Pipin News 2012.
14th November 2012
We are informed of a recent Pensions Ombudsman determination which has supported an IOD pensioner. Please use the link below to download the document.
Pensions Ombudsman Determination 78403
11th October 2012
As a result of a Freedom of Information Request we have the minutes of the National Management Attendance Forum meeting, hosted by West Midlands Police on 1st June 2012. There is some interesting information regarding the issue of new Home Guidance and especially the confirmation by Peter Spreadbury (Home Office) that “the regulations on Injury Awards will be revised at some stage, though this does not have the same priority as under the previous government.”
National Management Attendance Forum Minutes 1.06.2012
2nd October 2012
At the Cambridgeshire Police Authority meeting yesterday, the Authority accepted the new IOD policy proposals. This is an important development which is likely to also impact on the policies of other Forces throughout England and Wales. It remains to be seen how things will develop from here but it is a move in the right direction and DCC John Feavyour is thanked for his endeavours.
We have a more comprehensive report on the meeting from one of our colleagues who attended. This can be found under Cambridgeshire in the “Whats Your Force Doing?” Section of our forum.
28th September 2012
A new e-petition has been launched demanding an Public Enquiry into the the unlawful Home Office guidance which had such a serious impact on so many of us. You can view the petition and sign it if you wish at:
Police Injury Pensions - Demand for Public Enquiry.
18th September 2012
There are two new IOD decisions from the Pensions Ombudsman in which the complaints have not been upheld. In both cases the complainants are former South Wales Police officers. There are some interesting points including a clarification on the qualification of SMPs.
The decisions can be downloaded from the Pensions Ombudsman web site.
The relevant cases are 83787 (Mr B Ashcroft) and 85174 (Mr R Bloxham). Both decisions are dated 4th September 2012.
15th September 2012
Colleagues in Cambridgeshire are seeking an enquiry into the handling of their IOD pensions. Pensioners in the forces that implemented the guidance contained in Annex C of Home Office Circular 46/2004 have endured several years of anxiety and serious loss of income from policies which were eventually declared unlawful and withdrawn. Pensioners have suffered significant loss of income resulting in some cases in the loss of their homes, lives have been seriously disrupted even destroyed. There are questions that need answering and it is logical and reasonable that those responsible should be held to account.
For more information see this document: Police Injury Pensions Call For an Enquiry
8th September 2012
The item relating to the proposed new IOD Policy was withdrawn prior to the meeting yesterday of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority and has been deferred to it’s meeting on 1st October. It appears that the draft policy was an amended version of the draft seen during the consultation process and is understood to contain what amount to fundamental changes. A number of IOD pensioners have raised strong objections with the Authority. Report on meeting.
Elsewhere, we understand that two large forces have agreed to Reg. 32(2) Reconsiderations in a number of cases concerning decisions made under HOC46/2004 Guidance.
3rd September 2012
At a full meeting of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority to be held on the 7th Sept, the force DCC will present details of the proposed new IOD pensions policy. The relevant documents can be viewed either by clicking in the CPA link above and accessing the agenda or by using the links in the ‘Post HOC46/2004 Policies’ section on the Information page of the PIPIN web site.
28th August 2012
News that Mouchel, the company that administers pensions for many public bodies, has gone into administration, has caused some concern amongst police pensioners. It would appear that the Banks have stepped in to save the company and payment of pensions should not be disrupted.
Click here for Mouchel Press Release. here for Daily Telegraph Mouchel News.
24th August 2012
Some members will be aware of an issue affecting certain South Wales IOD pensioners involving incorrect application of DWP Benefits to their IOD pensions. We are informed that South Wales Police have now written to a number of pensioners informing them that: 'following due consideration it has been determined that the Authority will take no further recovery action in relation to this matter.'
7th August 2012
At a meeting of the Leicestershire Police Authority on 26th July, a report on IOD pensions was presented. This document also touches on, not only how Leicestershire intends to proceed in future, but provides a little insight on the intended policies of some surrounding forces in the East Midlands Region.
Please click here to download the report.
