Hutton Review of Public Sector Pensions
You will be aware that Lord Hutton published the first part of his review of public sector pensions in October last year. Following the publication of this report the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Comprehensive Spending Review, proposed that there should be an average 3% increase in contributions rates for members of public sector pension schemes phased in from April 2012.
Any increase to contribution rates will be implemented by the individual government departments responsible for those pension schemes. In the case of the police pension schemes, this will involve consultation with the Police Federation of England and Wales by the Home Office through the Police Negotiating Board.
However, in December the relevant government departments wrote to health and education trade unions indicating that the increase in contribution rates for their schemes would need to be agreed in time to be announced in the Budget on 23 March 2011. The Government has now agreed to put these changes back until June 2011. Recent reports in the press which state that government reforms to pensions have been delayed are in fact referring to these specific schemes.
You will also be aware that Lord Hutton is currently compiling his final report on public sector pensions. This is scheduled to be delivered in time for the Budget on 23 March. As far as we are aware this is still the case. This report will not focus on the contribution rates for individual pension schemes within the public sector, but the actual structure of pension schemes.
The PFEW has given detailed evidence, through the Staff Side of the PNB which is available on our website, and we have also made representations to Lord Hutton and his advisors at a number of meetings. We will keep you updated once we become aware of Lord Hutton's final recommendations and their implication for police officers.