A successful legal challenge to the 2015 Care Police Pension Scheme could initially benefit some officers but, in turn, be detrimental to others, according to the general secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

Andy Fittes has written an open letter to members setting out his concerns and has also issued a briefing document in response to the Pensions Challenge set up independently by a group of officers.

"Looking at the bigger picture, the PFEW is concerned that a legal victory on the pensions challenge, whilst seemingly of initial financial benefit to the members of that challenge, is likely to lead to consequential Government action which will be to the detriment of other officers, and in fact, to the members of the Pensions Challenge Group itself. That is, the long-term loss may outweigh the short-term gain," Andy explains in his letter.

He goes on to state: "The PFEW believes the Government will react in order to cap and mitigate any potential liability and will not be prepared to wait for the ultimate outcome of the challenge to do this.

"The PFEW is obliged to have regard to the bigger picture and to represent the longer term interests of all of its members now and in the future.

"In view of our legal advice, we strongly urge all officers considering signing up to the Pensions Challenge to think long and hard and be sure that they understand all of the terms applicable before doing so."

The briefing document explains the Federation legal advice suggests the challenge will not succeed, recent pension reforms, the basis of the proposed challenge, the Federation’s position on the transitional arrangements in place for the new scheme, the Federation’s engagement with the Home Office, the arguments for and against the challenge, the likely outcome for pensions if the claimants win and what happens if the claimants lose.

It concludes by setting out what it sees as matters officers should consider before signing up for the challenge and urges them to consider their personal position carefully.

To read the general secretary's open letter click here.

The full briefing document can be read here.

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