Transition members are those with accrued rights under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme who become members of the 2015 Scheme.
Some transition members will have moved from their existing scheme into the 2015 Scheme on 1 April 2015 whilst others will have tapered protection and remain in their existing scheme past 1 April 2015 joining the 2015 Scheme once their tapered protection period has ended.
The qualification criteria for Tapered Protection is set out in the Reform Design Framework dated 4 September 2012.
Accrued rights under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme
Accrued rights under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme are the benefits that a transition member has already built up under those schemes.
The 2015 Regulations protect accrued rights under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme for transition members as follows:
If you are a transition member, when calculating benefits payable to you under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme, the final salary for the purposes of the final salary link is the salary you are earning in the 2015 Scheme instead of the salary you were on when you left the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme.
If you are a 1987 transition member with continuity of service, there is full
recognition of your expectation of double accrual for pensionable service under the 1987 Scheme.
The total number of years under the 1987 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme is used to calculate an averaged accrual rate to be applied to your final pay.
For further information you can refer to the following Home Office Circular 014/2013.
A member has worked full-time with 15 years of service in the 1987 Scheme and 10 years in the 2015 Scheme. The member, therefore, has 25 years of full continuous service in the 1987 Scheme and 2015 Scheme.
The accrual rate for this member’s 1987 Scheme benefits is determined by first calculating the hypothetical pension s/he would be awarded had his/her entire service been built up within the 1987 Scheme.
This is calculated as follows:
Hypothetical accrual = 20 years at 1/60 and 5 years at 2/60
= 20/60 + 10/60
= 30/60 (which can also be expressed as 25/50)
In other words, the member would have been eligible for a pension equal to 1/50 of his/her final average pensionable pay for each year of service under the 1987 Scheme if his/her entire 25 years of service was spent within that scheme.
The averaged accrual rate in this example is, therefore, 1/50. However, the member is only eligible for a proportion of this hypothetical pension based on his/her 15 years of actual service in the 1987 Scheme. This is calculated as follows:
Actual accrual = 15/25 x 25/50 = 15/50 (or 30%)
It might be helpful to think of this as 15 years’ pensionable service in the 1987 Scheme, with the accrual rate for each year’s service rescaled from 1/60ths to 1/50ths to reflect the period where the member was in service in the 2015 Scheme.
1987 transition members (such as members with accrued benefits under the 1987 Scheme) will be able to access those benefits when they are eligible to retire under the 1987 Scheme on a maximum, unreduced pension (that is, with 30 years’ pensionable service; age 50 with 25 or more years’ pensionable service; or at the member’s voluntary retirement age), subject to abatement rules for that scheme (the temporary reduction in pension payments which may be imposed by a police pension authority if a member is re-engaged after retirement. This does not apply to the 2015 Scheme).
For a transition member with continuity of service, pensionable service for the purpose of calculating entitlement to benefits under the 1987 Scheme will include the total period of continuous pensionable service under both the 1987 Scheme and the 2015 Scheme.
2006 transition members (that is, members with accrued benefits under the 2006 Scheme) will be able to access their benefits under that scheme when they retire at or after that scheme’s normal pension age (age 55).
1987 transition members will continue to have the right to exchange pension under the 1987 Scheme for a cash lump sum on retirement.
This will be based on actuarially assessed commutation factors set out under that scheme.
Please note that if you do not have continuity of service, the above may not apply.
If you are within 4 years of qualifying for full transitional protection under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme, as of 1 April 2012 you will have tapered protection.
This means that on average for every month that you were closer to qualifying for full transitional protection you will gain about 53 days of protection.
During the tapered protection period, you remain a member of your existing police scheme accruing benefits under that scheme.
If this applies to you, the tapered protection period finishes at some point before 1 April 2022.
At the end of the tapered protection period, you become a member of the 2015 Scheme unless you choose to opt out.
This will apply to active members:
- in the 1987 Scheme and the 2006 Scheme who on 1 April 2012 were aged between 41 and 45 years
- in the 1987 Scheme who on 1 April 2012 were 10 years or less from being able to retire on maximum, unreduced pension and were aged between 34 and 38 years.
- in the 1987 Scheme who on 1 April 2012 were aged 38 or over (up to age 45) and were between 14 and 10 years from being able to retire on a maximum, unreduced pension
- in the 1987 Scheme who on 1 April 2012 were aged less than 38 who are more than 10 years from being able to retire on a maximum, unreduced pension – this applies when your age minus the years from being able to retire on a maximum, unreduced pension, was between 24 and 28 years
Inward transfers of your pension benefits
Public sector transfers club transfers in
If you are transferring final salary benefits from another Club scheme, those benefits will be transferred into the 2006 Scheme.
Your final salary link will be maintained so your transferred final salary benefits will be based on your final pensionable earnings in the 2015 Scheme.
If you are transferring career average benefits from another 2015 Club Scheme they will be transferred into the 2015 Scheme.
You will be informed of the amount of service credit available in the 2006 Scheme and the amount of pension which a transfer would provide in the 2015 Scheme as applicable, so that you can decide whether to proceed with the transfer or opt to retain the alternative benefits available from your previous scheme.
Outward transfers of your pension benefits
Movement between police forces
If you move between police forces in England and Wales, your pension entitlements will not change, specifically:
- you will remain in the 2015 Scheme
- the amount of accrued pension in the 2015 Scheme remains the same
- any period of service you had in the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme remains the same
- your final salary link will be maintained, so your 1987 Scheme or your 2006 Scheme benefits will be based on your final pensionable earnings when you leave the 2015 Scheme, regardless of any movement between police forces in England and Wales
- if you qualified for tapered protection, the date of your transition to the 2015 Scheme will remain unchanged
If you join the 2015 Scheme after leaving the 2015 Northern Ireland Police Pension Scheme or the 2015 Scotland Police Pension Scheme, any accrued pension in that scheme is transferred into the 2015 Scheme.
Any 1987 Scheme or 2006 Scheme benefits will remain linked to your final pensionable earnings in your new scheme provided that there are no gaps in service exceeding 5 years.