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176 | 20.12.2011

Pension reform update - Principle civil service scheme

The POA along with other Public Sector Unions have been in detailed discussions with Cabinet Office officials regarding pensions within the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

The POA negotiators have attended all fourteen meetings since July 2011 and the NEC are committed to getting a negotiated settlement subject to membership approval.

On Tuesday, 13th December 2011 the National Chairman and myself attended a meeting with the Cabinet Office officials and an offer was made in relation to the normal pension age of Prison Officers. We rejected that offer as it did not fulfil our expectations.

Further dialogue has continued on a daily basis and up until 11.00am today in negotiations with the Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.

The Minister recognises that this is a crucial issue for Prison Officers and has indicated his willingness to continue discussions in the New Year on the feasibility of mechanisms that recognise the special circumstances of Prison Officers.

Once the details on mechanisms to address the issue of Prison Officers normal pension age become clearer and acceptable to the negotiators they will consult fully with our Executive members and the membership with a view to taking a definitive view.

On behalf of the Executive, the National Executive Committee informed Mr Francis Maude that the POA would not endorse the “Heads of Agreement” as outlined in their formal offer until there has been a suitable conclusion to our negotiations on the normal pension age.

Ultimately, the POA membership will determine what is acceptable within the Civil Service Pension Scheme as and when negotiations come to a conclusion.

Please find attached Written Ministerial Statement from Cabinet Office.


For those POA members in the NHS Pension Scheme, it was stated at the Public Sector Liaison Group meeting on Monday 19th December 2011 that the Health Unions had agreed “Heads of Agreement” subject to agreement from respective Executive Committees.  The POA at national level do not currently have a representative role on the Trade Union Staff Side and therefore have been excluded from negotiations on pensions. The POA National Executive Committee confirm that our members at Ashworth, Broadmoor, Carstairs and Rampton will be consulted to determine what is acceptable to them.

The NEC support the work that Health Unions have done in respect of pension negotiation, but the POA will ensure any deal is appropriate for those members who work within the Secure Psychiatric hospitals.

We look forward to discussions in the New Year with the Health Unions so that the POA become an integral part in representing our members in the NHS.

Yours sincerely


PJ McParlin
National Chairman




Yours sincerely


General Secretary