September 11th, 2012

Whilst on the subject

Posted in The Job - General by 200

of pensions, as we are this week, I found this doing the rounds of Facebook. Copied with permission of the writer who suggests sending something similar to your own MP.

Ed Balls MP,

I am writing to you in relation to the Home Secretary Theresa May’s changes that will be made to the Police Pension Scheme 1987. (PPS). The changes are due to be made in 2015.

When I joined this scheme in 2004 I was told that it could not be changed by the Government and I received a booklet which I still have that did not state that the pension could be changed. I signed up to the scheme because of these reasons and due to the fact that I knew I would be able to retire at 55 years old, receive a lump sum and a pension when paying 11% of my salary. I have received yearly statements outlying what I will receive when I retire in 2033. Nowhere on this statement did it say it was subject to change by the Government.

It was confirmed to me that it could not be changed when in 2006 when the Government of the day brought in the New Police Pension Scheme (NPPS) Where members pay 9.5% in and have to work for 35 years. There was an option to stay in the 1987 PPS scheme or change to the NPPS scheme. I chose to remain with the PPS scheme.
This year in 2012 due to the Governments financial hardships caused by poor ongoing Government management of the United Kingdom’s finances my pension payments were increased to 12.25% and this is to rise even further in the coming years, I understood this as people are living longer and I agreed I should pay slightly more to finance this.

The pension I signed up for has been changed which is not recogniseable from what I signed up for and the main points of this are listed as below:

• The pension I signed up for is the exact same as what every Police officer signed up for before 2006. The changes state that I will not get the pension I expected but those over 38 years old and with less than 10 years to do will get the full pension. I am being discriminated against because of my age / level of service and believe I could have a case under The Equality Act 2010,

• I believe I also have a case under S2 of the Police pensions Regulations which states I have the right to a stable pension.

• If my pension could be changed at any time why was I never informed of this and why wasn’t it changed in 2006? I could have easily made the decision then to opt out or stay in the pension scheme knowing what I would receive and knowing that there could be future changes by the Government.

• The pension I signed up for was Mis-sold to me as I was not made aware of the full facts. I was given an illustration presentation of what I would receive when I retire, they never stated that that was subject to drastic changes

• The last pension statement I received from October 2011 stated the benefits payable if I retired on the 29th of November 2033 – £15,516.91 per year with 106,032.10 lump sum (commutation). Without commutation it would be over £20,000 a year. Pensionable service would be 29 years, 163 days. I have put my figures in to the home office calculator and my projected pension on the same figures is £8,200 per year and this is with no lump sum. I pay more and get drastically less than I was told I would receive. I find it hard to believe that the Government can do this when an MP serving 15 years paying 11.9% is entitled to £22,500 a year. An MP’S pension will not be slashed in half with the lump sum removed.

The Home Secretary Theresa May has unnecessarily attacked my pension. It will in no way assist the United Kingdom’s finances with the current deficit as Police Officers retiring in the next 10 years will still get their full pensions. If anything it will damage the economy further as people will opt out of being in the pension all together so retired Officers pensions will have to be paid for by the state alone.

Over the 8 years I have worked in the Police I have seen things that no normal member of the public should ever have to see, been assaulted, injured, I have no rights like the right to strike, I am restricted as to where I can live, I can’t refuse to work if I am told that I am working over then I am. I can’t ignore an incident and just walk away when off duty, I can be brethalysed at any time at work with limits way below the drink drive limit and can be subjected to drug testing. I put my life, physical and mental wellbeing at risk every day to be treated with utter contempt by the Government and Teresa May

What I want is one of 2 things. For my pension to remain as it was and I will get what I am entitled to or all the money I paid into the scheme over the past 8 years returning to me with interest so I can invest my money elsewhere knowing the full facts.

I have also sent a copy of this letter to the Pensions Ombudsman.

I am writing to you as I feel the Government is causing a maladministration as promises have been broken in respect to the pension I signed up for, I was not made aware of the full facts at the time and they are trying to change Section 2 of the Police Pensions regulations so they can do as they wish.

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