Pension Challenge – The Remedy

Some of our members have received letters from their force regarding the Government’s intended remedy to the unlawful discrimination caused by the transitional protections under the Police Pension Scheme 2015 (the 2015 CARE Scheme) following the Court of Appeal decision in the McCloud and Sargeant cases.

At the time of writing this blog, we’ve only seen letters from Hampshire police, but we understand that a number of forces have now contacted their pensioners along similar lines.

All the letters so far have been to pensioners who left with ill-health retirement and were on “transitional protection” (a delayed transfer to the 2015 pension scheme). The letter offers the opportunity to be reassessed at the point of retirement under the 2015 scheme instead of their original scheme (1987).

A (redacted) copy of one of the letters can be found here –



In summary, the recipient of this letter was ill-health retired after 01/04/2015 under the 1987 scheme. The pensioner would have received an enhanced ill-health pension and commutation (if requested) from the 1987 scheme.

The 2015 scheme has, the concept of a lower and upper/enhanced tier for ill-health retirement. The lower tier under this scheme is the default position, unless the Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’) considers that the retiring pensioner would be unable to perform 30 hours or more a week in regular employment at some stage in the future. If this is the considered opinion of the SMP, then the pensioner will also receive the upper tier in addition to the lower tier. We have provided a number of pension calculations over the years and find that this could enhance an ill-health pension by approx 3-4K per annum (depending upon your individual circumstances).

Potentially, this sounds like an attractive proposition, but as always, the devil is in the detail, and the letters poses more questions than they answer in our opinion.

What is not clear is if the pensioner agrees to be assessed for the upper tier under the 2015 scheme, do they at this point agree to be transferred to the scheme regardless of the outcome of this subsequent assessment?

The letter states that if the pensioner is not eligible for the upper tier, they may be reassessed (again) up to 5 years after the date of their retirement (which is built into the 2015 scheme and is not part of the pension remedy). It is not clear, how the pensioner may be reassessed again, at some stage in the future for a scheme that they are not a member of, unless they have, as previously suggested already transferred prior to the initial decision being made?

If you agree to the assessment, and transfer into the new scheme, what date will you transfer to the scheme, the date of your retirement or the date that the scheme started, most likely, it will be the start date, this being 01/04/2015? This variation of date will affect subsequent calculations.

They have not made it clear to you that if you transfer to the 2015 scheme your ill-health pension will need to be recalculated to take into account your transfer date to this scheme, at which point you will have two pension pots. Some people may be be in credit, some may be in debt because of the different contribution rates of each scheme.

Not only will they back calculate your ill-health pension under each scheme, they will also re-calculate any commutation that you may have taken as each scheme has different rules.

If you are in receipt of an injury pension as well as an ill-health pension, then whilst you may receive more for your ill-health pension (which is taxed, and will be now taxed more), this will also result in a lower injury pension (which is not taxed).

Whilst it is true that once you transfer to the 2015 scheme, you may apply for the upper tier (with medical evidence) for a period of 5 years after the initial grant, the force may also choose to reassess you at any time up until Compulsory Retirement Age (‘CRA’) and remove the upper tier from your pension, so your upper tier may be short-lived.

They have stated, that you do not need to provide any further medical information at this stage, but may request this before the reassessment goes ahead, and rather worryingly state that they will store your personal data securely. Personally, we wouldn’t trust any force with our personal data, and would only supply it directly to the nominated SMP who is the only person entitled to see this information. That said, there is NO information as to whom the SMP will be, and regular readers of our blogs will know that not all SMPs are equal.

Finally, as we believe that your choices are not mutually exclusive and some choices have dependencies on other choices, you can only reach a final decision once you have that additional information. This is particularly important as the Home Office has yet to rule on some of the decisions.

So unless you know the actual (financial) benefits of requesting such a move, how can an informed decision be made bearing in mind that this particular force require an answer from you by the 30th April 2023, but state that the rules for how they calculate payments for eligible members are not expected until Summer 2023!?

Is this a case of Hampshire Police putting the cart before the horse? The information that they have put out is certainly lacking.

This is a personal decision for members, but we would advise you to fully understand what you are entering into before you agree, and without figures, we’re not sure how you would assess this?

Speaking to a qualified pensions expert must be the next step for professional advice and guidance.

Pension Challenge – The Remedy
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11 thoughts on “Pension Challenge – The Remedy

  • 2023-03-19 at 1:20 pm

    Are you able to post the current tables of figures for the different tiers on the 2015 scheme please and the 87 scheme from for example 2015 so that we can try and work out what the figured would be to take to a pension adviser. ( Both Met and non met figures would be helpful for all I should imagine)

    • 2023-03-19 at 1:44 pm

      Graham, there are no simple tables that can be posted as each case has to be calculated across multiple schemes based up individual circumstances. We suggest that you use the calculator at the Emergency Lounge to give you an idea as to what your figures may look like, but you should obtain official figures from your force before making any financial decisions. That said, we’re not aware of any forces that are providing pensioners with these figures, and therein lies the problem.

  • 2023-03-12 at 5:40 pm

    Really grateful IODPA raising this. Quite astonishing that professional organisations behave in this way.

  • 2023-03-12 at 4:40 pm

    All gobbledegook to me. I wonder if everyone on ill-health retirement is supposed to receive a letter like this one?
    Each force should notify their injured, retired on ill-health officers and organise workshops if they want to be seen as helping and supporting injured officers.

  • 2023-03-11 at 9:58 am

    Why are they doing this just another attempt to bleed money from vulnerable injured officers.
    Unfortunately police forces are now trying every effort to trick officers and to reduce their injury award / pensions.
    It’s a disgrace

  • 2023-03-11 at 9:52 am

    You can guarantee that if there are any “benefits” or advantages to this they will be in the favour of the PPA and not the pensioner.

  • 2023-03-11 at 9:31 am

    The good intentions of the few are all too often destroyed by the actions of mean spirited bean counters.

  • 2023-03-11 at 9:19 am

    Once again it’s down to the IODPA to give us information about this. Thank you for that. Throughout the whole pension remedy process, the issue of how IHR pensioners will be treated has been massively lacking in information.
    I echo the concerns of many though about how to interpret their intentions.

    Without question we are going to need expert pension advice before deciding what to do.

  • 2023-03-09 at 8:24 pm

    Not like a chief finance “officer” to make things unnecessarily complicated and lacking in obvious sense, eh? I guess that’s a prerequisite for the post.

  • 2023-03-08 at 9:53 pm

    What are Hampshire Police playing at? Hasn’t this whole saga been a complicated issue since it started?

    So, why when the Home Office has yet to make some certain important decisions, are they requiring their pensioners to commit to a course of action, they could come to regret? Can they change their minds later on when things become clearer?

    Or are they trying to pre-position these former officers to hopefully save money, (as we know it’s always about money, not welfare). Is this just another sneaky way to get hold of confidential medical information, that they can then use in the future, to potentially save further monies?

    With the Home Office not due to conclude it’s perambulations until the Summer, what does Hampshire Police intend to do about those who ignore the April date, as I believe it’s not compulsory to respond by then.

    Surely, this force has more important things to focus on, maybe possibly looking more closely at what welfare is being provided to injured, or ill police officers, rather than trying to browbeat people into early decisions, they may later regret.

  • 2023-03-08 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you for your advice in this matter.

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