Pipin News 2011.
19th December 2011.
Assisted by our legal team, one of our leading colleagues in North Yorkshire has been successful at his very recent PMAB. We also understand that two others had similar success on the same date.
The situation in West Yorkshire is still not clear and reviews are apparently being conducted. The feeling locally is that policy is now tending to reflect the Regulations more than discredited Home Office ‘guidance’. The West Yorks group is anxious to make contact with former colleagues, possibly numbering several hundred, who have had their pensions reduced in the past few years and may not be aware that the process employed has not been compliant with the Regulations.
9th December 2011.
Many of you will recall that, earlier this year, Cambridgeshire Police Authority were discussing revising their IOD policy to reflect the Regulations rather than the discredited ‘guidance’ of HOC46/2006. This proposed new policy is to be discussed at a meeting of the Authority on 20th December 2011. Click here for details
One of our members has circulated information which may affect your commutation if you retired between 1998 and 2006. More detail can be found on the Forum in the ‘Queries and General Chat’ section under the ‘Commutation Issues’ topic.
Click here for the Narpo statement on developments in West Yorkshire.
3rd December 2011
Things have moved quite fast. Please click here for a press release from our legal team. Also our Solicitor, Ron Thompson, appeared on BBC TV ‘Look North’ on Friday evening to discuss the IOD situation and these very recent developments.
2nd December 2011
A very important development in West Yorkshire is reported today:
Click Here for more details. This affects ex officers reduced at the age of 65 and is clearly very significant and will affect the situation nationwide.
From what the DCC says, West Yorkshire are trying to play this down claiming that it doesn’t set a precedent, it will be very interesting to see how this develops. We hope that those ex officers who have been reduced will not be forced to seek reinstatement of their IOD pensions on an individual basis. We shall be watching how all forces interpret this very carefully.
Ron Thompson and our legal team deserve our heartfelt thanks.
1st December 2011
There has not been much to report for some time and this entry is just to show we are still here. We are aware of a few cases in the pipeline. We are informed of some going before PMAB and understand some have met with success but we have not been provided with any reportable details. We understand also that the important Judicial Reviews we have previously mentioned have now been heard, one has encountered a delay we believe and the other (Simpson) was scheduled to be heard in the Administrative Court today - we will report the outcome when it is handed down.
Elsewhere I notice that the construction group Mouchel is experiencing financial difficulties. This is of interest to those of us whose pensions are outsourced and administered by the services arm of this organisation.
19th October 2011
We now have clarification of the situation in Staffordshire following the media report we posted in this column on the 8th October:
It seems that they are not carrying out reviews but are trying to address a problem of overpayment of injury pensions due to a failure to properly account for the deductions that are allowed for by the Regulations for additional benefits, which are set out in Schedule 3-(7)-(3)
The PA says that it will not be seeking to ask for repayment of any
overpayments that have been made to injury pensions. Nevertheless, up to 350 injury pensioners will have their injury pension payments scrutinised.
Thanks to Parasoul for this information update.
For details of the schedule click here (details from the Narpo web site)
12th October 2011
You may remember that some time ago there was a petition on what was then the No. 10 Downing St. web site. It called for HOC 46/2004 to be withdrawn. That petition attracted over 3,000 signatures.
The present Government has revamped the on-line petition facility and it is now called E-Petitions. The new rules that go with the new web site say that any petition that attracts over 100,000 signatures will be given a debate in the House of Commons.
There is now a new petition on there which calls on the Home Office to confine its revised guidance to:
'FOLLOW THE POLICE (INJURY BENEFIT) REGULATIONS 2006'
Please click here to register your vote.
8th October 2011
It would appear from a ‘thisisstaffordshire’ report that Staffordshire are restarting IOD reviews ahead of the issue of the Home Office revised guidance.
Click here for the report.
Note. We would appreciate any information which will clarify Staffordshires intentions.
21st September 2011.
