Survivors shouldn’t have to choose between financial security and happiness.
We need a UK-wide policy that mirrors Northern Ireland’s, ensuring that those that remarry or cohabit after the loss of their loved one retain their pensions in full, regardless of circumstance.
It’s time to get rid of this inequality. #pensionsforlife
21st December 2022
The Court of Appeal has now ruled against NARPO, stating that that the policy decision made by the Home Secretary not to retrospectively repeal Regulation C9 could, on balance, be justified. Appeal justices recognised the burden caused by Regulation C9, stating that it did not underestimate “the unfortunate potential effects of Regulation C9 upon the Appellants”.
On the advice of counsel, NARPO has taken the decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court, but will continue to fight this injustice outside of the courts.
1st December 2022
The Appeal against the original decision of Mr Justice Fordham was heard by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday 30th November.
The Appeal Hearing was streamed live, via the Court of Appeal’s Website and YouTube. Please Click Here to view
The Appeal was heard by two Lord Justices and a Lady Justice of Appeal, Lady Justice Asplin, Lord Justice Peter Jackson and Lord Justice Bean.
NARPO and the three Claimants bringing the Appeal, were represented in Court by Professor Conor Gearty KC. At the end of the Hearing, Lord Justice Bean informed all of the parties present in Court and the public, that because of the importance of the issues in the Appeal, the Court would not be formally delivering their Judgment. Instead,, Judgment has been reserved
When the Court have written their Judgment they will distribute a draft to the legal parties. The legal parties will have time to consider and reflect on the Judgment. At the appropriate time, the Court will then give date for when the Judgment is formally handed down and at that stage, available to the public.
However, we cannot give any estimate as to when the Judgment is likely to be handed down. Our hope would be that the Justices of Appeal are able to prepare their written decision before Christmas. However, in all of the circumstances, and no doubt particularly having regard to all of the other commitments placed on the Justices, it is more likely that Judgment will be handed down in this Appeal, sometime in January 2023.
29th November 2022
23rd November 2022
16th August 2022
We have today received notice that the Appeal has been listed to be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice either on 29-11-2022 or on 30-11-2022, with a time estimate of one day. The hearing will take place in a courtroom open to the public.
1st June 2022
Following Mr Justice Fordham’s Judgment on 27th May, the National Executive Committee of NARPO has decided to lodge an Appeal which our legal team is progressing
27th May 2022
The National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) and the Police Federation have expressed their profound disappointment after a judge ruled against a legal challenge on widows and widowers’ pensions. Read the full press release HERE
The judgment be found using the following link Approved Judgment
25th May 2022
We have now received confirmation that Mr Justice Fordham’s Judgement on the legality of Regulation C9 of the Police Pensions Rules 1987 that affects so many of our members will be handed down in Court this Friday, 27th May at 10am. As soon as we receive the Approved Judgement a copy will be posted on our website
8th April 2022
Please see the following update from our legal advisors-
The Hearing before Mr Justice Fordham took place in Manchester on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th April. The Judge has now received all of the evidence and listened to all of the parties oral submissions.
At the end of the Hearing the Judge confirmed that he will now be writing his Judgement. Given the complexity of the evidence and the importance of his decision the Judge would not give any indication as to when he is likely to hand the Judgement down. We anticipate that it could very well be three months before the Judgement is delivered, however as soon as we are told the date for the Judgement being handed down, we will tell all members and as soon as we are able to distribute the Judgement we will.
23rd March 2022
At long last, the Hearing to determine the legality of Regulation C9 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, that so badly effects widows and widowers, is upon us.
The dates for the final Hearing have now been fixed and confirmed by the Administrative Court in Manchester; also very recently, the Administrative Court have confirmed to the parties the identity of the High Court Judge who will determine and give Judgement in the proceedings.
The Hearing will take place at the Administrative Court in Central Manchester on 5th and 6th April 2022. The High Court Judge who has been allocated to determine the Hearing is Mr. Justice Fordham.
