Police: Pensions

Home Office written question – answered on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Labour, Workington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will issue guidance on the definition of on duty with regard to police officers' widows and widowers pensions.

Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Labour, Workington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on parity between Great Britain and Northern Ireland with regard to police officers' widows and widowers pensions.

Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Labour, Workington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on pensions for police officers' widows and widowers; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Holding answer received on 29 June 2015

In the Budget on 18 March, the Chancellor announced that widows, widowers and surviving civil partners of police officers who have died on duty in England and Wales will no longer lose their survivors’ benefits in future if they remarry, form a civil partnership or cohabit. These pensions will not be re-instated for those who have already lost them through remarriage or cohabitation, though current rules already allow re-instatement if the 'new' relationship ends.

Changes will be limited to those deaths which have occurred whilst on duty. The Home Office will consult the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales (PABEW) shortly on proposals to implement this change and this will include the definition of “on duty”.

As policing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the Northern Ireland Executive and Scottish Government respectively are responsible for the design and funding of police pensions in those parts of the United Kingdom. The Government has a continuous duty to ensure that public service pensions are affordable, sustainable and fair, both for the members of those schemes and for other taxpayers.

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