One of our very knowledgeable colleagues who has gained considerable expertise in IOD matters is compiling an online library of relevant documents located on the www.scribd.com web site. He has already uploaded a wealth of documents which are intended, not only to benefit our members, but to assist HR and others involved in achieving an accurate understanding of IOD issues. If you have any documents that you feel would be of be of value here you are invited to submit them via: email@example.com.
The scribd site can be searched by subject or by author, which in this case is ‘wdtk’. Click here to visit the scribd web site.
At the very recent National meeting concern was expressed for those IOD pensioners who may have been reviewed and reduced in banding and are not aware of our existence or the assistance that is available. Our organisation is gaining expertise and is backed by a very good legal team which has resulted in considerable success. We ask that everyone does what they can to ensure that IOD pensioners are aware of our network .
There can be no doubt the the Home Office would like all police authorities and forces to adopt their guidance on reducing the costs of police injury pensions.
We think it is reasonable to expect that forces who do not currently apply the guidance to come under pressure to do so at some point. Therefore we would welcome approaches from IOD pensioners in all forces who are concerned for the future of their pensions.
1st September 2011.
Indications from Police Authorities and the Home Office are that the revised guidance is likely to now be issued early in 2012, possibly February. Some authorities remain paralysed in the absence of the revised advice. It appears that things are stirring in some quarters. Cambridgeshire, we are told, are revising their IOD policy to reflect the Regulations. In the South Wales Police Area, we understand that a number of ex officers reviewed at the aged of 65 have had their banding restored as a result of making complaints under that forces Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP).
Colleagues in one of the northern forces are awaiting the result of an important PMAB appeal and we also believe that an important Judicial Review which will question the legality of HOC46/3004 is scheduled for this autumn. It also appears that the Pension Ombudsman has a growing list of IOD cases awaiting deliberation.
Please send any items of interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org
6th August 2011.
Still no news on the issue of revised guidance. It is worth mentioning a very interesting letter in the August 2011 issue of ‘Narpo News’ from an ex Nottinghamshire Officer. For those who are not Narpo members or don’t have access to the magazine, the letter describes how this ex officer was reviewed and reduced. The story of his five year struggle to regain his banding will strike a chord with many of us and his treatment by his Police Authority is nothing short of disgraceful.
However, he persevered and after five years, he has had his banding restored, the backdated money has been repaid to him and the Nottinghamshire Police have admitted that they have ‘extensively maladministered’ the review process in his case. Ack. Readers Letters Narpo News August 2011
16th July 2011
There is still nothing to report on the ‘revised guidance’ which has been awaited for so long. It is worth commenting that although the guidance might be revised, it is still only guidance and whilst police authorities may have a duty to review IOD pensions, they do have discretion and are not bound to apply Home Office guidance. There are indications that some forces are looking to proceed independently, introducing their own IOD procedures prior to the issue of the revised HO guidance. Illustrations of this possibility are that, on one hand, Cambridgeshire are seeking to introduce a Regulations based policy and on the other hand we have reports that at least one northern force has restarted age related reviews of 65 year old ex officers. We don’t know quite why these particular reviews have been resumed when there are now a number of decisions from the Pensions Ombudsman which support the pensioner and regulations regarding age related reviews at the age of 65.
We understand that NARPO and POLFED have made submissions in the consultation process with the HO on the ‘revised guidance’. When HOC46/2004 was introduced we were let down badly by NARPO and many of us subsequently lost faith with our representative organisation. ADPO and this website exist only because NARPO failed us in the early stages and most of us won’t easily forget those experiences. However, NARPO is now much more active and, we are told, is actively fighting for us. A personal opinion is that the IOD issue is the most serious issue NARPO has ever had to deal with and it is requires a 100% commitment to us, if it cannot give that commitment then it is no more that a social club for retired police officers. Regardless of it’s history on the IOD issue, many of us believe that things have changed within NARPO and, if that is so, we should now express our support for their efforts.
It is good to see that our online forum is currently quite active. This web site and the associated organisation is operated by IOD’s, for all IOD’s. It costs nothing to register, please use this site and the forum - it is what it is for........
5th July 2011.
