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Police Pension Scheme - amendment regulations 2009

Home Office circular 014 / 2009 Police Pension Scheme - amendment regulations 2009 Broad subject: Police Service Issue date: Tue Sep…

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Home Office circular 014 / 2009

Police Pension Scheme - amendment regulations 2009

  • Broad subject: Police Service
  • Issue date: Tue Sep 01 15:30:00 BST 2009
  • From:
    Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group (CRCSG),Police Reform and Resources
  • Linked circulars:
    No Linked Circulars

  • Sub category: Police pensions
  • Implementation date: Tue Sep 01 10:00:00 BST 2009
  • For more info contact:
    John Gilbert - 020 7035 1880

This Circular draws attention to the provisions of the Police Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2009 which come into force on 1 September 2009.  One hard copy is being sent to each force. The SI can be accessed through this direct link on the OPSI website.

2. These amendments have three purposes:

  • They apply the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, The Police Pensions Regulations 2006, The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations.2006 and the Police Pension Fund Regulations 2007 to employed constables in the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA)
  • They make a further three amendments to the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, the Police Pensions Regulations 2006, and the Police Pension Fund Regulations 2007 as they apply to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)
  • They amend the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 to provide that those who have opted out of the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (PPS) and reduce their holding of pensionable service in that scheme by transferring it out before joining the New Police Pension Scheme 2006 (NPPS) are not able to build up more service in the new scheme than if they had not transferred such service out.

Commencement and application 

3. The amendment regulations come into force on 1 September 2009.  Both of the two amendments in Schedule 1 relating to SOCA and all the amendments in Schedule 2, which relate to the counting of pensionable service, have effect from 1 September 2009.  Most of the provisions in Schedule 1 relating to the NPIA have back-dated effect to 1 April 2007, the date when the NPIA was set up.  The only exceptions are the amendments in paragraphs 3, 22, and 35 in relation to its new regulation 12B(5), where the provisions have effect from 1 September 2009.  More detail about each of these amendments is given below.

4. In addition to the SI’s provisions for commencement the SI ensures that two groups of officer are protected from retrospective changes:

  • In Schedule 1 the provisions which extend the ability to abate a police pension to constable employees of NPIA apply only to those periods of employment in the NPIA which commenced on or after 1 September 2009.  (More explanation is given in paragraphs 17, 23, and 34.)
  • In Schedule 2 (relating to the counting of pensionable service) the changes made affect only officers to whom the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 first applied on or after 1 September 2009.  (More explanation is given in paragraph 43 onwards.) 

Schedule 1 - National Policing Improvement Agency

5.  Schedule 1 of the Statutory Instrument (SI) widens the scope of existing regulations providing for police officer pensions and retirement benefits to include employed constables of NPIA.  Employees of the NPIA who held the office of constable at the time of their appointment to a post in the agency are termed “employed constables of NPIA”.  The NPIA was created by the Police and Justice Act 2006 and that Act amended the Police Pensions Act 1976 to broaden the relevant enabling powers to enable the amendments set out in this instrument to be made. 

6. This is the first exercise of the powers in the 1976 Act since they were broadened by the 2006 Act.  With two exceptions therefore all the provisions in Schedule 1 of the SI have backdated effect from 1 April 2007.  Regulations governing the calculation and payment of police pensions and police injury benefits need to be extended to the NPIA in order to cover employed constables of NPIA.

Part 1 - Amendments to the Police Pensions Regulations 1987

  1. Part 1 of Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, governing members of the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (the old scheme).

  2. Paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 6 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA, who is not a member of a home police force, shall be deemed to be such a member except where the context otherwise requires.  The phrase “where the context requires” refers to two types of provision which make specific reference the employed constables of NPIA:

  • those which expressly exclude employed constables of NPIA from the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 - see paragraphs 6,7,12 and 13 of Schedule 1
  • those where specific regulations need to apply with different wording from that used for members of a force.  With the exception of the provision relating to abatement (see paragraph 14 below) this is because they are employees who are not subject to the Police Regulations. 

