This post is aimed at my non-Police reader, for reasons that I hope will be obvious, so if youâ€™re the Police Officer I wonâ€™t be offended if you donâ€™t read it. Â You will possibly have read a lot from me and others about the government fiddling with Police Pensions and maybe wonder what all the fuss is about.
Last night I was â€˜chattingâ€™ in an electronic sort of way, with a chap who told me that he was a Police Officer in a Force in the southern half of the country.
We were chatting about the 74 Police Officers who have allegedly accepted â€˜Voluntary Redundancyâ€™ in Gwent.
This officer has 15 years service, meaning that he joined his force long before May and Winsor came along and changed peopleâ€™s pensions. Â He signed up to a Pension knowing that in 30 years time he could retire and would have had a rough idea what his pension would have been worth to him.
Then it all changed.
At 15 years service he is an experienced officer, would have been Â halfway through his Â service with another 15 to go.
Now he has a further 24 years left to serve.
He is paying more each month into his pension.
He will be paying more each month for a full 9 years more.
In 24 years time his pension will be worth less than it would have been worth under the scheme he signed up to.
This was not a voluntary change, it was imposed on him, and all his colleagues, during his service, by Theresa May and Tom Winsor.
The last thing he said to me last night was that if anybody comes near him with a set of Voluntary Redundancy forms he will snatch them out of their hands and sign them.
My question to you is two-fold;
Put yourself in this officerâ€™s place, how would you feel about what has been done to your career, your pension, your retirement plans?
Is it right for the government to treat our brave officers so shabbily part-way through their service? Â Changes to pension schemes are normally introduced for new members, not existing members.
I hope this has given you a bit more insight into what just some of the issues are and how they affect people in a real way.