News and Comment 2021
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.