Our good friends in North Yorkshire ADPO have notified us of an important determination by the Pensions Ombudsman. The Sharp decision relates to a former officer reduced to Band one upon reaching the age of 65 and can be downloaded from the Pensions Ombudsman’s website. Our members can download a copy of this decision in PDF format from the ‘relevant cases’ list on the Information Page in the Members Section of this web site.
4th July 2011
Things remain quiet and the revised guidance is still awaited. Please click here for a report from a very recent Cambridgeshire Police Authority meeting - make of it what you will!....
25th May 2011.
Things are still very quiet with most forces continuing the review suspension in accordance with the Home Office advice of March 2010. We are told that West Yorkshire have reduced some IOD pensions in the last few weeks, it is thought that these mainly relate to ex officers aged 65 and over who were reviewed prior to the suspension, (clarification of this point would be welcomed). Other forces, such as Devon and Cornwall, are content to await the revised advice. The force also comments: “At this time it is anticipated there is unlikely to be financial benefits by progressing with reviews of ill health and injury pensions. The costs of conducting the reviews and progressing any appeals are likely to offset any reductions in pension payments in the short to medium term.”
Elsewhere we have learned that a Cambridgeshire ex officer who was reduced at the age of 65 has had his pension reinstated following a complaint to the Pension Ombudsman but have no further details of the case.
It appears that the revised advice is nearing publication. NARPO and the Police Federation have made representations but no details of the consultations have been made available, as far as we are aware, to ex officers affected by this.
18th April 2011.
One of our colleagues reports that he spoke to the Home Office earlier today and was told that they hope to issue the revised guidance within “a couple of months”. The person he spoke to thought that NARPO and the Police Federation had put forward their points of view.
28th March 2011
Things have continued to be very quiet. The last we have heard from the Home Office is that the draft revised guidance has been the subject of consultation with the Police Negotiating Board and other interested parties and the representations made during that consultation are now being considered. Quite what input has been considered from IOD pensioners or representations made on our behalf is not known.
Elsewhere, one Police Authority has informed a colleague that all Police Authorities have been advised that the revised guidance is expected to be issued any time now and decisions should be deferred pending this guidance.
It is worth noting that it is almost 7 years since the original advice was issued. It is nearly 13 months since the HO advised PA’s to suspend the review programme and on 13 April it will be six months since the ‘Laws’ decision was handed down.
In order to try a keep a finger on the pulse of the IOD situation, our colleagues are constantly seeking relevant information - a recent instance is a reference to IOD reviews buried in a North Yorkshire finance report dated 28th March 2011 which tells us that: “A number of appeals following the Injury on Duty Review have been settled during the year resulting in some back dated payments” Click Here for this full document..
Please submit any news or update items to: email@example.com Thanks.
28th February 2011
The Police Federation have confirmed that John Gilbert has been retained as a consultant. Mr Gilbert recently retired as Head of the Police Pensions and Retirement Policy Section at the Home Office. During his time in that position his section was responsible for HOC46/2004 and subsequent reduction of Injury on Duty pensions. Mr Ian Rennie, General Secretary of PF says. “John Gilbert was an employee of the Home Office and in the consultation process has demonstrated his professionalism and extensive knowledge in dealing with police pensions”
24th February 2011’
We understand that reviews in West Yorks. have recommenced and one pensioner who now lives overseas had to return to attend a review at his own expense. A number of forces have previously indicated that they were awaiting the ‘revised guidance’ before proceeding. One of our colleagues has very recently received correspondence from the Head of Police Pensions & Retirement Policy at the Home Office which says, “We are currently consulting with partners in the Police Negotiating Board, and other key partners, on draft guidance. Revised guidance will be subject to the results of that exercise and the views of Ministers, so I am not currently in a position to give a date for the issue of any new guidance”. It is not known if NARPO are included in this consultation. Of course, the ‘revised guidance’ is only guidance and some forces may wish to proceed independently of such guidance, although it is likely the Home Office will want all forces to be ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ when this is done. Elsewhere, five of our colleagues from Northumbria, had their pensions reduced in December (see forum under the ASHE section) interestingly Northumbria have applied an ASHE figure of £26,364 as comparator for those aged 65 and over.
