General Secretary's update on the Hutton Report and Pension matters

Dear Colleagues

Today Lord Hutton published his final report on public service pension provision. Please see below a link to the report:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/indreview_johnhutton_pensions.htm

This is a detailed report of over 200 pages containing 27 recommendations that will impact on all public sector pension schemes including the Police Pension Schemes. Lord Hutton's recommendations are part of a series of changes being proposed for public service pensions.

In the Emergency Budget in June 2010 the Government proposed a move from RPI to CPI for revaluing pension benefits. In addition, in its Comprehensive Spending Review last October, the Government proposed an average 3 % increase in member contributions to be phased in from April 2012.

Any changes to the Police Pension Schemes must be consulted on within the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), the first relevant meeting of which took place on Thursday 10th March 2011. At that meeting, representatives of the Home Office informed us that Lord Hutton's final report was now with the Government for a decision to be made on how the individual recommendations within the report should be progressed in respect of all the public sector pension schemes. We, therefore await direction from the Home Secretary to the Official Side of the PNB on how the recommendations should be addressed in respect of the police pension schemes. We would expect to be informed in time for the next meeting of the PNB Staff Side on 13 April 2011, to enable further discussion at the PNB Full Board on 14 April 2011.

In light of this information about the process regarding the Hutton Report, it would be inappropriate to speculate on how individual recommendations contained within the Hutton Report may impact upon the current police pension schemes until we know exactly what changes are being proposed.

Discussion also took place on the proposed increase to pension contribution rates. We were informed that formal consultation will commence in June 2011 for the Government's phased introduction of any increase from April 2012.

Please be assured that we will do everything within our means to ensure that the value of police officers' pensions continues to reflect the difficult and demanding role that police officers perform on behalf of the public.

Work is currently ongoing to ensure that we are prepared for that challenge.

I will continue to keep you updated as further information becomes available.

Regards

Ian Rennie
General Secretary
Police Federation of E&W

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