Belfast Telegraph

Police pension scheme faces review

An urgent review of the pension scheme for injured police officers has been announced amid concerns about the assessment procedures.

A number of former officers who retired on physical or mental health grounds claim they have been pushed to the verge of suicide when their payments were cut after medical reports advised a reduction.

They are critical of the process used to make the decision - using only one doctor - and the amount of time it takes to appeal.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board employs private company Capita to carry out the assessments.

Stormont Justice Minister David Ford instigated the review after discussions with the Victims Commissioners.

"Police officers in Northern Ireland have frequently put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of our communities and some have suffered serious injuries and mental health issues as a result," he said.

"I understand the concerns which have been raised in recent days and have instigated an urgent review of the police injury pension arrangements.

"I am committed to ensuring that the process is as effective and efficient as possible.

"As there are important parts of the process which are the responsibility of the Policing Board, and involve inputs from DHSSPS, I am inviting those organisations to be part of the review and to ensure collectively we have a system which meets people's needs.

"I will also want to consult with the Chief Constable to ensure that he is content with the service provided to his officers. I have asked for an initial report on progress by the end of June 2010."


From Belfast Telegraph