Scots police, fire service anger at pension change

Police and fire service personnel face paying higer pension contributions. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Police and fire service personnel face paying higer pension contributions. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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MEMBERS of Scotland’s police and fire services have criticised a planned increase in their pension contributions.

From April 1 they will pay an average of 14.2% of their salary towards their pension each month.

The Scottish Police Federation says its officers are being “punished” as a consequence of falling police numbers in England and Wales.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said members already pay the highest pension contributions in the public sector.

Notification of the increases is contained within circulars from Scottish Government agency the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA), following changes to pension legislation from the UK Treasury.

FBU Scottish secretary John Duffy said: “We call on the Scottish Government to stand up for public sector workers in Scotland and say that enough is enough.

“Our senior officer members will now be paying up to 17% of their wages, others are having to work longer and will get less than they signed up for.

“Something needs to be done to address this problem which is facing thousands of our members.”

‘Bitter blow’

The Scottish Police Federation, which represents 98% of all officers, said members on an annual salary of £27,001 to £60,000 will see their contributions increase from 13.5% to 14.25%.

Those on more than £60,000 will contribute 15.05%, an increase from 14%.

Chairman Brian Docherty said: “This is yet another bitter blow for Scotland’s hard pressed police officers.

“It is bad enough to face the additional increases but Scottish police officers paying more as a consequence of reducing police numbers in England & Wales is a cruel punishment and rubs salt into this particularly sore wound.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government shares public sector workers’ concerns about the level and reasons for increases in employee contributions and we have repeatedly made clear that Scottish ministers oppose these increases being made in this way and at this time.

“With considerable reluctance, the Scottish Government has decided that increases to firefighter and police officer pension contributions must be made to reflect the harsh financial realities Scotland faces as a result of the UK Government’s austerity agenda.”

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