Police body slams plans for new pension scheme
NEW police pensions have been branded "quite disgraceful" by the body that represents officers in South Wales Police.
Home Secretary Theresa May has confirmed a move away from the existing final salary system to a career-average scheme, and an increase in average contributions paid by officers to 13.7 per cent of their wages.
The plan was agreed by the Police Federation at a national level as the best deal possible — but the South Wales Police Federation has said it in no way agrees with the changes.
Steve Trigg, chairman of the South Wales Fed, said: "This is quite disgraceful.
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"Despite recently stepping in to save the Government — and indeed the UK — from an embarrassing failure over Olympic security, and having demonstrated their commitment and disregard for their personal safety in responding to last year's riots, police officers now find that the pension scheme they signed up to in good faith, as a reasonable compensation for the dangers they face and with a reasonable expectation of it being honoured, is now being taken away from them.
"To take their secure, planned futures from them in this way is unjust and immoral.
"The fact that the police federation have signed off on this at the national level, should in no way be construed as a sign that we agree in any way with the changes."
He added: "We are a workforce with no employment rights and we have been forced into a situation where we can only voice our protests but take no other action.
"Despite the usual rhetoric, this government has failed our officers."
Police pensions were last changed in 2006, creating a police pension scheme (PPS) and a new police pension scheme (NPPS) with a compulsory retirement age of 60 for all but the highest ranking officers.
Under the new plans, pension contributions will rise to 13.7 per cent from April 2015 — currently the rate stands at between 12.25 per cent and 12.5 per cent for officers in the PPS, and between 10.1 per cent and 10.75 per cent for NPPS members.
The overhaul of police pensions is part of major changes to pensions across the public sector which the UK Government says are essential to make them sustainable into the future — and fairer for the taxpayer.