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NEWS:Police Pensions Hearing: 'Officers Being Hit Hard'


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#1 OFFLINE   Dragonfly

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:45 PM

Full debate should now be held in the House of Commons, says Home Affairs Committee chairman.A senior MP has said that he hopes his cross-party discussion on police pensions will act as a “curtain raiser” to the issue being debated in the House of Commons.
 
Speaking in Westminster Hall yesterday, November 28, Keith Vaz (pictured) told colleagues that changes to the retirement package would have a detrimental effect on the well-being of officers, their families and the public at large.
 
He told MPs that it would be “unfair and unjust to mandate officers to serve until 60” – and said many were worried about their future prospects.
 
As previously reported on PoliceOracle.com, the government has already made it clear that from 2015 a new “career average” scheme will replace the current final salary scheme and a new normal pension age of 60 will be introduced. Average member contributions will increase to 13.7 per cent.
 
The Home Office said there will be no change in pension age or amount received at current pension age for those who, at April 1 this year, were aged 45 or over – or are members of the 1987 Police Pension Scheme and aged 38 or over and 10 years or less away from being able to retire with a maximum 30 year pension.
 
Labour MP Mr Vaz, who also chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, said he was concerned that proposed changes to pensions would deliver a further body blow to morale.
 
He pointed out that statistics compiled for Lord Stevens’ Independent Review of Policing showed that 95 per cent of officers did not feel supported by government, and well over half had considered calling time on their careers.
 
Mr Vaz also highlighted that the current law enforcement reform programme – which he described as the most radical in history – included changes to governance, the creation of a College of Policing and the new National Crime Agency.
 
He said the success of change would depend on the current generation of officers.
 
Mr Vaz added: “We have to recognise the unique role and responsibility they have.
 
“Many are extremely anxious – I have (recently) received 120 emails and calls from officers and not one agrees with what the government has suggested.”
 
Mr Vaz told colleagues that an e-petition on pensions, launched last year by Suffolk sergeant Nigel Tompsett, had attracted more than 100,000 signatures. This could make it eligible for a debate in the Commons, if it can find a sponsoring MP and it is taken forward by a backbench committee.
 
He said that action was now needed, and urged government to back up the “fine words” it used when officers put their lives on the line to protect communities.
 
Mr Vaz told colleagues during the discussion: “This debate is not an alternative to one on the floor of the House, but I hope that it is a curtain raiser.”
 
In his response Damian Green, Minster for Policing and Criminal Justice, said that the independent Hutton Report had concluded that changes to public sector pensions were needed.
 
He added that the government had consulted – and would continue to listen – to policing groups, and that officers’ pensions remained among the best on offer.

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#2 OFFLINE   Kraxein

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

he has received 120 emails from officers, not one agrees with the governments plans :) only 120??



#3 OFFLINE   SimonT

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

i dont think anyone thinks there is any point writing so they dont



#4 OFFLINE   DoubleG

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

'Mr Vaz MP' told colleagues that the issue would be mentioned in the commons if it can find a sponsoring MP. Any ideas Mr Vaz MP? All words.....

#5 OFFLINE   Bart

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

We've also been hammered on our pensions this year with the same happening again next year and the same the year after!!! Our union has advised us to write to our MPs. I thought that was the idea of paying union dues so they do the battling for you? 



#6 OFFLINE   Matt C

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

I've withdrawn completely from the scheme, and instead use the money to overpay on my mortgage. Given the track-record of government, I would rather look after MY nest-egg, than entrust it to them....

#7 OFFLINE   Traffic Bob

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:03 PM

Matt, what advice did you take? Quite apart from the fact that by withdrawing from the scheme you are missing out on your employer's contributions, with interest rates being so low you are gaining minimal benefit by overpaying in comparison to staying in the pension.

I suspect any IFA would tell you the decision you have made is stark raving mad.

#8 OFFLINE   Matt C

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:29 AM

Traffic Bob: I would argue that whilst interest-rates are so low, that is EXACTLY the time to overpay, as a greater proportion will go to servicing the debt, rather than be deleted in interest. As for listening to an Independent Financial Advisor, the last time I did that, I was sold an Endowment Mortgage!! Besides, for me it is about more than 'money'. It is about financial freedom. At 38 years old with only 50 months left to go on a £185k mortgage, I would argue I have given myself more options, and therefore more flexibility, towards retirement. I'll be around 43 when the mortgage is paid. I could then (in theory) sell my house and start a small business, or simply carry on in the police and 'max out' ISA's between my wife and I. The point Im trying to make is, there are OTHER options rather than 'pensions'. Pensions are looking more and more shaky, and completely beyond the control of the investor. I would rather see a (allegedly) lower final figure, but leave myself with plenty of options for the remainder of my working life. For every person that says: "the police pension is still fantastic value for money" I bet I can find an older cop who says: "I absolutely hate my job. I only stay for the pension". That sounds like 'financial enslavement'. We spend a HUGE part of our life working. Why do it to yourself? At the moment I LOVE my job, but I recognise that as I get older, I may fancy trying something different... Each to their own I suppose.....

#9 OFFLINE   Traffic Bob

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:02 PM

Fair enough mate! In fairness, your decision does seem to suit your circumstances. So you're not quite as mad as I thought!

#10 OFFLINE   Matt C

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:45 AM

There's method in THIS madness!! ;-)




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