Neither are we impressed by the so-called floodgates argument advanced by the respondent. We consider this to be an irrelevant factor to our considerations.
― His Honour Judge D Morris
IODPA membership continues to grow. Membership is open to all former officers who are in receipt of an injury pension. We also are very happy to include serving officers who are at any stage of retirement because of ill health through injury.
Injury on duty pensioners and serving officers are turning to IODPA for one reason only – they need support and advice to deal with ongoing attacks on their pension rights.
It is a sad fact that some forces have shifted their money-saving focus in respect of pensions. They now try to deny ill or injured serving officers their pension rights. We hear of officers who are signed off sick, then reduced to half pay, or even no pay. The intention is, we fear, to pressure them into resigning. Which means they do not qualify for an enhanced ordinary pension. We hear of lengthy and essentially pointless processes designed to force ill officers back to work – with ‘reasonable adjustments’ made to working conditions which turn out to be completely unreasonable and in many cases actually further damage the individual’s health.
We can perhaps highlight some of these abuses in future blogs, but for now we want to look back to 2006 and at the appeal case brought by Phillip Tully, a former North Wales Police officer.
This case is important for it illustrates two aspects which remain relevant today.
Firstly, it exposes the lengths some forces go to in the ironic and self-defeating costly pursuit of saving pensions money. Secondly, it reveals the misplaced and utterly inappropriate attitude towards their duties and responsibilities of, in this case, the North Wales police pension scheme managers. Those attitudes remain entrenched in some other forces to this day.
Mr Tully served from 1991 to 2001. He ceased to serve due to physical disability. However, for reasons which the appeal case does not make clear North Wales Police did not offer to assess him for a deferred pension, or Mr Tully did not apply for one.
On 19th March 2005 Mr Tully applied for early payment of pension on grounds of permanent disability. A deferred pension is payable under regulation B5 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.
North Wales Police received the letter on the 14th March.
As is so often the situation, North Wales then proceeded very slowly. Mr Tully was required to see two doctors appointed by the force, and some eleven months after his application the pension authority indicated he qualified for a deferred pension.
However, the pension authority decided that it would become payable not from the date of Mr Tully’s retirement in 2001, nor from the date of his application for a deferred pension in 2005, but from the 16th February 2006, when a Dr Entwistle decided Mr Tully was permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a police officer.
We need not go into the detail of the legal arguments advanced by North Wales, as it is sufficient to say the court found no merit in them. Mr Tully won his appeal.
The court decided,
First, we are satisfied that Parliament intended that, generally speaking, pension entitlements under these regulations should be payable from the date of an officer’s retirement unless or until that was limited or excluded by operation of an express provision to that effect elsewhere in the same regulations.
Here is a copy of the court ruling –R v Tully. 2006
Mr Tully won his appeal. The Court decided his deferred pension should be paid from the 1st October 2001, the date of his retirement.
The first lesson from this case then is that former officers, and those about to retire due to disabling ill health or injury need to seek professional advice so as to be fully made aware of their pension rights and entitlements. It is never wise to rely on a police force having sufficiently well qualified and knowledgeable staff who will always ‘do the right thing’ and act within the Regulations. Even with the best of intentions, HR and Occupational Health staff make far too many mistakes.
The second lesson concerns the darkness which lays behind some decisions made by pension scheme managers. It seems that North Wales Police thought it appropriate to try to convince the court that Mr Tully’s appeal should be rejected because a successful appeal would bring forth a flood of other former officers who had been paid their pensions from an incorrect start date.
We have at the head of this blog quoted the Court’s response to this distasteful argument.
IODPA’s response is to remind police pension authorities they have a duty to administer the pension regulations in a way which is compatible with the intentions of Parliament. The various pension entitlements were put in place in recognition that police work can be dangerous, and wearing. The Metropolitan Police introduced the very first pension scheme in 1829. Benefits were provided on disablement for London officers “worn out by length of service”.
Not much has changed in that respect. Officers earn their pensions and it is not for misguided scheme managers to frustrate the intentions of Parliament by devising endless variations of ways to deny them their pension rights.
14 thoughts on “Tully – Revisited”
‘Hello son, have you had a busy day at work?’
‘Not too bad I suppose, you know the usual: attend some meetings; give some orders; make some policy decisions and have lunch of course.’ How about you mum?’
‘Well, I had to pop to the shops to get a few things, you know snacky things that you like. I saw Pauline Brown in Aldi, I expect you remember her, you used to be friends with her husband back when you were just a policeman.’
‘Yes I remember him, we used to have a beer together now and again. He managed to swing a medical and to be honest I’ve not heard much from him since. I expect on his money they’re going somewhere a lot better than us. I doubt that they’re going to Benidorm.’
‘No, they’re not going to Benidorm son, they’re not going anywhere; they used to go to the convalescent home for a week, but now they charge too much and you dropped his pension so they can’t afford it. In fact they’ve put their house on the market because they can’t pay the mortgage, they’re going to have to move into rented.’
