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Update on Retirement Age Campaign

The Government has invited the Federation to have a further meeting with the three relevant Departments to discuss our case for a normal retirement age of 60. This will be our third meeting and we see it as indicating significant progress.

Firstly, for the first time we will be part of a united delegation which includes management representatives from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and from the Civil Nuclear Police Authority. Since the pensions issue first arose our employing authorities have consistently and independently of the Federation been carrying the argument to Government that an NRA of 67/68 as proposed under the Alpha scheme is quite beyond the career reach of the vast majority of our members. All of us have stressed the impending pension age threat to the viability of the CNC as a sustainable police service and the consequent compromising of the security of our civil nuclear assets.

The second indication of progress is that the meeting is to be convened by Mr Richard Harrington MP, BEIS Minister with parliamentary responsibility for the CNC. It was Mr Harrington's letters back in February to Elizabeth Truss MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Oliver Dowden MP Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office which opened the doors to a considered examination of our argument by their officials. With the Minister will be his own Departmental officials and representatives from the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. This new meeting is a direct result of the Federation and DCC Simon Chesterman having useful discussions in July with HMT and the Cabinet Office officials.

The date has not yet been fixed but it will be some time after the Parliamentary recess and must allow for the political party conference season.

A Government of whatever colour understandably, dislikes making exceptions especially to such a major public policy initiative as the 2013 Public Service Pension Act. A review of our particular circumstances has to mean exhaustive scrutiny to justify a deviation to Ministers. Members will remember that it took us several years before we achieved the Federation's first objective of parity of pay with our Home Office colleagues. The outcome of the extensive and imaginative negotiations with the Treasury showed that parity could be delivered within their financial guidelines. The benefits of that excellent success will be in the Members' pay pockets (an extra five per cent for parity plus the annual two per cent pay increase across the police service) from the end of this month. This current campaign is proving no different. Together with the CNC Executive and the Police Authority we have unity of purpose and irrefutable evidence on our side which makes us hopeful of an outcome workable for us yet still respects the Government's concern for the public purse.

We will keep the members advised on progress

Nigel Dennis & Mark Nelson