2018 has been a busy year at NARPO as we continue our work to support members and help them make the most of life after the police. Our approach of supporting Life Work and Leisure after the Police was a theme of our 2018 conference, held in Torquay in September.
Here is a brief review of some of the year’s highlights
There was good news for many of our members early in the year when changes were made to the Police [Injury Benefit] Regulations 2006 in respect of the deduction of Employment Support Allowance (ESA), as a result of NARPO and Police Federation representation to the Home Office and Policing Minister.
This important change saw an amendment to the Police [Injury Benefit] Regulations 2006. This amendment rectified the situation that was created via the previous amendment which made ESA deductible from an injury award in any circumstances, even if for a different illness/injury than the illness/injury subject of the injury award.
The change means that anyone who has had their ESA deducted from their Injury Pension contrary to the above since February 2017 can now seek recompense for the amount deducted by contacting their Pension Administrator explaining the nature of their previous deduction and the new amendment to the Regulations.
Throughout the year NARPO continued to campaign to end the inequality in the treatment of police widows throughout the United Kingdom. We are urging the Government to reconsider this matter, and eradicate the glaringly obvious inequality and unfairness, and do the right thing; which would allow police widows to live their lives without having to make the demeaning and daunting choice of either living alone or forfeiting their pension to enjoy companionship and happiness in later life.
All we are asking is that police widows are treated the same throughout the UK. Surely this is the right thing to do? This campaign will continue to be a focus of our parliamentary activity throughout 2019. See website for more information.
The Government has finally responded to last year’s Supreme Court ruling on equal pension benefits for same-sex partners in the event of a scheme member’s death. The Supreme Court judgment in Walker v Innospec ended the ability of pension schemes to restrict benefits for same sex partners to service since 5 December 2005, the date that the Civil Partnership Act took effect.
The judgment also required pension schemes to provide equal benefits to both civil partners and same-sex spouses. The Treasury finally wrote to these schemes in March this year setting out the policy approach they should take.
The letters instructed public service pension schemes to make changes to their processes and rules in order to provide equal benefits for civil partners and same-sex spouses and the schemes were asked to provide further information on their approach and the timescales for implementation in due course. We have raised this matter several times with the Home Office but, to date, no changes have been made. We will continue to press the Home Office to make the required changes at the earliest opportunity. See website for more information.
In our role as the voice for retired police officers, we have also responded to a number of government consultations throughout the year. This ensures that the views of our members are heard when the government is considering any policy or legislative changes. We have responded to consultations on issues including the long-term funding of social care for older people as well as reports on Intergenerational Fairness.
We also continue to ensure membership to NARPO delivers additional benefits to our members. As well as working with a number of leading companies and organisations to offer member discounts we are also liaising with the College of Policing regarding retired Officers’ membership as well as involvement with their Wellbeing Programme.
We look forward to continuing this work, on behalf of all our members, throughout 2019.
Thank you for your support