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Pension payouts made 'all the more complex' by 43 force model

NPCC pay and conditions lead Jeremy Vaughan wants to have 'one section 22 collaborative agreement' for all chief constables in the future.

Compensating officers affected by botched pension reforms is made more difficult by a "weird set up" which means each chief constable is individually responsible as scheme manager for their force.

The NPCC has launched a website to help inform pension scheme members about the McCloud remedy, the implementation of which is complicated by the 43 force model says pay and conditions lead Jeremy Vaughan.

Chief constable Vaughan told the annual PSA conference on Tuesday: "Forty three different chiefs now are having to figure out how they compensate people for errors within the scheme, where the money comes for that compensation and so on.

"...Those 43 scheme managers have to follow the regulations as laid. If those regulations prove to be discriminatory and unlawful, the 43 scheme managers are still liable for that discrimination…so we’re stuck with a regulatory framework that we have to operate within, but any discrimination apparent in the system lays at the door of the scheme manager."

CC Vaughan wants to take a different approach in the future.

"We need to have one section 22 collaborative agreement for chief constables out there, where chiefs can more clearly outsource leadership in a legal framework for scheme management.

"So far the discussion I’ve had with chiefs in that regard is positive, but of course as you can imagine there’s lot of work to do to build that."

According to the website, from October 1 eligible members will be given choices about the benefits they receive for service during the remedy period (between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2022).

CC Vaughan says that, despite the NPCC now being "better placed", autumn is going to be very challenging "because we’re deep into the implications of" that period. 

He also spoke about this year's 7% pay settlement, which was agreed after various submissions of evidence to the PRRB.

CC Vaughan explained that, in contrast with previous years, the NPCC submitted its evidence in three parts. This included a section dedicated to the "question of affordability".

"So previously, and understandably, and for good reason, the employer – represented by chiefs – had set out a position of affordability. This year we didn’t.

"We set out a position about what should be a fair pay settlement for policing, and importantly, we respected the operational independence of the pay review body by not coming up with a number which was affordable but achieved a sweet spot by recognising the difficult role that police officers did. We said to the pay review body, ‘that’s your job’...

“The fact that 7% was the outcome…was a triumph for the process."

In terms of future asks, he's certain that “starting salaries will be back on the table in the near future" while there's also a desire to “build and maintain” investigative capability.

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