Govt reaffirms additional £153m for police pensions

The Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, has reiterated the government’s commitment of an additional £153m to meet the increased pensions costs for next year.

In an corrected response to a parliamentary question last week, 4 January, Hurd said that expected pension costs for 2019/20 were to hit £329m, up from the original £176m outlined in the 2016 Budget.

According to Hurd, the new agreed settlement covers the additional cost above £165m for the police officer scheme and the £11m for police staff, after technical changes of how the actuarial estimate was calculated put the updated figures at £302m for the police officer scheme and a further £27m for police staff.

The government first confirmed the increase in police funding on 13 December 2018, in which it earmarked an extra £970m for the 2019 to 2020 budget.

Hurd added: “Cost pressures, including pensions, beyond 2019/20 will be considered as part of the next Spending Review where decisions on longer term police funding will be made in the round.”

In November 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May promised that the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, was working closely with the police to understand the impact of the pension changes, after police chiefs threatened legal action against the government.

The announcement came after National Police Chief Counsel chair, Sara Thornton, said that the changes mean that forces in England and Wales may need to find an extra £417m by 2020/21, equivalent to 10,000 officers.

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