‘It wasn’t me that dropped his pension, I was just doing my job, complying with Police Regulations and anyway it’s the Senior Medical Practitioner that makes the decisions, nothing to do with me. And if they’re so short of money he could always get a job.’
‘Ohh son, I can’t believe you have become so heartless. He was so badly beaten up doing his job that he spent months in hospital and now he’s just a shell of what he used to be; he can’t work, can’t concentrate; can’t really do anything. And you know as well as I do those Selected Medical Practitioners were briefed on what was required of them: they were obeying your orders but now it looks as though their ethics might be called into question they seem to running a bit scared; just like a certain human remains assistant who I understand now doesn’t sign anything or put his names to it, just a squiggle or a department name, nothing to identify him.’
‘How do you know about these things mum, it’s supposed to be a secret policy thing?’
‘Secret policy my arse. You forget that these pensioners used to be Police Officers; they can see the signs – you know one week it’s Andrew saying give us all your paperwork, report to me only; attend on this date and telling the SMP not to let them have any representation etc. Then all of a sudden he’s out of the limelight and Mr Anonymous is signing the letters. They may be disabled but they’re not daft, they can see which way the wind’s blowing. Have a look at their site, it should tell you all you need to know, it’s certainly telling all their members.’
‘They’ve got a lot to answer for that lot.’
‘Are you sure it’s them who’s got a lot to answer for and not you? I mean what’s happened to you, don’t you have any decent thoughts for those injured officers? I remember when you used to tell me about what your welfare officer was doing, how officers were being looked after, but not anymore, all you seem to want to do is take away their pensions away and cause hardship. It comes to something when their latest blog isn’t even about you, it’s about a Force in Wales but all the comments are about you. It sort of says something. I was so upset seeing Pauline that I didn’t get your snacks, you can go without, it may do you some good.’
The failed HO Circular 46/2004 opened a real can of worms, didn’t it. It brought a lot of attention to the question of legality of Forces processing methods with Police IHR and IOD pensions, especially from former police officers on those pensions. What an eye opener!
The Tully appeal brought out North Wales method of ‘processing’ payment of IHR pension to be examined and I now wonder how many other IHR pensioners got the same treatment? and how many other forces make the same ‘mistake’? and how many of those already made will be put right?
Thanks to all this ‘attention’ there is now a charity, IODPA, created for the IHR and IOD pensioners, to ensure that they receive any help and or advice on how to put right any unlawful procedures of their former force in handling their pensions. What is absolutely shocking is how many cases there are to be fought (and won). and how long this has been going on for.
It seems that another IODPA discovery is that the latest force ‘procedure’ (with or without HO/Wirz advice?) is trying to prevent IHR and IOD pensions ever being awarded in the first place!
This hearing happened twelve years ago and still we are dealing with maladministration of our pensions. How can this possibly be right? Although it does make a change to read that it was North Wales Police rather than the leader of lost judicial reviews, Northumbria.
Police officers have been s*** on for a number of years, this is obvious. However, thank god for IODPA. They are the leading light for us, fair and just. Long may you reign.
What forces tend to rely on now is the unsatisfactory performance procedure UPP. It is a process used to get rid of those officers that find themselves with injuries which are both physical and mental. How can forces justify using this procedure on injured officers?
UPP is there to address those officers that fall below the standards required to carry out their duties. It should not be used to force injured officers out of their chosen career. This will be the next scandal that will face forces when those officers subjected to UPP start to stand up and ask questions.
How can a police officer suffering from some mental illness possibly stand up to the bullies within the force who only see money saving as an outcome and not the welfare of the officer.
Do it properly and stop bastardising regulations and procedures to suit yourselves. Listen to your officers, listen to the judges. Get it right and do it right for it will fail if you don’t
There are regulations passed by Government and then there are regulations as administered by the police. Retired injured officers are quite happy to abide by the lawful regulations. Unfortunately the real regulations do not fit the agenda of the police forces and so the police try to rewrite the regulations for there own ends. Someone in the Home Office should immediately inform these police forces to act correctly. Job done….
Fighting for an ex officer on very similar grounds in Notts at the moment. Issue is on when the start date is. It is quite clear that the processes are there to hinder and frustrate and continual culling of HR staff does nothing to help issues like this as invariably those that knew these processes are not there anymore
Being reminded of this 2006 case brings one down to earth with quite a shock in that here we are some 12 years later, and the various Police Forces are still trying to manipulate the Regulations in an effort to not only try and save money, but to deny former officers their legal right to be compensated for losing a career and the ability to earn and look after their family because of an Injury on Duty through no fault of their own.
Just why did they do this, and why are they still doing it?
I believe in Staffordshire’s case, the Chief Constable Gareth Morgan was brought in and is being sponsored by the Home Office, to attempt to roll the reviews out using methods that other forces, many of whom are waiting in the wings to see how Staffordshire fare, will subsequently try and use themselves. Don’t forget the HR assistant Andrew Coley worked at the Home Office, and in all likelihood will return there once his work in Staffordshire is complete. Its hardly a great career move to go from the dizzy heights of working for the Home Office which has a budget of over 14 billion pounds to rural Staffordshire as a “human resources assistant”.
