Important Pension News
BUY-BACK OF UNPAID FAMILY LEAVE (exc Maternity Leave) – POLICE PENSION
- Are or where you a member of the 1987 Police Pension Scheme or 2006 New Police Pension Scheme?
- If so did you ever elect to take any of the UNPAID family leave options listed below?
If you did so there has been an amendment in Police Regulations that now allows you to retrospectively buy back your pension contributions and therefore count towards your pensionable service.
This is a time limited option and you must act before 21st August 2018
A member who wishes to buy-back a period (or periods) of unpaid family leave for pension purposes must notify the police pension authority (Chief Constable) in writing by 21ST Aug 18..
The member will be required to pay an amount equal to the amount of pension contributions which would have been paid had the period of unpaid leave not been taken. This is based on the member’s pensionable pay (including any statutory adoption pay or statutory paternity pay) immediately before the start of the unpaid leave which is being bought back.
Leave Options affected:
- Unpaid adoption leave
Officers with at least 26 weeks’ service, but less than one year’s service, by the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption are entitled to: one week’s full police pay, followed by up to 38 weeks paid at Statutory Adoption Pay rate (SAP) followed by 13 weeks’ unpaid leave.
Officers with at least one year’s service by the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption are entitled to: 18 weeks’ full police pay, followed by up to 21 weeks paid at the SAP rate, followed by up to 13 weeks’ unpaid additional adoption leave.
- Unpaid ordinary adoption support leave
Ordinary adoption support leave provides for two weeks’ leave around the time of the adoption. It is paid for the first week and is only unpaid for the second week if the officer does not qualify for statutory paternity pay.
- Unpaid additional adoption support leave
This can be for between two and 26 weeks and can be taken at any point between 20 weeks after the child’s placement for adoption and the end of the 52nd week.
- Unpaid ordinary maternity support leave
Ordinary maternity support leave provides for two weeks’ leave around the time of the birth. It is paid for the first week and is only unpaid for the second week if the officer does not qualify for statutory paternity pay.
- Unpaid additional maternity support leave
This can be for between two and 26 weeks and can be taken at any point between 20 weeks after the child’s birth and the end of the 52nd week after the child’s birth.
Buyback of unpaid maternity support leave
Although PFEW was pleased that these new provisions had been made, we believed that they should extend back in time further than the date in the new Regulations (1 September 2014).
Specifically, PFEW considered that not allowing members (predominantly men) to buy-back periods of unpaid maternity support leave for pension purposes to the same extent that members (exclusively women) who took maternity leave were permitted to buy-back periods of unpaid maternity leave for pension purposes amounted to indirect sex discrimination.
Following representations from PFEW on this point the Home Office has agreed to amend the Police Pension Schemes and Additional Voluntary Contributions (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2018 to enable officers who have taken maternity support leave from 3 April 2011 to buy back that leave for pension purposes. The Home Office’s intention is to make the amendment by February 2019 subject to parliamentary time/procedure.
Therefore it is recommended that members who wish to buy-back for pension purposes a period (or periods) of unpaid ordinary or additional maternity support leave which was taken from 3 April 2011 until 1 September 2014 should also make a written election to the force to buy back this unpaid leave by 21 August 2018.
We recommend to members who wish to buy-back for pension purposes a period (or periods) of unpaid (ordinary and additional) maternity support leave which was taken from 3 April 2011 to 1 September 2014 that they:
· Make a written election to buy-back this unpaid leave in any event; and,
· Get in touch with their Branch Board, so that PFEW can obtain an understanding nationally of the examples of, and numbers of, officers affected.
Please contact the Thame Office if you have any further questions 01844 261 811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For general advice on Maternity Support Leave see our leaflet HERE