11th July 2012
Cambridgeshire DCC John Feavyour has now produced his draft IOD policy which we understand will be put to the Police Authority in September. DCC Feavyour has written to all IOD pensioners explaining the policy and has asked for feedback. Naturally, after the way they have been treated previously, pensioners have their reservations and, whilst DCC Feavyour’s sincerity is not in doubt, there remain anxieties and uncertainties about the possibility of further policy changes in the long term. Nevertheless, there has been discussion and consultation at every stage in contrast to the situation in Derbyshire where the Police Authority have heard proposals on new policy which have been formulated apparently without the participation of IOD’s, Narpo or the Police Federation.
There is a new section within the Information Page on the Members Section where the documents relating to Post HOC46/2004 Policies may be obtained. Please note that some of the file sizes are quite large.
Thanks again to our various contributors including the anonymous supplier of the Cambs papers.
3rd July 2012.
Good news from one of our stalwarts in Northumbria who informs us that, after 3 years of fighting 46/2004, the last five Northumbria officers represented by Ron Thompson of Lake Jackson solicitors, a few days before their judicial review was due to be heard at Leeds, settled out of court with all back payment and interest paid and their pensions pre- 2009 reviews re-established.
There are still a number of Nbria officers who did not challenge the 2009 reviews who are now pursuing justice which must be achieved given the Judicial results achieved by Ron Thompson & his team. Thanks to Roscoff for this item.
Your attention is drawn to the PSNI Guidance Booklet on Medical Pensions and Injury on Duty Awards. Click here. Although intended for Northern Ireland, it is likely that many of our members will find the content informative and useful.
We have also added some new items to the Information page in the Members Section. Written by some of our most knowledgeable and experienced members covering their opinions and assessment of subjects including procedures, Ashe and Earnings Capacity.
19th June 2012
Derbyshire Police Authority have a Resources Meeting scheduled for 26th June when they will be discussing proposals for IOD reviews. Please click on the links below to download the documents under discussion:
Review Protocol. Review Scheme Review Process.
14th June 2012
West Yorkshire have formulated new rules regarding timings etc. of reviews. Please click here for details.
27th May 2012
We understand that following the clarification given in the cases of SIMPSON and HAWORTH etc. Northumbria Police Authority have written to all affected disabled former officers seeking agreement to the impugned decision of the SMP being subject to reconsideration under the provisions of Regulation 32 (2).
However, the letter from Northumbria PA was accompanied by an “information pack” from which it was clear that Northumbria PA intended to take into account information and circumstances during the period between the date of the impugned SMP decision and the date on which the 32 (2) decision was made. Our legal team have pointed out to Northumbria PA that this in effect amounts to a “new Regulation 37 (1) reassessment” but, to date, Northumbria PA disagree.
As a result, an application for a Judicial Review has been registered in the Administrative Court in Leeds of the PA decision to include any additional information relating to the period between the final decision of the SMP and the date of the “reconsideration".
For more information see the item ‘Northumbria 32(2) Reconsideration’ at the bottom of the Information page in the Members Section of this web site. This item will be updated as and when further information becomes available.
17th May 2012
We now have the decision of another important Judicial Review to report . The Haworth case revolves basically around the issue of time limits for 32(2) reconsiderations, but there is so much more involved here. There is a lot to consider in this judgement . The case goes back some years and predates some other important decisions like Turner and Laws, it is useful therefore to have a case in which an officer is redressing wrongs which should not occur at the present time. The ex officer appears to have been treated very badly by her force and the comments that appear in this judgement indicate that, for this force, fiscal matters are what matters most and IODs rights under the regulations have been ignored. I note that Human Rights legislation has been referred to in this case. Once again, thanks to the legal team for their efforts on our behalf.
Please click here for the judgement.
13th May 2012
There is a tax issue with the deduction of certain DWP benefits from IOD pensions. Our legal advisers are currently assessing the situation which has lead to the deduction of the gross amounts and not the net amounts (after taxation). We understand that some police authorities have required pensioners to claim entitlements and have made deductions whether the benefit has been claimed or not. We believe that this situation may apply in particular to a specific group who retired between April 1995 and April 2001.
Our South Wales ADPO representative is coordinating this and can supply further details and wishes also to register a number of those affected in order to pursue this matter.
Go to the link on the ‘DWP Benefits and IOD Pension’ link on the Information page in the Members Section for further details
9th May 2012
We are informed that West Yorkshire will be paying back those ex officers who had their IOD pensions reduced unlawfully. Staffordshire have already apologised to those affected and is paying back the sums lost. Derbyshire are offering it’s over 65 IOD who were unlawfully reduced 32(2) reconsideration. We are watching developments closely. Please advise of any relevant communication or development in your forces.