Any new items or items for submission on this web site are greatly appreciated.
Please email any material to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks
22nd February 2011.
Although the long overdue revised guidance has yet to be issued we have some indications of how the new guidance may look. The origins of this information are unknown but, if it is correct, there is of little of benefit to IOD pensioners and it has been rewritten to favour the police authorities. Although many of us had hoped that the review would result in fairer treatment for IOD pensioners, it will not be unexpected if it doesn’t and we are prepared to continue with the challenge. Hopefully we will have some more solid information soon. (See the Information page in the Members Section of this web site)
9th February 2011.
We note that Police Authorities are now referring to the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2011. To view the draft Regulations click here
For the covering report from Derbyshire which helps explain the proposed Regulations, click here.
Please note that these proposed regulations are not supposed to be retrospective and therefore should not apply to existing pensions. Also, the regulations are quite separate from the ‘revised guidance’ which has yet to be been issued.
7th February 2011
Although the Home Office has not yet issued it’s revised guidance, some forces are restarting their review programmes.
Humberside say: “Work to clear the backlog of reviews for 2010/11 is now underway” and their Chief Constable also says in the same report: “ Reviews of retired officers who have reached the current State retirement age of 65 are being dealt with in the same way as those below State retirement age, following the decision of the Pensions Ombudsman in the complaint of ‘Ayre v Humberside Police’. The problem now facing Police Forces, in this respect, is that no national earnings statistics are available for those workers still in employment beyond the age of 65. This makes it difficult if not impossible to compare the retired officer’s loss of earnings with typical incomes in the rest of society who are aged 65 and above. The Home Office has promised to issue guidance on this matter but at the time of writing this is still awaited.”
Reviews were suspended last year pending the outcome of the ‘Laws’ case. Are we to assume that the Police Authorities have now been provided with legal advice on which to proceed?
Note: We are given to understand that the Office of National Statistics do publish figures for over 65’s still in employment and some data can be downloaded from our Information page in the Members section of the PIPIN web site. No doubt this situation will be clarified in due course.
27th January 2011
An experienced legal team is available to assist and represent IOD’s. For further details see our Information page in the ‘Members Section’ of this web site.
26th January 2011
There are signs of a change in West Yorks. The PA had previously indicated to that they were waiting for the revised Home Office circular to materialise before continuing with their procedures. However. this now appears not to be the case as a number of our colleagues have received a letter from the PA stating:
'We are now in a position to restart proceedings in relation to your IUE award review/appeal or request for reconsideration and will be writing to everybody individually after reviewing their case. I hope that you will accept my assurances that we will be working hard to contact everyone as soon as we can but please be aware that this process may take some time.'
22nd January 2011
One of our regular forum contributors draws our attention to the Police Pension Scheme briefing paper dated 19th January. In particular, the comments from page 22 on are of special interest to our members.
Click here (pdf document will open in new window)
Our thanks again to EC for this information.
New Year 2011
As we enter 2011 we await the announcement of ‘revised’ guidance from the Home Office. Back in 2009 we were told that the Home Office would look again at the guidance contained in HOC46/2004. Then in March 2010 reviews were suspended pending the outcome of the ‘Laws’ case, which was handed down on the 13th October. Some Police Authorities have told our colleagues that the revised guidance should be issued early in 2011.
Many of us had hoped that our situation would have improved under the coalition government, especially given the support we had been given by certain LibDem MP’s. Whilst it is unlikely that HOC46 will be totally withdrawn it clearly cannot survive in it’s original guise. Perhaps we may see evidence of that political support in the revised guidance?
Those Police Authorities who were wise enough not to implement HOC46/2004 will not want to associate themselves with any similar draconian measures. If the Home Office wants all police authorities to adopt their guidance they must bow not only to the rule of law but that of common decency and fairness in the way they treat loyal ex police officers unfortunate to have lost their careers through injury on duty.