Mr. Justice Fordham, – formally Michael Fordham QC of Blackstone Chambers in London, – was appointed as a Justice of the High Court on 13th January 2020. Before becoming a High Court Judge, Michael Fordham QC was one of the country’s leading practitioners specialising in both administrative law and the use and application of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our understanding is that the Hearing in Manchester will take place in person and in an open Court. That being the case, the Hearing will be open to all members of NARPO and the public to attend, if they wish to. The Hearing will start at 10.30am on Tuesday 5th April 2022. The Court will, before the Hearing, provide details of the Court within which the Hearing will take place. The venue details of the Manchester Administrative Court are:
Manchester Administrative Court,
Manchester Civil Justice Centre,
1 Bridge Street West,
Manchester M60 9DJ
The Court is situated right in the centre of Manchester and is in easy reach of all central Manchester train stations. If anyone has any particular queries or requests in relation to the Hearing, then we would suggest that they either contact the Court direct, or alternatively, make contact with the Solicitors who are taking the claim forward on behalf of the Claimants, NARPO and the Police Federation, Lexent Partners. The relevant contact email details are:
- Administrative Court email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lexent Partners: email@example.com
Our legal team has said that they estimate to have the judgement eight to twelve weeks after the Court proceedings.
24th September 2021
WIDOWS PENSIONS/REGULATION C9 POLICE PENSIONS REGULATIONS 1987
As you are aware, NARPO have been supporting the ongoing legal challenge to Regulation C9 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.
Regulation C9 prevents a Widow or Widower of a former serving Police Officer to claim their loved one’s Police Pension after their death, where the Widow or Widower decides to cohabit or remarry. The view of NARPO and all of its members has always been that Regulation C9 discriminates against those Widows or Widowers who find themselves in that situation. NARPO’s view, based upon legal advice, is that Regulation C9 also breaches the fundamental Human Rights of the Widow or Widower and their families.
The legal challenge continues. There was a Hearing in May 2021. Since that Hearing those individuals who are raising this issue with the Court were ordered to provide certain documents to the Court setting out the claims that they bring. The Secretary of State responded to those documents. On 20th August 2021, the documents were considered by the Court and a decision of the Court was handed down by His Honour Judge Sephton QC, sitting as a Judge of the High Court in Manchester.
HHJ Sephton QC determined that the claims brought by the three individuals who now challenge the legality of Regulation C9 can and should be allowed to proceed to a full and final Hearing. That Hearing will now take place in Manchester on 5th and 6th April 2022. As well as our Solicitors and Counsel who represent the individuals bringing the challenge, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and the Secretary of State for the Home Department will also be represented at Court, through their Lawyers.
Significantly the Court allowed the claims of both the Widows and Widowers who feel unable to remarry or cohabit because of the financial implications of Regulation C9 and those Widows and Widowers who have remarried or cohabited, who now endure continuing financial losses because of Regulation C9, to have their claims determined by the Court. What that means is that if the claims are successful and the Court does determine that Regulation C9 should no longer stand, then all individuals who are affected on a daily basis by the operation of this unjust Regulation will be affected by this legal ruling.
Currently our Legal Team are preparing for the final Hearing. There is a lot of work for the Legal Team to do now, to prepare for the Hearing. NARPO and the Police Federation are and will continue to work closely with the Legal Team and the individuals bringing this claim, to make sure that the claim is fully prepared and that all issues that need to be put to the Court at the final Hearing, are put before the Court in the best possible way.
We will of course update you closer to the time about any developments in the claim and the arrangements for the final Hearing. At this stage, however, we can at least now be confident that, for the first time, there will be a full Judicial determination about the legality of Regulation C9. We and all of our members together with all serving Police Officers say that Regulation C9 is and always was, discriminatory, unfair and in breach of families’ fundamental Human Rights. Those claims will now be determined by the High Court in April 2022.
