“Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.”
― Eoin Colfer,
Police pension authorities often have difficulty in grasping the concept of an Injury on Duty award. Sly words are used to try to dilute the actual purpose of an IOD – if a falsehood is repeated often enough the truth gets left behind
Sue Mountstevens, the PCC of Avon & Somerset has opinioned often in her replies to that an IOD award an ‘enhancement’ and, according to her is is ‘therefore not a compensation payment for the injury received’.
She is wrong on both counts. More likely the subordinate she instructed to write the reply is wrong and the ‘expert’ from the constabulary that advised the subordinate is wrong.
Lets examine the Explanatory Memorandum to the Police Injury (Benefit) Regulations 2006 legislative instrument :
- 2006 No. 932
- Explanatory Memorandum
Policy background 7.1 Police injury awards do not depend on membership of the Police Pension Scheme, but are in effect compensation for work-related injuries
So an IOD is compensation for work-related injuries. The regulations say so. Regulations that no-one within any administrative role in the management of injury awards seem to bother reading.
Is an IOD an ‘enhancement’? No. As the memorandum says, an injury on duty award is not part of the police pension scheme. If a former officer opted out then they would not receive a medical pension, they would just receive the award if they were unfortunate enough to be injured on duty.
So they are mutually exclusive – one does not depend on the other. Looking at it this way (and this is the only way it can be looked at) , you can see that an IOD isn’t an enhancement to a medical pension – it is a standalone device.
Often an injured former officer had the foresight to pay a percentage of their salary into the police pension scheme so they receive both the award and the pension but the former is not an ‘enhancement’ of the latter. In fact there is a deduction from the overall injury pension’s guaranteed ceiling level given by the band – the award amount actually paid is proportionally lessened the higher the medical pension.
There is no duplication of payment, no double jeopardy, the medical pension doesn’t advantage the pensioner – someone with no medical pension and just an IOD award gets the same remuneration as someone on the same banding and final salary who has a medical pension and an IOD. It’s just that the former is paid wholly out the constabulary’s budget and the latter has the medical pension paid by the pension scheme.
In other words, with the medical pension the police pension authority is exposed less to the IOD award. Without the medical pension all of the money paid to the former officer will be in the form of the IOD award. In a way you can view the medical pension as a deductible ‘payment’ from the IOD award. So definitely not an enhancement – quite the reverse.
Take note Mounstevens, all PCCs, SMPs and Directors of HR !
The case of Simpson, heard at Leeds High Court in February 2012, clearly shows Mountstevens is wrong:
‘I also reject Mr Sanders’ submission that the purpose of an injury pension is to make up for the financial consequences of an enforced inability to continue operating as a member of a police force’
And so the defining character of an IOD award is primarily an award for life in compensation for an injury sustained. It is not a temporary facility to off-set a loss of earnings.
IODPA has had insight of several people inside Avon & Somerset stating in writing that ‘various organisations have been misdirecting their members’. Comments like this deserve a triple face palm
The only purpose of these ‘various organisations’ is to evangelise the correct application of the regulations and the case law built up around it. All the legion of pension ombudsman decisions and high court rulings would not exist if there wasn’t a concerted and directed campaign by police pension authorities to undermine the regulations.
IODPA would just love to hear Mounstevens and her ilk riposte to the things we have written. The difference between her and IODPA is that we know what we are talking about, we live day to day with an IOD award. Our careers were cut short and our lives thrown upside down. We have seen the injustice inflicted on our fellow former officers in receipt of an IOD. Consequently we have been compelled to become experts on the Regulations and their application.
We know exactly what little people like Mountstevens know about these things, the ignorance of what they are doing and their lack of comprehension of the damage that they cause.