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Police and Fire Service Fairer Commutation Campaign
written by Surrey Constabulary Blog on the 15th February 2015 at 10:45

As many have reminded me, Facebook is not to everyones taste, so I am placing information on here too.

I am grateful to the Police and Fire Service Fairer Commutation Campaign on Facebook for their detailed information and for the campaign they are waging to get (in our case) Police Pensioners who retired between 1998 and 2006 justice in terms of the pension they received.


In case you do not pick up on it, PO stands for Pensions Ombudsman. GAD stands for the Government Actuary’s Department. CF is commutation factor.
In a nutshell, because of changes in life expectancy the GAD should adjust the way commutation is calculated. There was an unacceptable gap between 1998 and 2006 which, the campaign is saying – and they are right, seriously affected the amount of commutation you will have received. A quick example shows that around £30,000 less for a retiring inspector compared to one who retired after 2006. The Pension Ombudsman ruled in favour of the campaign. The GAD appealed, were overruled and appealed again. We are still awaiting the next decision.

The Detail (short version!?)

Background to the campaign and a call to action.
I thought it might be useful to offer a snapshot of the campaign as a means of welcoming new members, getting them involved quickly and what to do next
Three days ago we had reached a fantastic milestone of 500 members.
Today we will pass the 1000 mark.
Membership has doubled in three days and the rate new members come on board is increasing ever faster.
So first of all can I offer a warm welcome to you and thank you for taking the time to join the group.
I am aware that many of you will not be fully aware of the history and background to this case, so I hope that this passage will address that. It is not meant to be a technical document but a quick fly around to bring you up to where we are just now and what we intend to achieve from now onwards . Dates and figures given below are for illustration purposes but I will provide links to other more detailed information so that you can continue your own research should you wish.
This is just meant to be a ‘ chat’ to those who may be just coming into the campaign with little or no knowledge.
Why are we here today?
Well we all feel aggrieved that we were not given our full entitlement when ” they” calculated our lump sum. We are not seeking extra we just want what we should have got.
How do we know that?
In 2006 the way pension lump sums for the Fire and Police was changed and this meant that lump sum payments increased for those retiring on a given date in 2006
So two people doing the same job, serving alongside each other for thirty years retire. One goes a few weeks, nay days, later than the other and gets an extra 20% in their lump sum.
How did that come about?
It’s because the multiplier or commutation factor that’s used to calculate your lump sum was not reviewed since 2001.
The commutation factor (CF) represents the life expectancy of retirees and as life expectancy changes so must the CF.
The longer you live the more annual pension you forfeit so the lump sum should be increased in line with the increased longevity.
It was discovered in 2006 that the longevity in retirement of firefighters and police officers had increased but the commutation factor was out of date so a new one was applied to calculations from then on.
But what about us, those that retired between the last review of CF around 2001 and 2006?
An Example
For the sake of easy calculations let’s take a final salary of £30,000
The schemes allow us to take a 2/3 pension.
So without commutation that’s a £20,000 p.a pension.
But the scheme allows us to take half pay pension of £15,000
And commute £5000 p.a into a lump sum.
So for giving up the £5k p.a you need to be ‘ compensated’ with a lump sum.
Between 2001 and 2006 a CF of 15 was used
( it is variable dependant on age and length of service)
So that’s £5k multiplied by 15 to give £75k lump sum
But
In 2006 the CF was deemed to be 20 because of the increased life expectancy
So that someone retiring in 2006 were entitled to
£5k multiplied by a factor of 20 to give £100k
Figures are just an illustration
So if they were entitled then so were we
Background
A legal challenge lasting several years has been fought through the courts.
This has involved the Fire Brigades Union, the Police Fed and culminating in a long legal saga between the Pension Ombudsman ( PO) and the Government Actuaries Department (GAD).
This battle , and that’s not too strong a word in context, is now almost over. So it’s not the intention of this post to give a blow by blow account of that, suffice to say that the decision is about to be made any time soon. We cannot influence that decision to any great extent today.
So why are we campaigning and seeking support.
We MAY just may get the decision that maladministration of our schemes took place and we will be entitled to the shortfall in our lump sums.
We have experienced delays after delays, promises that decisions would be reached by a certain date and then over run. We are not talking weeks or months here, we were promised final decisions over 18 months ago and still we have not been given a definite date that you and I could comprehend. We are told the decision will be published in “Spring” ” later this year” but not told which year!
So we are here, now.
Making a din and getting louder, growing stronger by the minutes and the days .
Why if the decision has already been made?
We want the powers that be to know we are watching over the final days of this campaign. Thousands of pairs of eyes scrutinising the outcome.
We want them to know we aren’t going away
We won’t countenance any more delays
And we want our money pronto
When we are fit and able to enjoy it
And also to acknowledge that there are some of our colleagues who have passed on and didn’t get to enjoy what was owed them and many more have fallen into ill health too whilst waiting and waiting.
What can you do now?
Write to your MP and draw their attention to EDM768 ( see link below)
Tell them you expect them to support it if they expect your vote in May
Put other colleagues in the picture
Take a look around the site especially in the ” Files” at the top right corner of this page for some draft letters to MPS and other info.
Background to the campaign and a call to action.
I thought it might be useful to offer a snapshot of the campaign as a means of welcoming new members, getting them involved quickly and what to do next