9. Paragraph 2 also provides that employed constables of NPIA hold the rank given to them by the NPIA as if they held that rank in a force other than the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).  This has two effects:

  • employed constables of NPIA holding an ACPO rank are subject to the same pension age (for the purpose of receiving a short-service pension) and to the same age limit (for the purpose of calculating deferred pensions and ill-health pension enhancements) that apply to ACPO ranks in forces other than the MPS, and
  • employed constables of NPIA below ACPO rank have the same voluntary retirement age as they would in holding the same rank in a force other than the MPS.  (Only ACPO ranks in the Met have a voluntary retirement age.)
  1. Paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 amends regulation A12 to provide that the test for disablement set out in regulation A12(2) to be applied to employed constables of NPIA should be that which would have been applied to them if they were still a member of the home force they most recently served in.  This amendment is necessary since the courts have held that disablement should mean inability to perform the ordinary duties of a member of the force (our emphasis) not “a” force.  In order to achieve consistency in the criteria for permanent disablement it has been agreed in the Police Negotiating Board that we should avoid the NPIA (and SOCA) from applying a different test to that applied in home forces.

11. Paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 amends regulation A16 to provide for transfers of officers from home police forces to NPIA to join the agency as an employed constable of NPIA and transfers of employed constables of NPIA the other way to be treated as inter-force transfers.

12. Paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 amends regulation A17 to extend the definition of retirement to employed constables of NPIA and also provides that a transfer from a home police force to join the NPIA as an employed constable does not count as retirement.  Transfers by an employed constable of NPIA to a home force are already excluded from the definition of retirement by regulation A17(d) in that references to a force include a reference to the NPIA.

  1. Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Schedule 1 amend regulations A18 and A19 to provide that compulsory retirement on account of age or on grounds of force efficiency do not apply to employed constables of NPIA.  These are not pensions provisions but management issues which are covered separately from the pensions regulations: by the default retirement age of 65 which applies to all employees in the UK and, in the case of decisions relating to efficiency, by the employee’s contract of employment.

  2. Paragraphs 8 and 9 of Schedule 1 amend regulations B1 and B2A to provide that the notice period required of employed constables of NPIA for the purpose of retiring with an ordinary pension or short-service award is as set out in their contract of employment and not in the regulations.  It also confirms that the NPIA has the discretion to accept a shorter period of notice.

15. Paragraphs 10 and 11 of Schedule 1 amend regulations E8 and G1 to make specific reference to employed employees of NPIA since they are not subject to the Police Regulations and therefore have their allowances and pay governed instead by their contract of employment.

  1. Paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 amend regulation K1 to exclude employed constables of NPIA from the provisions of that regulation under which the need for an ill-health pension may be reviewed and the person receiving the pension recalled to duty.  It is expected that the scope for redeploying a disabled employed constable of NPIA will mean that there will be few cases of ill-health retirement from the NPIA.

17. Paragraph 13 of Schedule 1 qualifies regulation K4 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA will not have his or her police pension abated during a period of employment with NPIA if that period started before the amendment regulations came into force on 1 September 2009.  Apart from such cases the normal provisions of abatement apply to retired officers who become employed constables - that is police officers who are appointed to a post in NPIA while still a police officer and who then retire from their force before taking up the post.

18. Paragraphs 14(3), 14(5), 14(6) and 14(8) of Schedule 1 amend Schedule A to the regulations to reflect the fact that the leave entitlements of employed constables of NPIA and their part-time status is governed instead by their status as employees or contract of employment as the case may be.

19. Paragraphs 14(2) 14(4) and 14(7) of Schedule 1 amend Schedule A to provide definitions for employed constable of NPIA and the NPIA; to extend the definition of a member of a police force to include an employed constable of NPIA; and for the definition of a regular policeman to include an employed constable of NPIA.

