February 29, 2012

Police Officer Pensions: Affordability of current schemes

Police Officer Pensions: Affordability of current schemes reveals that the cost of police pensions has risen significantly over the past 15 years – from less than £1billion a year in 1995/6 to almost £2.5billion a year in 2009/10, or a 79% increase in real terms. Taxpayers have picked up an increasing proportion of the bill, such that Police Officer Pensions now account for £1 in every £7 spent on policing in England & Wales.

This increased cost is due to rising life expectancy and in recent years, fewer active members. New data reveals that two police authorities are supporting the costs of more retired police officers than active and deferred members combined.

As the Home Office prepares to make changes to police officer pensions, this report supports recommendations made by Lord Hutton including moving towards a pension scheme based on career average pay and an increase in the Normal Pension Age to 60 years. It further argues that the Coalition government should develop a New Model Police Pension scheme that is more affordable for officers and taxpayers alike.


Edward Boyd

Crime & Justice Research Fellow, 2011-2013

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