News and Comment 2021
2nd May 2021.
We understand that Essex have now started sending out letters. Recipients are certain to be worried by the prospect of review and are urged to contact IODPA who can explain the advice, support and legal assistance that our dedicated charitable IOD organisation can offer.
1st April 2021.
With the commencement of reviews in Essex now appearing to be imminent, more details have been published by the force. This notice to pensioners has been issued along with this briefing note.
We are pleased to note that pensioners over the age of 65/66/67 will not be reviewed along with certain other categories - although we know from experience that policies are subject to the whims of the incumbent PPA. We need reviews to be conducted fairly, in complete compliance with the Regulations and in a manner which is considerate to the pensioner. Pensioners are reminded that the fact that NARPO has been consulted does not place any obligations on the pensioner. Any pensioner affected by the new policy, indeed any IOD pensioner, should contact IODPA the dedicated IOD charity who can provide good advice and access to our legal team, should that be required.
11th March 2021.
Staffordshire Police have announced that their Chief Constable is to retire in June. Mr Gareth Morgan will be remembered by retired IOD officers for his hard line approach to IOD issues. Previously Mr Morgan served with Avon and Somerset during a particularly fraught period for that forces' IOD's. It will be remembered that Mr Morgan's departure from A&S resulted in an immediate rethink of IOD policy in that force.
It has recently been reported that Essex Police are likely to commence a new programme of IOD reviews in the near future. Essex Police Pension Board Meeting 9th November 2020 (Item4) It is interesting that there appears to be a possible age cut off for reviews for those aged above 65/66/67. Pipin has long argued for such a cut off, along with provisions for officers who have had to retire early in service with IOD pensions that fall below the normal level of pension that would have been accrued if injury had not cut their careers short. It would be very reassuring to older pensioners if there could be a National agreed cut off point which would ensure a degree of financial security in old age. We are mindful that where individual forces have implemented cut off points in the past, promises have not been kept - experience has taught us to be very suspicious of review policies and it will be a long time before we can again place our trust in our forces and their IOD administration policies.
1st January 2021.
2021. Here we are at the start of yet another New Year without resolution to the problems that we have endured for so many years? We must all wonder how long will we be forced to continue in this seemingly endless struggle to protect our injury pensions?
Pipin has often called for an independent review like the Scoffield Report into the IOD pension situation such as we saw in Northern Ireland some years ago. There appears to be no official appetite for such an initiative, which is probably a reasonably accurate indication that our police forces have different ideas on how they might proceed. The recent treatment of IOD's in Staffordshire where Reg.33 was used as a blunt instrument against a group of pensioners could influence the way some forces might proceed but it should be pointed out at this point that the Staffordshire saga is not yet over!
It is thought that some forces will be commencing new review programmes soon and it is necessary for us to once again point out that it is not reviews that we oppose but the unfair, unjust manipulation of the Regulations to reduce the legitimate entitlements of IOD pensioners.
None of us wanted to be injured and lose our careers. IOD retirement is life changing. The outcome of a review can also be life changing too, hence the stress and anxiety that any review engenders. Any reasonable person would expect reviews to be conducted in a fair and considerate manner with regard for the wellbeing of the pensioner. Common decency should demand that IOD pensioners be treated lawfully, fairly, with consideration and respect. Sadly, some of our forces and certain of their SMP's have treated IOD pensioners badly. Pensioners may have resisted intimidation but the way they have been treated has so often negatively impacted their health and wellbeing. It is serious, there have been instances of pensioners being forced to sell their homes, even homes specially adapted for their disabilities have had to be sold. Others have suffered hardship, even bankruptcy.
If, as we expect, reviews start, there will be many IOD pensioners who have not previously been affected. It will come as a shock to discover that they are effectively alone, they cannot fall back or rely on the staff organisations for support. Fortunately there is the IOD pensioners own dedicated charity IODPA which they will soon discover is the only organisation that sticks up for IOD's offering effective assistance and support in defending IOD pensioners and their pensions.
Pensioners have been treated badly. Following Staffordshire, other forces might hope to bludgeon IOD pensioners into submission. There are those in authority who have set themselves up as the Goliath to the pensioners David and one must puzzle over their motivations – after all, those who champion the crusade against IOD's and their injury pensions will not achieve either popularity or respect and may eventually have to live with a very poisonous legacy.
Pipin intends to continue in the coming year as an information resource and as a record of the pensioners struggle for justice bringing occasional news and comment on developments affecting retired injured police officers.
Our best wishes to all IOD's for 2021.