Part 2 - Amendments to the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006

20. Part 2 of Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, governing all police officers, whether they be members of the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (the old  scheme), the New Police Pension Scheme 2006, or members of neither scheme (having opted out).

  1. Paragraph 16 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 3 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA, who is not a member of a home police force, shall be deemed to be such a member except where the context otherwise requires.  The phrase “where the context requires” refers to specific regulations which need to apply with different wording from that used for members of a force.  With the exception of the provision relating to abatement (see paragraph 20 below) this is because they are employees who are not subject to the Police Regulations.

  2. Paragraph 17 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 6 to provide that references to duty and being on duty shall apply to employed constables of NPIA, who are employees, as if they were references to their acting within the scope of their employment.  This gives employed constables of NPIA the same cover injury as officers have while on duty.  Employed constables of NPIA hold the office of constable and therefore do not require special mention in the regulations where they refer to “constable” in the context of the duty of a constable.

  3. Paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 qualifies regulation 39 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA will not have his or her police pension abated during a period of employment with NPIA if that period started before the amendment regulations came into force on 1 September 2009.  Apart from this safeguard the normal provisions of abatement apply to retired officers who become employed constables - that is police officers who are appointed to a post in NPIA while still a police officer and who then retire from their force before taking up the post.

  4. Paragraphs 19(2) 19(3) and 19(4) of Schedule 1 amend Schedule 1 to the Injury Benefit Regulations to provide definitions for employed constable of NPIA and the NPIA; to extend the definition of a member of a police force to include an employed constable of NPIA; and for the definition of a regular policeman or police officer to include an employed constable of NPIA.

Part 3 - Amendments to the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 

  1. Part 3 of Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Police Pensions Regulations 2006, governing members of the New Police Pension Scheme 2006, which applies to new entrants since 6 April 2006.

  2. Paragraph 21 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 3 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA, who is not a member of a home police force, shall be deemed to be such a member except where the context otherwise requires.  The phrase “where the context requires” refers to two types of provision which make specific reference the employed constables of NPIA:

  • those which expressly exclude employed constables of NPIA from the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 - see paragraphs 6,7,12 and 13 of Schedule 1; and
  • those where specific regulations need to apply with different wording from that used for members of a force.  With the exception of the provision relating to abatement (see paragraph 31 below) this is because they are employees who are not subject to the Police Regulations. 

27. Paragraph 22 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 4 to provide that the test for disablement set out in that regulation to be applied to employed constables of NPIA should be that which would have been applied to them if they were still a member of the home force they most recently served in.  This amendment is necessary since the courts have held that disablement should mean inability to perform the ordinary duties of a member of the force (our emphasis) not “a” force.  In order to achieve consistency in the criteria for permanent disablement it has been agreed in the Police Negotiating Board that we should avoid the NPIA (and SOCA) from applying a different test to that applied in home forces.

28. Paragraph 23 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 5 to provide for transfers of officers from home police forces to NPIA to join the agency as an employed constable of NPIA and transfers of employed constables of NPIA the other way to be treated as inter-force transfers.

  1. Paragraph 24 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 17 to provide that a transfer from a home police force to join the NPIA as an employed constable does not count as retirement.  The definition of retirement is already extended to employed constables of NPIA by the definition of retirement in Schedule 1 to the 2006 Regulations.  Transfers by an employed constable of NPIA to a home force are already excluded from the definition of retirement by regulation 17(1)(a) in that references to a force include a reference to the NPIA.

  2. Paragraph 25 of Schedule 1 amend regulation 18 to provide that the notice period required of employed constables of NPIA for the purpose of voluntary retirement is as set out in their contract of employment and not in the regulations.  It also confirms that the NPIA has the discretion to accept a shorter period of notice. 

