newsflash

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan Weeps

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan Weeps

Gareth Morgan commented on the decisions he’s made:  “I’m fairly unapologetic about it”

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, has taken part in a new BBC documentary, “Cops like us”, following police officers in Staffordshire. He was reduced to tears when talking about some of the decisions that he’s had to make, but concluded by saying “So, it may well be surprising. I’m fairly unapologetic about it.”

The program shows the scale of challenges that the officers face on a daily basis and are a constant reminder that some officers can become seriously injured through no fault of their own.

PC Keri Inskip said, “While violence has always been prevalent in the areas I’ve worked in and I’ve always been in city centre policing where there has been high levels of violence, it’s more dangerous now than I’ve ever known.”

Last year Gareth Morgan reduced the pensions of seventeen former officers injured on duty. A judicial review is expected later this year over that decision.

Cops Like Us aired at 9pm on BBC Two and is available on BBC iPlayer.

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/bbc-cops-like-us-staffordshire-3960394

https://inews.co.uk/culture/cops-like-us-police-stoke-austerity-cuts-2461984

Audit Office Report On Injury Awards Angers The Police Federation Of Northern Ireland

Audit Office Report On Injury Awards Angers The Police Federation Of Northern Ireland

A report released by the Northern Ireland Audit Office into Injury on Duty payments to officers is “disappointing and unfair” according to the Police Federation of Northern Ireland.

A report entitled “Injury on duty schemes for officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Prison Service” by the Northern Ireland Audit Office has been heavily criticised as it fails to take into account the unique policing circumstances in Northern Ireland.

The response to the report (published below), can be found here – https://www.policefed-ni.org.uk/media-centre/2020/march/pfni-says-injury-on-duty-report-is-unfair

 

234470 NIAO Injury on Duty etc_V5 FINAL WEB

 

Home Secretary Announces Police Covenant Consultation

Home Secretary Announces Police Covenant Consultation

Home Secretary Priti Patel has launched a consultation on a new covenant to recognise the service and sacrifice of the police.

The Police Covenant will enshrine the rights of serving or former police personnel.

It is designed to enhance support and protection for officers, staff and their families.

The consultation, which will run for eight weeks, is being launched to seek views on implementing a Police Covenant in England and Wales.

It covers the themes of physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families, as well as the scope and wording of the covenant.

You can take part in the consultation process by visiting this link – https://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s/NC12Z/

Please take part in the survey and mention IODPA when and where you can!

More information can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/police-covenant-for-england-and-wales and the Government press release can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-consultation-on-covenant-to-protect-police

Injury Pensions Should Be Paid From The Date Of Retirement And Not Application

Injury Pensions Should Be Paid From The Date Of Retirement And Not Application

Lloyd Kelly case establishes an injured police pensioner’s right to a police injury pension from the date of retirement, even if the pension is awarded in subsequent years.

In a decision which will have significance for other injured former police officers, the High Court has confirmed that an injured former police officer should be paid a police injury pension from the date of his or her retirement, even if the officer is only awarded the injury pension many years later.  Thus, all injured former police officers who qualify for an injury pension are entitled to “back pay” going back to the date of their retirement.

The issue arose in R (Chief Constable Of South Yorkshire Police) v The Crown Court At Sheffield & Anor [2020] EWHC 210 (Admin) where Mrs Justice Jefford accepted the former officer’s legal arguments that Regulation 43 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 meant that an injured former police officer is entitled to a pension in each year after the date of his or her retirement, even if the award is only made a number of years later.

The High Court Judge also confirmed that a former officer can challenge any such non-payment by a simple application to the Crown Court instead of having to follow complex procedures under the Civil Procedure Rules.  The Judge also decided that the 2006 Regulations has no provision for the payment of interest and so no interest was payable on overdue awards.

Mr Kelly had retired in 2005 with serious PTSD arising out of his police duties, but was not advised at the time by the Force that he could be entitled to an injury pension.  He only found he was being short-changed on his pension rights in 2016.  He applied for an injury award and was found eligible for a substantial additional pension.  However the Chief Constable refused to make payments of this pension from the date of his retirement in 2005.

Mr Kelly, supported by the Police Federation, appealed to the Crown Court to secure his “back pay” and won in 2018.  The Chief Constable challenged the decision of the Crown Court in the High Court but, in a judgment handed down on 6 February 2020, the Chief Constable’s challenge on the backdating issue failed.

The Chief Constable was refused permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  He could still try to appeal by asking the Court of Appeal for permission but, absent such an appeal, the law now appears to be clear on these points.

UPDATE: We understand that South Yorkshire Police are now appealing this decision.

