CIRC 109: PENSION CHANGES MADE IN APRIL 2015 AND ILL HEALTH RETIREMENT

As members are aware, the pension arrangements for Prison Officer Grades and Custody Officers who were/are in the PCSPS were fundamentally changed in April 2015 by Government, despite opposition from the POA and other unions.

In broad terms, the normal pension age went up, the scheme changed from a final salary scheme to a career average scheme. The conditions applicable if a member wished to retire on ill-health grounds were also tightened.

These changes were brought about by closing existing schemes and transferring members to the Alpha Scheme in the case of Prison and Custody Officers and the NHS Pension Scheme 2015 in the case of Secure Psychiatric Workers. The Court of Appeal ruled that these changes were unlawful as they discriminated against younger workers on the grounds of age.

The Government appealed this decision to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court refused the Government’s application for permission to appeal.

We believe the Government are in breach of the Ruling from the Court as they have yet to remedy the situation and put everyone back to the original schemes pre 2015, this has had a knock on affect to our members who are going through ill Health Retirement in particular those members who were in classic, but are now in Alpha who we believe are suffering a detriment.

The Deputy General Secretary Joe Simpson in conjunction with our solicitors want those members to email legal@poauk.org.uk by noon Friday 10th July 2020 so we can pick two cases to go forward to challenge Government.

Please bring this circular to the attention of our members and thank you for your continued support and co-operation, I will keep you updated as matters progress.
 

Yours Sincerely

STEVE GILLAN      
General Secretary

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.