Police injury Pensions.



This Website was created to promote contact and information flow between those retired police officers with an injury-on-duty pension (IOD), who were concerned or directly affected by the diverse interpretation of Home Office Circular 46/2004 Annex C and its subsequently varied application, as regards the review process within individual forces. Our dogged opposition to this Home Office guidance resulted in it being declared unlawful and withdrawn. However, the threat to our pensions has not gone away and we must continue our fight to ensure fairness and justice in the administration of IOD pensions


This website is not intended to offer specific legal advice, nor subvert any lawful procedures or legal authority. The information available is provided in good faith merely to enhance understanding and therefore must be accepted in that context, as no responsibility or liability will be accepted for actions subsequently undertaken by individuals or organisations. Since this introduction was originally written, IOD pensioners have been able to call on the services of specialist legal assistance which has resulted in considerable success.


Despite it declared intention, it is apparent that the introduction of HOC/46/2004 (see link on Information page) dramatically increased the disparity between individual forces with regard to the manner in which IOD pension reviews are conducted and assessed, creating a veritable lottery for those affected, based primarily on nothing more than which force they decided to join.


A state of affairs now exists that cannot be tolerated and which must be addressed at the highest level to achieve equitable treatment nationally, in line with the original conditions and procedures accepted by all (retiree’s and authorities alike) at the time of retirement.


There was doubt that HOC46/2004 was merely advice, a fact confirmed by the Home Office themselves (see extract from letter on the information page) and therefore the retrospective implementation of age related triggers would appear to be fundamentally unlawful, as there is no, nor has there ever been, provision for such actions within any of the relevant regulations.  This contention has been confirmed subsequent in High Court challenges.


In spite of this, some forces  insisted that HOC46/2004 was mandatory and that they chose to implement it to the letter. However this was clearly wrong as Police Authorities are granted discretion within the regulations, in relation to how and when they conduct IOD pension reviews, and can even decide not to review at all if they so desire.   


The obvious conclusion therefore is that those forces that adopted the ‘it’s mandatory’ style of approach are reviewing along those lines purely because they chose to, for whatever reason, as it is certainly not because they have to. It is clear that some forces had and still have a limited understanding of the Regulations.


To their credit the majority of forces rejected the Home Office advice, in favour of maintaining the integrity of the established and universally accepted interpretation of the procedures laid down in the original regulations. By taking this enlightened approach they have guaranteed the welfare and long term financial security of those they have a duty to protect, many of whom, by the very nature of their circumstances, are seriously impaired, frightened and vulnerable.


However, with the increased burdens now placed on all forces with regard to budget restraints, funding shortfalls and enforced savings targets, it is feared that more and more forces will in time be left with no choice but to adopt a more hard line approach to injury pension reviews, as this tactic appears potentially very lucrative on paper and involves an easy target.


The message, to those as yet unaffected, is therefore simple and very clear;


‘These money saving measures have already been tried and failed in some forces, they will be looking at other avenues, some forces are introducing them now and your force will no doubt be considering them in the future’.  


Please use this site and the information it contains to your advantage, but also assist others by registering your comments and suggestions in the Members Section.  Your views and experiences are important and will surely encourage others to both learn and contribute, in the hope that a fair and satisfactory conclusion can eventually be achieved nationwide.  




   


 Author EH


Since this introduction was written there have been a number of important cases which have defined and limited some aspects of the Home Office guidance adding weight to the assertion that the guidance is fundamentally flawed, see Turner, Laws etc.

Early in 2012, following Crudace and Simpson, the provisions which invited police authorities to reduce IOD pensions to band one when the recipient attains the age of 65 were deemed to be inconsistent with Regulations and declared unlawful.

The Home Office have withdrawn those provisions and. at the time of writing, police authorities are in the process of reinstating IOD pension which had been unlawfully reduced and repaying the income which had been lost.

Two years later, in February 2014, it was the turn of the guidance relating to reviews at compulsory retirement age to be declared unlawful and withdrawn.

Although this is a great success for pensioners opposing unfair and unjust attacks on IOD pensions, it has left something of a vacuum with forces formulating their own policies. Unfortunately IOD pensions are still a target for some forces intent on making cost savings.