Why are we here today?
Well we all feel aggrieved that we were not given our full entitlement when ” they” calculated our lump sum. We are not seeking extra we just want what we should have got.
How do we know that?
In 2006 the way pension lump sums for the Fire and Police was changed and this meant that lump sum payments increased for those retiring on a given date in 2006
So two people doing the same job, serving alongside each other for thirty years retire. One goes a few weeks, nay days, later than the other and gets an extra 20% in their lump sum.
How did that come about?
It’s because the multiplier or commutation factor that’s used to calculate your lump sum was not reviewed since 2001.
The commutation factor (CF) represents the life expectancy of retirees and as life expectancy changes so must the CF.
The longer you live the more annual pension you forfeit so the lump sum should be increased in line with the increased longevity.
It was discovered in 2006 that the longevity in retirement of firefighters and police officers had increased but the commutation factor was out of date so a new one was applied to calculations from then on.
But what about us, those that retired between the last review of CF around 2001 and 2006?
An Example
For the sake of easy calculations let’s take a final salary of £30,000
The schemes allow us to take a 2/3 pension.
So without commutation that’s a £20,000 p.a pension.
But the scheme allows us to take half pay pension of £15,000
And commute £5000 p.a into a lump sum.
So for giving up the £5k p.a you need to be ‘ compensated’ with a lump sum.
Between 2001 and 2006 a CF of 15 was used
( it is variable dependant on age and length of service)
So that’s £5k multiplied by 15 to give £75k lump sum
But
In 2006 the CF was deemed to be 20 because of the increased life expectancy
So that someone retiring in 2006 were entitled to
£5k multiplied by a factor of 20 to give £100k
Figures are just an illustration
So if they were entitled then so were we
Background
A legal challenge lasting several years has been fought through the courts.
This has involved the Fire Brigades Union, the Police Fed and culminating in a long legal saga between the Pension Ombudsman ( PO) and the Government Actuaries Department (GAD).
This battle , and that’s not too strong a word in context, is now almost over. So it’s not the intention of this post to give a blow by blow account of that, suffice to say that the decision is about to be made any time soon. We cannot influence that decision to any great extent today.
So why are we campaigning and seeking support.
We MAY just may get the decision that maladministration of our schemes took place and we will be entitled to the shortfall in our lump sums.
We have experienced delays after delays, promises that decisions would be reached by a certain date and then over run. We are not talking weeks or months here, we were promised final decisions over 18 months ago and still we have not been given a definite date that you and I could comprehend. We are told the decision will be published in “Spring” ” later this year” but not told which year!
So we are here, now.
Making a din and getting louder, growing stronger by the minutes and the days .
Why if the decision has already been made?
We want the powers that be to know we are watching over the final days of this campaign. Thousands of pairs of eyes scrutinising the outcome.
We want them to know we aren’t going away
We won’t countenance any more delays
And we want our money pronto
When we are fit and able to enjoy it
And also to acknowledge that there are some of our colleagues who have passed on and didn’t get to enjoy what was owed them and many more have fallen into ill health too whilst waiting and waiting.
What can you do now?
Write to your MP and draw their attention to EDM768 ( see link below)
Tell them you expect them to support it if they expect your vote in May
Put other colleagues in the picture
Take a look around the site especially in the ” Files” at the top right corner of this page for some draft letters to MPS and other info.

Have a look at these links below for more info.

https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/…/police-and-firefig…/

This gives a picture of where we are now , getting matters raised at Westminster

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/768

But make a din, we are getting louder and getting heard in the corridors of power. The pressure being applied by members of this group works. You are part of that now so please use whatever means you can to raise awareness and to make contact with politicians and other leading figures

Have a look at these links below for more info.

https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/…/police-and-firefig…/

This gives a picture of where we are now , getting matters raised at Westminster

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/768

But make a din, we are getting louder and getting heard in the corridors of power. The pressure being applied by members of this group works. You are part of that now so please use whatever means you can to raise awareness and to make contact with politicians and other leading figures


 Originally posted at http://blog.old-and-bold.info/?p=26636...

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