31. Paragraphs 26 and 27 of Schedule 1 amend regulations 19 and 20 to provide that compulsory retirement on account of age or on grounds of force efficiency do not apply to employed constables of NPIA.  These are not pensions provisions but management issues which are covered separately from the pensions regulations: by the default retirement age of 65 which applies to all employees in the UK and, in the case of decisions relating to efficiency, by the employee’s contract of employment.

  1. Paragraph 28 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 23 to make specific reference to employed employees of NPIA since they are not subject to the Police Regulations and therefore have their pay governed instead by their contract of employment.

33.Paragraph 29 of Schedule 1 amend regulation 51 to exclude employed constables of NPIA from the provisions of that regulation under which the continued need for a standard ill-health pension may be reviewed and the person receiving the pension recalled to duty.  It is expected that the scope for redeploying a disabled employed constable of NPIA will mean that there will be few cases of ill-health retirement from the NPIA with a standard ill-health pension.  The amendment does not affect the power of the NPIA to review the continued need for an enhanced ill-top-up health pension.

  1. Paragraph 30 of Schedule 1 qualifies regulation 52 to provide that an employed constable of NPIA will not have his or her police pension abated during a period of employment with NPIA if that period started before the amendment regulations came into force on 1 September 2009.  Apart from this safeguard the normal provisions of abatement apply to retired officers who become employed constables - that is police officers who are appointed to a post in NPIA while still a police officer and who then retire from their force before taking up the post.

35. Paragraphs 31(3), 31(4), 31(5) and 31(7) of Schedule 1 amend Schedule 1 to the 2006 Regulations to reflect the fact that the leave entitlements of employed constables of NPIA and their part-time status is governed instead by their status as employees or contract of employment as the case may be.

  1. Paragraphs 31(2) and 31(6) of Schedule 1 amend Schedule 1 to provide definitions for employed constable of NPIA and the NPIA; to extend the definition of a member of a police force to include an employed constable of NPIA; and for the definition of a regular police officer to include an employed constable of NPIA.

Part 4 - Amendments to the Police Pension Fund Regulations 2007

37. Part 4 of Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Police Pension Fund Regulations 2007, governing the financing arrangement for both the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (the old scheme) and the New Police Pension Scheme 2006, as well as determining the extent to which some payments made under the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 may also be made out of a force’s police pension fund.

  1. Paragraph 33 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 2 to provide definitions for employed constable of NPIA and the NPIA; to extend the definition of a police authority to include the NPIA in relation to an employed constable of NPIA; and for the definition of a regular police officer to include an employed constable of NPIA.

39. Paragraph 35 of Schedule 1 inserts new regulation 12B to specify the way in which the Pension Fund Regulations apply to the NPIA:

  • New regulation 12B(2) is needed since the NPIA, like SOCA, does not have a police fund but an income and expenditure account instead. 
  • New regulation 12B(3) provide that the requirements of local government accounting practice (referred to in regulation 3(4)) do not apply to the NPIA police pension fund; and that the requirements relating to paying a capital-equivalent charge for every early ill-health retirement (set out in regulations 5(7) to (9) doe not apply to the NPIA either, since the number and ranks of employed constables of NPIA at present do not make that appropriate.  This issue will be kept under annual review each October so that any change can be made in time for the following April.
  • New regulation 12B(4) provides that, in view of their not being liable to a capital-equivalent charge for an early ill-health retirement, the NPIA will pay an employer contribution rate of 25.5% of pensionable pay instead of the rate of 24.2% paid by home police forces.
  • New regulation 12B(5) provides that the NPIA’s police pension fund will be audited by the National Audit Office.

Schedule 1 - Serious Organised Crime Agency

40. Paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 amends regulation A12 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 to provide that the test for disablement set out in regulation A12(2) to be applied to specified employees of SOCA should be that which would have been applied to them if they were still a member of the home force they most recently served in.  This amendment is necessary since the courts have held that disablement should mean inability to perform the ordinary duties of a member of the force (our emphasis) not “a” force.  In order to achieve consistency in the criteria for permanent disablement it has been agreed in the Police Negotiating Board that we should avoid the SOCA (and NPIA) from applying a different test to that applied in home forces.

