Increase in pension contributions confirmed by Home Office

THE Home Office has callously confirmed that an increase in police officer pension contributions will go ahead with effect from 1 April.

The Police Federation of England and Wales has described the rises as “unaffordable” for officers.

The decision has been met with criticism from rank and file officers.

Especially as it comes just a week after a planned contribution increase of 1.85% for MPs has been suspended whilst an on-going review of pensions is conducted.

The increase will depend on which scheme officers are in and on their basic annual salary.

The majority of English and Welsh officers, on the 30-year Police Pension Scheme, will have a 1.25 per cent rise to their monthly contributions, up to 13.5 per cent.

If officers are on the 35-year New Police Pension Scheme (NPPS), they face a 1 per cent increase to a contribution rate of 11.5 per cent.

Steve White, vice chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, described the increases for police officers as “unjustified and unaffordable”.

“Police officers already pay a higher contribution rate than the majority of other public sector workers on comparable salaries,” he said.

“It is extremely disappointing that government has seen fit to implement these increases a week after it was decided that a rise in MPs’ own pension contributions is to be deferred.”

In a circular, which informed chief officers and police and crime commissioners of the decision, the Home Office stated: “The government is committed to securing the savings announced at Spending Review 2010 from increases in employee pension contributions for the unfunded public service pension schemes for 2014-15. The Home Secretary will ask the Police Negotiating Board to consider proposed increases for that year in line with other public service schemes.”

Forces will continue to pay a rate of 24.2 per cent on officers’ behalf.