04.11.10

Scrapping Older Police Officers Tantamount to Naked Ageism

TAEN Chief Executive, Chris Ball, has labelled reported plans by Chief Constables in some police forces to order older officers to retire as an example of “naked ageism”.

Central government funding for police in England and Wales is set to fall by 20 per cent over the course of the next four years.  So faced with the need to introduce cost-cutting measures, the forces in question have decided to invoke a clause in the Police Pensions Regulations which means officers with 30 years’ service or more can be “required to retire”.  The rule can be applied to all officers below chief officer rank, regardless of their ability or age.  But by definition the plans will only impact officers in their late forties or older.

Police authorities in North Wales and Strathclyde have already backed the plans, giving the Chief Constables in both forces approval to forcibly retire older officers. The police authority in Surrey is being asked to approve a similar move.

Commenting on the plans, Chris Ball said:

“This is nothing less than naked ageism. Those who will be affected, by definition, will be in their late 40s or 50s and still have a great deal to offer….  

“….It’s ironic that these proposals come at a time when the Government plans to raise State Pension Age to 66 and to abolish the default retirement age.  Surely police officers should have the same rights as other working people.

“Offering incentives for people to retire is one thing, forcing them to do so is another. 

“We hope there will be legal challenge to this attempt to use officers’ age and length of service against them,” he added.

Read TAEN’s press release.

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