**

David Lock QC represented Mr Kelly before the Crown Court and in the High Court, instructed by Slater and Gordon.

Kelly

Ian Draper of Draper Vehicle Solutions Ltd, sponsors a vehicle for IODPA

Ian Draper of Draper Vehicle Solutions Ltd, sponsors a vehicle for IODPA

Thanks to the generosity of Staffordshire entrepreneur, Ian Draper of Draper Vehicle Solutions Ltd, Brentwood, Staffordshire, we have taken possession of a sponsored vehicle, which will greatly assist IODPA to continue to support injured officers.

The vehicle was received on the charity’s behalf by our patron, entertainer Pete Conway, better known as the father of the famous singer, Robbie Williams. Pete said “I am very grateful to Ian, of Draper Vehicle Solutions, for his support to the charity to which I am Patron. Injured officers who have lost their vocation, leave with ongoing physical and mental health problems and often feel isolated and abandoned by the society they served. This vehicle will allow the charities volunteers to support those in need throughout the UK.”

Ian Draper, Director said “Our deliveries side of the business has grown over the last 5 years with the support of a number of retired police officers, so I am absolutely delighted to be able to give something back. I have the greatest respect for the Police who have a tough / near impossible job in the present climate.

We are am grateful to Stephen Rice at Robin & Day Citroen North Birmingham for the fabulous deal, Matt Nation at Personalised Nation, Burntwood for the car sign writing, and Natalie Draper, general manager of classy Lichfield bistro, 55 Wade Street, for hosting the hand over event.

Please contact Ian if you are considering leasing a vehicle as he has expert knowledge, competitive rates, and a great range of vehicles with huge discounts available as a result of manufacturer’s over production.

 

Draper Vehicle Solutions
Website: www.idfsuk.co.uk
Facebook: Draper Vehicle Solutions
Email: ian@idfs.co.uk

David Lock QC Secures Full Judicial Review For Staffordshire Pensioners

David Lock QC Secures Full Judicial Review For Staffordshire Pensioners

We are pleased to report that on Friday 13th December 2019, David Lock QC has been successful in his application in the Administrative Court in Birmingham to have secured a full judicial review on the decision of the Chief Constable Gareth Morgan to reduce the pensions of a number of injured pensioners.

The case has two elements, firstly, whether Mr Morgan (pictured right) was entitled to reduce the pensions of those concerned without medical evidence of a substantial alteration in their condition, despite them all attending a medical assessment with a doctor.

Secondly, the force, in 2008, ‘promised’, in collaboration with the Federation and Narpo, that Staffordshire Police pensioners would never be reviewed again. Pensioners were called to review in 2017, despite this formal agreement. This agreement is now being challenged.

It is anticipated that there will be a two day hearing in the Spring/Summer of 2020.

Mr Lock was instructed by Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors and Angela Giannotti of Penningtons Solicitors.

Possible Pension Miscalculations in PSNI

PSNI

PSNIWe were recently contacted by a retired officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (‘PSNI’) regarding an ill-health pension calculation from two years ago. The officer had joined the service under the Police Pension Scheme 1988 (‘PPS 1988’), and retired under the Police Pension Scheme 2015 (‘PPS 2015’).

A calculation had been given to the officer in question who immediately thought the sums given appeared on the low side. They had already contacted the force once and were informed that the figures were correct.

The officer had been given figures for a combined pension under the two aforementioned schemes of just a little under £12,000 p.a. We provided them with our calculations, which revealed that the true figure should have been £18,000 p.a. This was a staggering difference of some £6,000 p.a. since they started receiving their pension.

Of course this figure not only affected their annual pension, but would also make a significant difference to any commutation taken.

Now armed with what we believed to be the correct calculation, the former officer contacted the force again, and we are pleased to say that the force now conceded that they had miscalculated this officer’s pension. The officer is to receive back payment of the missing amount.

This begs the question, has every pension calculation since the introduction of the PPS 2015 been wrong? And it may not just be under this scheme alone, ordinary and deferred pensions may have been miscalculated as well?

