Forces can now consider whether to bring in a voluntary exit scheme for officers after the Home Office made changes to police pensions.
Officers could soon be given the option to leave the Service early after the Home Office approved changes to police pensions – allowing forces to introduce a voluntary severance scheme for the first time.
In exchange for agreeing to the exit, officers below their â€œpension ageâ€ would receive a compensation payment of one monthâ€™s salary for every year of service â€“ up to a maximum of 21 months. It is understood that the â€œpension ageâ€ refers to the age at which officers would have received their full pension, had they stayed in the Service.
However, the Home Office was unable to categorically confirm the definition of â€œpension ageâ€ when asked by PoliceOracle.com.
Officers who have completed a full pensionable service are not entitled to access the scheme. There is also a special taper for officers who are approaching full pensionable service â€“ which entitles them to a monthâ€™s compensation payment for every month they are away from reaching retirement.
The monthly compensation payment is based on an officerâ€™s final salary.
Officers would still collect their pensions at normal entitlement age, but the compensation payment would be made immediately on leaving following agreement with the chief constable.
The voluntary exit scheme is another tool being given to chief constables â€“ in addition to the use of Regulation A19 â€“ to help them manage their workforces.
Like A19, it will be up to forces individually to decide whether the scheme is required and to whom it will apply. For example, it could be confined to a particular rank, location or specialism. The final decision of whether to implement it would be made by the chief constable concerned, following consultation with their police and crime commissioner (PCC). However, the PCC would still have to formally ratify the decision.
The Home Office has also stipulated that officers who take compensation payments but then become reemployed within the Police Service â€“ as an officer or staff member – will be required to make pro-rata repayments as appropriate.
Officers who agree to an early exit would have to work three monthsâ€™ notice â€“ and those going through misconduct proceedings or those who have been found guilty of gross misconduct will not be able to apply.
However the Home Office added: â€œThere may be cases in which an officer has been found guilty of a less serious incident of misconduct where chief officers working with their PCCs feel it would be acceptable to offer the officer the opportunity to leave under voluntary exit arrangements.â€
For part-time officersâ€™ compensation payments, their length of service would be based on actual hours worked â€“ with pay being the full-time salary equivalent. The maximum they can receive would be scaled back relative to the maximum for a full-time officer.
Here are some examples of how the scheme would apply to police constables according to different circumstances:
1. Constable with 11 yearsâ€™ service, aged 37, earning Â£36,000
2. Constable with 20 yearsâ€™ service, aged 54, earning Â£36,000
3. Constable with 26 yearsâ€™ service aged 47, earning Â£36,000
4. Constable with 25 yearsâ€™ service, aged 50, earning Â£36,000
5. Constable with 28 years and five months service, aged 49, earning Â£36,000
ACPO has issued a practice guide on how forces should approach the voluntary exit scheme.
For deciding whether it should be implemented, the guidance says:
On implementation of the scheme, the guidance says:
To read the Home Office guidance in full click here
To read the ACPO guidance in full click here
Voluntary Severance Now Option For Officers