Officers retiring or who have recently retired from the service are being written to with regards to support in relation to immediate detriment situation whereby those affected by the McCloud judgement are unable to access their remedied pension immediately.
Any retiring/ retired officer who has not received such a letter can read the correspondence and application form below.
Scottish Police Federation – Public Service Pension Schemes
In 2011, Lord Hutton published a report for Her Majesty’s Government (“HMG”) setting out his recommendations for reforming public sector pensions.
The report’s recommendations were given effect by the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”), which provided powers for Ministers to use subordinate legislation to create new public service pension schemes according to a common framework of requirements.
The introduction of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and its corresponding impact on members of the police pension schemes, has been highly controversial.
Police Pension Scheme
In Scotland, the administration of public pensions is the responsibility of Scottish Ministers. The statutory powers for the provision of pensions to constables of Police Service of Scotland derive from the 2013 Act.
Under the 2013 Act, a new police pension scheme (“the Transitional Scheme”) was set up for Scotland by the Police Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”), which superseded the pension scheme established for Scotland by the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 (“the 1987 Scheme”) and the Police Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (“the 2006 Scheme”).
Prior to the introduction of the Transitional Scheme, constables in the Police Service of Scotland had the opportunity to join a pension scheme constituted under The Police Pensions (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (the “2007 Regulations”) known as the New Police Pension Scheme (the “NPPS”). This was a final salary pension scheme.
The NPPS replaced the Police Pension Scheme (the “PPS”) constituted under the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 (the “1987 Regulations”) which was closed to new members.
The PPS constituted under the 1987 Regulations was also a final salary pension scheme, although of different terms to the NPPS constituted under the 2007 Regulations.
When the 2015 Regulations were enacted, certain members (those near the retirement age on 1 April 2012) of the PPS and NPPS benefitted from transitional arrangements whereby their pension entitlements under the PPS and NPPS were preserved for a period of time while others who were not near the retirement age were not afforded the same protection.
The Transitional Scheme imposes a retirement age of 60 with an actuarial adjustment for early retirement. This is a lesser entitlement than either the PPS or the NPPS. At present an officer’s entitlement is calculated by reference to both the PPS, NPPS and the Transitional Scheme. The result is that an officer will receive less than what they would receive under the PPS alone.
We consider the fact that such entitlements were not preserved for all officers amounts to age discrimination. The reason for this is that if all members’ entitlement for the previous pension schemes constituted under the 1987 Regulations and 2006 Regulations (i.e. the PPS and the NPPS) had been preserved despite the members’ age, they would not have experienced less favourable treatment and subsequently suffered loss.
Actions have been raised by the Scottish Police Federation on behalf of those members that have already retired from the Service. These actions have been raised against the Scottish Ministers and Scottish Police Authority.
The Scottish Ministers hold the statutory powers to make and amend pensions for persons who are members of the Police Service of Scotland while the Scottish Police Authority are responsible for maintaining the Police Service of Scotland and ensuring that all pay and allowances due to members is paid.
We are currently waiting for a date to be fixed for the Preliminary Hearing, which is a procedural hearing to determine the next steps moving forward.
In relation to the implementation of the transitional provisions, the SPF is exploring claims for members in relation to the inability of members retiring to access their pension benefits/entitlements under the transitional provisions before further legislation to provide the remedy for previous age discrimination is introduced and comes into fiscal effect allowing members to access the pension benefit conferred.
England & Wales Cases
Actions have also been raised by Police Officers in England and Wales. The basis for their action is under s.61 of the Equality Act 2010 for a breach of statutory duty. Section 61 provides that an occupational pension scheme must be taken to include a non-discrimination rule.
A non-discrimination rule is a provision whereby a responsible person must not discriminate against another person in their carrying out of their functions in relation to the scheme. The responsible persons include the trustees or managers of the scheme.
This action is also currently subject to case management procedure at the Employment Tribunal with a further Preliminary Hearing fixed to take place later this month.
The Federation is in contact with the Police Federation of England & Wales and other staff associations seeking a coordinated approach north and south of the border.
We understand that you are due to retire from service with the Police Service shortly /We understand that you have recently retired from service with the Police.
Under Section 123(1) of the Equality Act 2010 a complaint of discrimination must be submitted to an employment tribunal before the end of the period of three months starting with the date on which the act to which the complaint relates i.e. the date of your retirement.
The tribunal can in exceptional circumstances exercise discretion where they consider it just and equitable to do so, to allow the claim to proceed out of time. However, the exercising of this discretion is not guaranteed, and it is advised to seek legal advice imminently to avoid being time-barred for raising your claim.
If you believe that you have been affected by the introduction of these provisions , please do not hesitate to contact the Scottish Police Federation in order that you can be provided with further advice in relation to potential claims.
The Scottish Police Federation