If anyone else would like to do a calculation for them, can you please complete the form found here – https://iodpa.org/contact/

Here is a list of standard questions that we’d need answers to in order to work out your figures –

  1. What type of pension i.e. ordinary, deferred or ill-health
  2. Date of joining
  3. Date of leaving
  4. Date of birth
  5. Whether you brought any pensionable service from a previous occupation
  6. Which police pension you joined under (PPS 1987, NPPS 2006)
  7. Which police pension scheme you retired under (PPS 1987, NPPS 2006, PPS 2015)
  8. If now a member of the PPS 2015, what date you transferred to this scheme (the default date is 01/04/2015)
  9. If now a member of the PPS 2015 the value of your pension pot in the 2015 scheme (if not known, I’ll estimate it)
  10. If retiring under the NPPS 2006 or the PPS 2015, whether you were granted upper or lower tier ill health retirement
  11. Annual salary upon retiring
  12. Whether you took a commutation, and if so what percentage (1-25)
  13. If awarded an injury pension, what band were you given

We have already had a number of enquiries over this matter, so please allow us time to respond.

UPDATE: We have confirmed a second case of maladministration, where the pensioner has now recovered tens of thousands of pounds.

 

 

Officers Should Be Warned Of The Tax Implications On Pensions

Officers Should Be Warned Of The Tax Implications On Pensions

In a recent court case, several recently retired officers from Essex Police and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary brought a joint action by way of judicial review against a decision made by the Pensions Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman had received numerous complaints that both forces had incorrectly told them their retirement lump sums (commutation) would be tax free. The individuals concerned had retired on full ordinary pensions, and had then taken up new employment within one month of leaving their force. The Finance Act of 2004 penalises people under certain conditions for taking pension benefits where they have retired under the normal minimum pension age, this being 55.

The pensioners found themselves liable to pay a substantial tax charge on the lump sum as well as their annual pension until they reached the age of 55.

The Home Office had issued a circular on the issue, and HMRC had published the changes in their Registered Pension Scheme
Manual and so the respective forces should have been well aware of the tax implications to their ex-employees.

The High Court found that the Chief Constables were not liable for the adverse tax consequences, but the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Constabulary was in their particular case. Additionally, due to the fact that certain papers submitted in the Avon and Somerset case, were found to be missing in the Essex case, the Judge remitted the case for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner back to the Pension Ombudsman for a decision. The Judge concluded that had the unseen Essex papers been found to be similar to those of Avon & Somerset, then he would have made the same decision for the Essex claimants.

The case is Corsham and others v Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Hazel and others v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police and others (2019) EWCA Civ 676, a copy of which may be read here –

 

Corsham

The Government Responds To The Public Service Pension Challenge

The Government Responds To The Public Service Pension Challenge

Last December a group of judges and firefighters won a Court of Appeal case against the government.

The Court decided that changes made to their pension schemes were age discriminatory.

Both cases were ruled together, as they dealt with similar issues and had previous contradictory outcomes.

The Supreme Court refused permission for the government to appeal the judgment.

On July 14th Elizabeth Truss, who is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, issued an announcement which included this statement:

The matter will be remitted to the Employment Tribunal in respect of the litigants in the firefighters and judicial pension schemes. It will be for the Tribunal to determine a remedy. Alongside this process, government will be engaging with employer and member representatives, as well as the devolved administrations, to help inform our proposals to the Tribunal and in respect of the other public service pension schemes.

The Government has stated the reasons for the 2015 reforms remain and that the judgment does not alter their commitment to ensuring that the cost of public service pensions are affordable for taxpayers and sustainable for the long term.

It now seems the government accepts the court’s ruling will have wide-reaching effects, which will impact, we hope favourably, on police pensions.

The full Government statement can be read here.

 

Public Service Pensions_Written statement - HCWS1725 - UK Parliament

Has Your Force Been Deducting Too Much From Your Injury Award?

Has Your Force Been Deducting Too Much From Your Injury Award?

Following the recent case brought by David Lock QC and Cartwright King Solicitors and the decision of the Court of Appeal in Evans & Ashcroft v Chief Constable of South Wales Police, it has come to light that many forces may have been deducting too much from injury pensions since 2010 for those in receipt of certain social security awards, namely Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (‘IIDB’).

We have included a copy of the decision as well as a very useful circulation provided by the Police Federation.

In short, injury pensions and social security awards are normally increased by the same annual increments, which means that as each rises annually by the same percentage increase forces are entitled to deduct the whole amount of IIDB from your injury pension. However, in 2010, due to an Up-rating Order, the Secretary of State was entitled to increase benefits (including IIDB) at at rate higher than the general level of prices, which is what they did. The result of this was that IIDB increased at a rate higher than injury pensions.

The PPA continued to just deduct the total received in IIDB from the injury pension causing a detriment to the officer and in contravention of sub-paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 3 of The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006.

Officers in receipt of IIDB are encouraged to write to their forces asking whether they have been unlawfully reduced.

Here is the court decision

Evans & Ashcroft v Chief Constable of South Wales Police

 

Here is the Federation circulation

police fed circulation re IIDB