this need was that the review which drove the pension changes did not include the MDP. Lord Hutton, who was the author of the review, clearly stated in the House of Lords, that this was a mistake and that had he known of the MDP, he would have included us as a uniform service. No-one from either the Force or the Department did anything to alter this misunderstanding and it was only our intervention that stalled this situation and forced the Department and Government to discuss and review this issue.
As a result talks began and our aspiration to have the same normal pension age as our colleagues was put forward, but the Department were clear, as were the Treasury, that it would not be at public expense, but at the expense of the member.
Our fear was that, due to the fact that the new pension schemes for the Home Office and the MDP will be reasonably equitable, then the Department and Treasury would insist that the contribution be the same. This would mean a contribution level, or an NPD equitable to 14% of pensionable pay. Clearly this would be difficult for some members to afford, so we offered a compromise.
That compromise was an Enhanced Effective Pension Age (EEPA) of 65, with the ability for individual members to reduce that to 60 if they wished at their expense.
This would mean that the members contribution level at 65 would be the same but if the member could afford to pay more they could pay the additional contribution and retire at 60, which was our aim.
The outcome would be the same as looking for a Normal Pension Age of 60, but would allow those that could not afford the additional contributions the option of working longer and paying less, meaning that less members would have to opt out of the scheme.
This has not been articulated to members properly, hence the need for this circular.
Our fears have been realised and in a recent letter from our Minister, Ms Anna Soubry MP, she has clearly stated that even our compromise offer will only be taken forward if the costings can be realised from our TACOS negotiations, meaning that they are expecting you to pay for this either directly or indirectly.
It is important to point out that no one, from outside of the Federation, has made an offer to the Department and although members are being told that the Force wants a retirement age of 60 and the DPF wants an age of 65, none of the detail on how it will be paid for has been explained.
We clearly want this mess resolved and the Department and Government to accept it simply made a mistake and include the MDP in the Uniform Services element of the Public Service Pension Bill, but they will not. We are doing the best we can to achieve the outcome, the majority of our members desire and will continue to do so in our representations.
Defence Police Federation