24th April 2012
Please click here to view the agenda of a meeting of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority People and Professional Standards Committee scheduled for 30th April.
DCC John Feavyour is in the process of formulating a new IOD policy for Cambs. He has also volunteered himself to take the national lead on behalf of ACPO on the subject of IOD pensions.
This document contains some interesting information. We will be watching events in Cambridgeshire closely.
4th April 2012
The Home Office has issued Circular 007/2012 dated 30th March. This circular advises Police Authorities and Chief Officers that parts of guidance on police injury award reviews, relating to ‘over 65’ reviews are cancelled. Please click on the link below to access the HOC.
Home Office Circular 007/2012
3rd April 2012
Over the past few years many of our colleagues have had their IOD pensions reduced to the lowest level when they reach the age of 65 years. The Home Office guidance which ‘suggested’ such actions to Police Authorities has now been ruled unlawful and pensions need to be quickly restored with back pay to those ex officers affected. We can report that our legal representative, Ron Thompson who has done so much to assist us, wrote to all Police Authorities last month explaining that ‘taking no action’ on restoring IOD pensions was not an option for these authorities. We understand that a number of authorities have replied stating their intentions but, of course, not all authorities applied to unlawful guidance. We will report further on this issue in due course.
Also on this subject NARPO has issued a press release and the following information has been circulated for the benefit of Narpo members:
Any member adversely affected by the use of the Home Office Circular and Guidance upon reaching 65 years or over should be receiving communication from their respective Forces within the next month. Anyone so affected who does not hear from their Force within a month should contact NARPO HQ
2nd April 2012
Following the Simpson and Crudace judgements it has been reported that there are a number of ‘over 65’ cases awaiting decision with the Pensions Ombudsman and some of these have been invited to withdraw their complaints.
Despite the above judgements, it appears that the five remaining Northumbria pensioners with circumstances similar to Mr Simpson are still having to fight their cases. The hearing is scheduled for May and we are informed that Northumbria are intending to defend their corner. Quite why Northumbria wish to act in this manner is beyond my understanding.
In view of the above situation it would seem to be unwise to agree to withdraw any PO complaints until the situation is fully resolved and made absolutely clear.
It is also worth commenting on the words of Peter Spreadbury of the Home Office in his statement in the Simpson case:
‘Should it appear that repeated legal challenges and uncertainty are likely to continue in this area, one possible option is the withdrawal of the relevant guidance and the abandonment of any attempt to give central guidance on the topic.'
I think that legal challenges are likely to continue for a long time and I call on the Home Office to withdraw their guidance without delay.
31st March 2012
The SIMPSON Judgement. Please click here to download the judgement in this very important case. As is already known, this case tested the advice contained in HOC46/2004 which invited SMP’s to reduce IOD pensions to the minimum level once the ex officer reached the age of 65 years. The whole of the judgement should be read closely but I draw your attention to point 42
Mr Justice Supperstone - “In my judgment, the appropriate relief to grant in the circumstances of this case is a declaration that the section in the Guidance headed "Review of Injury Pensions Once Officers Reach Age 65" and paragraph 20 of the Guidance on Medical Appeals are inconsistent with the Regulations and unlawful. There is no justification for adopting a different approach to regulation 37(1) in respect of a former officer who reaches the age of 65 than in the case of a review for former officers of a younger age”.
Of course the ‘over 65’ guidance, now declared unlawful, is only a part of the advice which has already been accepted as deeply flawed. You will remember that the Home Office promised to review the HOC46/2004 advice back in 2009 and also wrote to Police Authorities just over two years ago advising them to suspend their IOD review programmes.
There are other cases waiting to be heard and we will see other aspects of the Home Office guidance tested in the courts. In a nutshell, the test appears to be whether the guidance is within the Regulations and, if not, it is unlawful. Hopefully that trend will prevail when the other parts of the HO guidance come under the scrutiny of the Courts.
There have been rumours circulating that the Home Office were intending to appeal this decision however, at this point as far as we can ascertain, the rumours are just that - rumours.
Thanks to Jim D for locating this document.
