Press Contacts

Mark Fairhurst - Acting National Chair:
Mobile 07968 108284

Steve Gillan – General Secretary:
Mobile 07971 838590

Glyn Travis - Press Officer:
Mobile 07968 324045

POA Press Office:
020 8803 0255 Option 7

POA Press Releases

167 11 Apr 2018

PRISON OFFICERS TAKE LEGAL ACTION OVER PENSIONS

The POA has started the process of initiating Employment Tribunal proceedings which will challenge the introduction of a new pension scheme for Prison Officers in 2015. It is anticipated that more than 3,500 POA members will join in the proceedings.

They claim that the transitional arrangements that were made when the new scheme was introduced discriminate on the grounds of age. That is because members who were aged 53 or older on 1st April 2015 are permitted to remain in the older scheme, members who were aged 491/2 or younger had to transfer to the new inferior scheme on that date, and members between those ages have to leave the old scheme and join the new one on a date between May 2015 and February 2022. The sole criterion to determine who has to leave the old scheme and who does not is age. A younger member has to transfer into the new scheme even though an older member who joined at exactly the same time, or even later, does not.

The POA believes that the new pension scheme is simply unworkable. Prison Officers in the new scheme will be expected to work until their State pension age, which for members who have to transfer will be at least their 67th birthday, before they retire. We do not believe that it is realistic to expect anyone to perform the difficult, strenuous and potentially dangerous duties of a Prison Officer at that age. Members will end up having to retire early for reasons of health, with a substantial reduction to their pension. In the old pension scheme the normal pension age is 60 which is the oldest realistic age at which to expect a member to continue working in the prison service or the secure hospital environment.

The POA is heartened by the fact that parallel proceedings have been brought by 210 judges and 6,000 firefighters which the Government lost in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in January.

 


Steve Gillan, General Secretary said:

“From day one of the changes the POA NEC were clear that we were opposed to the changes by Government and our membership rejected through ballot the changes. The POA remains willing to negotiate a solution which will enable prison officers and other POA members to retire with an unreduced pension at the age of 60. Ministers know our position and we would rather reach a solution but it would appear there is a reluctance from Government to engage meaningfully therefore we have commenced legal proceedings”.

Ends

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POA Press Office                                                     020 8803 0255 Option 7