I believe it’s the Home Office’s latest attempt to attack the pension rights of disabled former officers particularly in light of the failed HO Circular 46/2004 where they were subsequently left with enormous amounts of egg on their faces when the courts found the guidance unlawful.
Well CC Morgan, HRA Coley and all others involved in this unnecessary and mostly unlawful process please take note. Not one Injured former Officer is afraid of the Regulation 37 review process providing it is carried out fairly and in line with the regulations. That I’m afraid is the major problem Staffordshire and other Forces have in that they know that in the vast majority of cases, to comply with the regulations would lead to no change or even an increase in the award which is just not what the Home Office and its conspirators want.
Stop it all now, or if you don’t stop it just comply with the regulations.
Anybody reading this and especially those who know someone who has gone through, or is going through Ill Health Retirement, will wonder if the attitude of Police Pension Scheme Managers, is because they have to pay these pensions from their own pockets!
They don’t, but they act as though they do! Why is that? Is it jealousy? Is it an over zealous desire to keep hold of a budget? In fact, are they like the Police Stores personnel of times past? Most retired officers will tell you tales about the ‘battle’ to get replacement items out of Stores, of those old soaks who would tell you “Stores are for keeping uniform and equipment in, not for giving it out”! Is that the reason for their disgraceful behaviour?
It shouldn’t be like this! Parliament intended the Regs, both for Injury on Duty and Ill Health Retirement, to be beneficial to the wounded officer; to help them recover, if possible, or to recompense them for a life they now cannot have and not as modern day managers seem to think, simply be an area where in these days of cuts, those vulnerable people can be fair game for savings!
This should be a time where the loyalty the officer has shown to the job and to the public, is rewarded by the force doing the decent thing and treating them honestly and fairly.
However, the number of cases coming to light, both current and from the recent past, show this is not the case and often, the only way an officer in this unfortunate position can get what they actually deserve under the rules, or justice in the correction of errors, is by the use of specialist lawyers. Luckily, for those affected who are IODPA members, we have two teams of excellent lawyers, both whom do this work very successfully, much to the chagrin of some pension managers.
Although in this modern world, it’s common to throw something that no longer works onto the scrap heap, (rather than repair it). It’s still a pity that these pernicious pension scheme managers and those that condone their dirty tricks, don’t have to foot the bill for the legal costs, from their own budgets, because if they did, maybe, just maybe, fair play and a compassion for the person suffering might appear and less people would be thrown on the scrap heap without any apparent consideration or care!
Welfare in the modern police force doesn’t seem to exist, it’s seen as an expensive and dirty word by to many in charge of Police pension schemes!
Medical retirement through injury is life changing:
1)It effects the officer daily both
2) Physically and psychologically
3) Lost career including promotion, lateral career development.
4) Being isolated and vulnerable
5) Poverty through reduced income
We have a moral obligation even in the era of accountancy driven policing to protect those who sacrificed and lost so much. Luckily, some Chief’s have walked in our shoes and get it, others succumb to the HR bods and accountants who have never walked in our shoes.
Money saving shouldn’t be through the maladministration of pensions, if it is then be warned money saving is a fallacy. As the “savings” actual or perceived will be lost through payments to the SMP most are on 6 figures, legal fees in defending Judicial Reviews. Northumbria have lost the following JR’s
Fisher x 2
Then there are the complaints to various regulatory bodies including the ICO, Pension Ombundsnan even the GMC in respect of some Dr’s.
Let’s not forget the Employment Tribunal.
Finally the cost administering all this nonsense.
Always the case when getting medical evidence to prove permanency to ask the medical expert roughly from what date the officer / ex officer was permanently disabled. That way the SMP has it in front of them at the assessment in black and white.
When will HR Managers acting as the PPA learn that no matter what scheme they come up with next, they will be shot down by the Judiciary in the end.
If they simply followed the Regulations instead of “Inventing” new ones, such as claiming there is a provision in Reg 33 that says words to the effect
” regulation 33 provides provision for a decision on degree of disablement to be made in circumstances where necessary steps of the process are not being complied with” A hugely dishonest statement that will be shot to pieces by the Judiciary.
Now everybody waits to see what CC Morgan or Northumbria will do to back that bold statement up. The truth is there is no such provision, this is just another attempt to force compliance with their illegal process. Somebody is sitting in a dark room now trying to come up with the next load of manure when this one fails. PPA’s – if you stick to the exact wording of the Regulations you cant go wrong, it’s when you dont, you start hitting problems.
It is such a shame that this has to be done at all. It is to the forces’ eternal shame that they cannot wake up and see that IODP officers are only after what is rightfully theirs in law. Nothing more.
The only people seeking to make a fast buck are the reprehensible human remains departments, which appear to be running the police forces these days, often with their CC’s tacit approval.
Very well said…these people are either extremely misguided, or deliberately malicious…either way is far from any ‘professionalism or decency’ – this is their weakness 👍🏻
In other words…do not trust anyone in the Police regarding your pension.
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