Following the Court hearing and legal considerations, the application to the Court will be to proceed by way of Judicial Review.
Today at the Manchester District Registry, a High Court Judge considered and determined the Defendant’s (Secretary of State for the Home Department) application to strike out our claim in respect of our legal proceedings.
This is an extremely complex procedural case and the Judge heard submissions from both parties. At the conclusion I am happy to report that the Judge did not strike out our claim.
However, he did direct that in 14 days we should be in a position to lay the claim through the appropriate legal process.
Therefore, over the coming days, ourselves and our legal team will consider the Judge’s direction and decide which is the best course of action to successfully pursue our claim.
Steve Edwards CEO NARPO
The Manchester District Registry has fixed a full day on 7th May 2021 when a High Court Judge will be available to consider and determine the Defendant’s (Secretary of State for the Home Department) application to strike out our claim.
Article in Guardian Newspaper-
The Home Office is being forced to defend regulations in England and Wales that are less generous than similar schemes operating in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and for members of the armed services.
Lawyers acting on behalf of four widows and a widower on Friday 21st August lodged their claim against the government in the high court in Manchester, alleging that regulation C9 of the 1987 police pension scheme breaches their human rights.
The National Association for Retired Police Officers and the Police Federation, which both support the legal action, say the rules force bereaved partners to choose between “financial security or isolation”.
Brian Burdus, the president of Narpo, said: “We have been campaigning to remove this archaic and unfair regulation for a number of years, due to the restrictions it places on the rights of widows and widowers.”
He added: “It is extremely disappointing that the government have not worked with us to resolve this matter, despite our repeated attempts, but we hope now that the court will deliver justice so that widows and survivors are not faced with making the choice between financial security or isolation.”
To see the full Guardian article, please use the following link-
Joint legal challenge by NARPO and the Police Federation. Papers lodged in High Court in Manchester to challenge regulation C9 on the basis that it contravenes Human Rights.
We have been working hard with our solicitors since the last update and we have now gathered information from those widows, widowers, and families of those who have been affected by this Regulation and we have identified several lead claimants who now form the basis of the claim.
Statements have been obtained from those lead claimants and a Protocol letter of claim has been formulated. That Protocol letter of claim was sent to the Secretary of State on the 2nd December in which the Claimants submit that the Rule is contrary to Article 8 and Article 14 (read with Article 8) of the European Convention on Human Rights and must, therefore, be disapplied by Police pension authorities.
The Secretary of State is required to make a formal letter of response to the claim within 14 days of receipt and at that stage, we will further review the prospects of success and consider whether formal proceedings can and should be commenced at Court. Those proceedings will be by written submissions, no oral evidence will be required. We now await the response of the Secretary of State.
You can view the video that was first played at the 2019 Conference here-
As a result of the last appeal in May’s NARPO News, quite a good number of widows and widowers have contacted us to give us their stories of how they and their families have been affected, but we are still looking for more.
If you have been affected by this archaic Regulation please complete this Questionnaire
Please read this Explanatory Note to go with the Questionnaire
Your NARPO Branch Secretary will also be able to provide you with a copy.
We need as many members as possible to come forward and provide us with
their details, to strengthen the nature of the claim.
On Wednesday 1st May 2019 at Portcullis House, London, we held another drop-in reception to raise awareness of our Widows/Widowers Pension For Life campaign, which calls for parity for police widows/widowers within the United Kingdom, should they choose to remarry or cohabit following the death of their husband/wife.
The reception was a good opportunity to reach Members from both Houses.
A Parliamentarian Briefing document was given to MP’s and their Advisers with the actions we would like them to take in support of this Campaign.
Please find the following link to those MPs or representatives who attended-
Holly Lynch MP tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) which can be found here:
We also encourage NARPO members to write to their MP to highlight this extremely important campaign and to support the EDM.
Please use this link to the template letter for members to complete and send to their MP- Letter to MP
You can find your MP at: Find your MP