Police and Crime Commissioner clarifies A19 pension costs
An article in the Express and
Star newspaper has published information about pension
costs associated with the use of Police Pensions Regulation A19,
which requires officers with full pensionable service to
retire. A19 was introduced by the Police Authority in 2011 and the
Chief Constable recently announced its withdrawal.
Bob Jones has written to the Editor of the Express and Star to
clarify the financial implications arising from the use of A19:
31 December 2013
Can I concur with your editorial and article (30 December 2013)
that the use of the A19 regulation, where Officers achieving the
full pension entitlement can be asked to leave, is not a good use
of public money.
Nobody supporting it made such a claim and I have regularly made
the same point as your editorial.
What I would like to point out to your readers is that the use
of the power was vital to West Midlands Police balancing its
The £71 million costs of lump sums and £12.4 million ongoing
cost does not come from the West Midlands Police budget but from a
national pensions pot. With over 85% of West Midlands Police
costs being personnel related, it was simply not possible at the
point of the implementation of A19 to make 20% cuts in the police
budget without reducing the headcount, and it would not have been
possible to make such reductions by natural wastage.
The only alternative in order to balance the budget would have
been to make even more of the non-police staff redundant. The
problem with that is two-fold.
First, those jobs still need to be done and we would have seen
even more police officers withdrawn from the streets to take over
Second, as we do have to make a contribution towards
redundancies from the West Midlands Police budget this would have
been an added pressure on that budget.
I am pleased that having met the four-year savings targets the
Chief Constable is now able to end A19. However, the
unprecedented scale and speed of the expenditure reductions
unfairly hitting West Midlands Police meant it was an essential
measure to meet the legal requirement to balance the budget and
maintain a policing service that can continue to protect and serve
our community even with significantly lower numbers and