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The PSA represents the best interests of members with regards to police pensions, and works to improve and maintain all aspects of police pay, conditions and terms of Service.

The association is an active member of the UK Police Pensions Consultative Forum and the Scheme Advisory Board, through which matters around police pensions are addressed.

Police pensions have undergone a number of reforms since their introduction in the 19th century, the most recent of which was in 2015, when The Career Average Related Earnings (CARE) Police Pension Scheme was introduced. 

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Government’s changes to pensions with the introduction of the 2015 CARE Scheme with regard to judges and firefighters were discriminatory on the grounds of age.

For judges, the changes were also deemed discriminatory on the grounds of race and equal pay, as drives to increase diversity means many more of those in the younger group of judges are female and/or from a BAME background.

In light of the findings, the Government has suspended action to rectify the public service cost cap breach.

A timeline explaining the pensions challenge: can be viewed here.

2023 Budget announcement

On the 15th March 2023, the chancellor's budget announcement contained key changes relating to life time allowances, lump sum limits and annual allowances.

Please find key updates here: Pensions schemes newsletter 148 — March 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

October 2020 - Consultation Responses

The joint PSA / Superintendents Association of Northern Ireland response to the government’s consultation: 'Public service pension schemes: changes to the transitional arrangements to the 2015 schemes' submitted October 2020 can be viewed here.

The response from the Police Pensions Scheme Advisory Board can be viewed

The response from the Police Pensions Scheme Advisory Board to working proposals can be viewed


These cases did not challenge the introduction of the new CARE pension schemes themselves. They instead challenged the introduction and form of the transitional arrangements brought in at the same time. These provided preferential protective treatment to older members of the existing schemes.

2020 Group Action Claim

In May 2020, the Police Federation of England and Wales launched a compensation claim against the Government on behalf of members who were victims of discrimination and suffered any ‘injury to feeling’ as a result of changes to members’ pensions caused by the introduction of the new scheme in 2015.

The PSA is working jointly with the Police Federation to open their ‘Group Action’ to the superintending ranks.  See more here.

On Tuesday 8th December, claims were lodged by solicitors on behalf of participating members. The ET will now process the claims and send them to chief officers and the home secretary in the next few weeks.
Members who enrolled as part of the Group Action will now also have received an email from Penningtons Manches Cooper solicitors, inviting them to activate their access to an online collaboration site which will provide regular updates on the claim.  Members are advised to check the email accounts with which they registered, including any junk folders.

'McCloud/Sargeant': HMT pensions public consultation and cost cap announcement

On Thursday 16th July 2020, the HM Treasury (HMT) launched its consultation on proposals to remove the discrimination identified in the McCloud/Sargeant litigation.  Separately, HMT has announced the unpausing of the cost cap mechanism. Read the full update here.

Police Pensions: Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

The Home Office issued Circular 007/2016 which can be seen here: 

The Circular contains information about AVCs in light of previous changes to taxation which have enabled greater access to pension savings. 

Temporary promotions to and within the Superintending ranks – flexibility around pensionable pay  

Officers on temporary promotion to either Superintendent or Chief Superintendent can elect to receive a non-pensionable allowance instead of a pensionable temporary salary.  This arrangement was introduced to overcome the difficulty of officers, when not in their last three years of service, potentially incurring an Annual Allowance charge arising from a notional increase in the value of their pension from which they ultimately might not benefit.  

The details of the agreement are contained within HO Circular 008/2016 which can be accessed below.  A similar provision already exists for Superintending ranks on temporary promotion to ACC/Commander.

The contents of the Circular are self-explanatory, however, key points to note are:

·         The effective date is 6th April 2016 (the start of the new tax year)

·         The provision applies only to officers who either still are, or were, members of the Police Pension Scheme 1987

·         Having elected to receive a non-pensionable allowance an officer cannot then choose to receive a pensionable temporary salary unless the circumstance of the temporary promotion change

·         An officer on temporary promotion prior to 6th April 2016 who, in effect, had no choice but to receive a pensionable temporary salary can elect to receive a non-pensionable allowance instead – but only from the effective date

·         The wording of the Circular allows officers who choose to receive a non-pensionable allowance instead of a pensionable temporary salary to also benefit from incremental progression