3rd March 2012
I apologise for being a little tardy with updating the News section of late and there is plenty happening. The Simpson case reinforces the now established trend whereby the Regulations take precedence over ‘creative’ interpretations of the Regs - at least where the SRA reductions are concerned - so far, but there are other cases in the pipeline and it cannot be long before other aspects of the Home Office Guidance are tested in the Courts.
Many of you will already be aware of the letter to Police Authorities from the Home Office, if not, please click here to read the document. Another document which gives an insight is in response to a FOI request ‘responses to revised draft guidance on injury award reviews’ click here to view this document.
I have no doubt that the Home Office will continue to look for ever more ‘creative’ interpretations when common sense dictates that they should be trying to disentangle themselves from the mess which they created. The Home Office and the minority of Police Authorities who implemented the ‘guidance’ of HOC46/2004 acted dishonourably towards IOD,s and they have the opportunity to put matters right. Whether they do or not is anyone's guess but if they don’t this issue is likely to drag on for years.
29th February 2012.
I am now back in limited contact. And am pleased to note that there has been a major success in my absence:-
“In the Administrative Court - Leeds - Judgement on 21 February, 2012 in the case of Simpson -v- the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which Supperstone LJ declared the Home Office advice in Annexe C to HOC 46 / 2004, so far as it relates to the reassessment of injury pensions at age 65, unlawful”.
I understand that the situation will be clarified in when the full judgement is published. Thanks to those individual ex officers and our legal representatives who have achieved this. I will report further when I am able to, in the meantime, please continue to post any important updates on the forum until I can fully resume.
7th February 2012
News Item from Guardian. Click here.
2nd February 2012.
The decision in the ‘Crudace’ JR is now available. Please click here to obtain the full judgement. The essence of this appeal involves time limits and 32(2) reconsideration. This case however, reveals much about the shameful way one particular force has dealt with IOD pensions. The Judges comments are of great interest and importance to us all.
The Judges refers also to the ‘Simpson’ JR which is scheduled to be heard later this month.
20th January 2012.
To update on a couple of important Judicial Reviews.
Simpson -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department relates to the lawfulness HOC 46/2004 issue and we understand is listed for hearing on towards the end of February 2012 at the High Court in London. Click here for the background to this important case.
The Queen on the application of Crudace - v - Northumbria Police.This originates from an Application hearing at Leeds on 24th October 2011 and relates to 32(2) time limit issues. It was scheduled for substantive hearing at the Administrative Court in Leeds on 19th January (yesterday).
We will report the outcomes when the decisions are handed down.
6th January 2012
Although it is available elsewhere, this web site now includes the result of FOI research into IOD pension policy in the various Police Forces throughout England and Wales. Click Here to view the comprehensive report in pdf format which is included with permission of the author.
1st January 2012
As we enter 2012 we are still awaiting the revised guidance that was expected ‘early in 2011’. The IOD review programme was suspended almost two years ago (March 2010) The latest information that we have from the Home Office is that the revised guidance is expected early in 2012. A consultation was conducted during 2011 and Narpo was involved in this exercise. Narpo have so far not shared any knowledge of the discussions with those most affected by this policy.
Quite what the “revised guidance” consists of when it finally appears will remain to be seen. Earlier in 2011, from what we were able to glean, it appeared that the revised guidance was likely to be worse than the original. The Home Office and Police Authorities drift along without regard for the plight of former officers forced to individually fight for their injury pensions.
It would seem that our problems will only be resolved by our own actions. Fortunately, we have gained much knowledge and experience. We also now have an excellent legal team to support us and during 2011 benefited from considerable success where individual ex officers have challenged reductions in their injury pensions either through the PMAB, Pensions Ombudsman or the Courts. When policies based on the guidance in HOC46/2004 are properly and independently tested, IOD pensioners are increasingly meeting success and retaining their pensions because HOC46/2004 does not comply with the Regulations. There are indications that some Police Authorities are now seeking to review their Injury Pension policies to comply with the regulations rather than the discredited Home Office guidance.
We are concerned that all ex officers officers who have been forced to accept unlawful reductions in their pensions are now made aware of the situation and what steps they need to take to seek restoration of their pensions.
Although we have made much progress, there is more to be done. Throughout 2012 we will continue the work we have started and we will continue for as long as necessary.