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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.

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

Kelly