41.  Paragraph 22 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 4 of the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 for the same reason and with the same effect as set out in the paragraph above in relation to the 1987 Regulations.

  1. Paragraph 34 of Schedule 1 amends regulation 12A of the Police Pension Fund Regulations to clarify that SOCA’s police pension fund will be audited by the National Audit Office..

Schedule 2 - Reckoning of service in PPS for those who join NPPS

  1. These new provisions affect only those who were members of the Police Pension Scheme 1987 (PPS) and who subsequently opted out of that scheme and transferred out some or all of their PPS service after having opted out.  The purpose of these amendments is to ensure that the act of transferring out PPS service does not enable such officers to gain more “head-room” for building up service in the New Police Pension Scheme (NPPS) than if they had not reduced their service in PPS.

44. Paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 provides that these amendments apply only to those to whom the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 apply on or after 1 September 2009.  This can happen in two ways:

  • In the case of a former officer who retired with less 30 years’ pensionable service in PPS who re-joins the service on or after 1 September 2009, since the 2006 Regulations apply to that officer at the point of re-joining
  • In the case of an officer who has opted out of the PPS and cancels his or her election with effect from on or after 1 September 2009, the 2006 Regulations apply to that officer at the point of cancelling his or her election.

45. Paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 amends regulation 6 of the Police Pensions Regulations 2006.  Regulation 6(2)(b) excludes from the NPPS those who re-join the service on or after 6 April 2006 if they had previously retired with 30 years’ pensionable service and therefore an entitlement to a target two-thirds pension.  The amendment at paragraph 2 widens that provision also to exclude from the NPPS re-joiners coming back into the service on or after 1 September 2009 who would have had 30 years’ PPS service but for having transferred out some or all of that service after having opted out of the PPS before retirement.

46. Paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 amends Schedule 2 to the Police Pensions Regulations 2006 at paragraph 9.  Paragraph 9 provides for the maximum of 35 years’ pensionable service in the NPPS, set out in regulation 16, to apply also to officers with a combination of PPS and NPPS service.  The 35-year limit is applied in such cases by converting PPS service into NPPS service, using the table provided in Schedule 2, in order to have a consistent standard of measurement.  The changes made by the amendments in paragraph 3 apply to officers who:

  • opted out of PPS and then retired before re-joining the service on or after 1 September 2009
  • opted out and then opted back in with effect from on or after 1 September 2009 2006 without leaving the service.
  1. The amendments push back the relevant time (the ‘applicable time’) at which PPS pensionable service is measured, for the purpose of calculating the amount of NPPS service that can also be built up, from the point of retiring or opting back in (prior to which the officers could have transferred out PPS service after first having opted out) to the point when they opted out.

  2. Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 amends to Schedule 3 principally to cover those who joined NPPS by opting back in (as opposed to doing so by re-joining the service) with effect from on or after 1 September 2009 and who in addition made an election to transfer their PPS service to NPPS.  They are excluded from Schedule 2 by virtue of paragraph 9(d), which does not apply to officers who make a transfer election.  The new paragraph 19 in Schedule 3 provides for the 35-year limit in regulation 16 to apply to such cases using the same provisions as in paragraph 9 of Schedule 2 and also making the relevant time at which PPS service is measured the point when the officers opted out of the PPS.

  3.  New paragraph 19 is set in terms which also cover the possibility of officers who have re-joined the service under regulation K1 of the 1987 Regulations and resumed membership of the PPS before electing to join the NPPS with effect from on or after 1 September 2009.  The amendment extends to cover the cases where such officers transferred out some or all of their PPS pension rights after having opted out of the PPS either before their ill-health retirement or after having opted out of that scheme after re-joining their force.