Police Officer Returner Scheme

Date published: 23 July 2021 09:05

Police Officer Returner Scheme

The force operates a Returners Scheme broadly in line with the former 30+ and 30++ schemes. The SYP Returner Scheme was initially reintroduced in 2020 as a result of the Government’s drive to recruit 20,000 police officers nationally, and subsequently the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic gave greater impetus.

Alongside this, during 2020, the Government temporarily suspended any taxation liabilities for officers who retired and then wanted to return to work immediately, either as a returning officer or a civilian, under the Coronavirus Police Retention Scheme (CPRS). This ceased in November 2020.

A key tenant of the former 30+ and 30++ schemes was that officers must have a full 30 years’ pensionable service, as opposed to perhaps a 30-year gap between their start date and their retirement date. Maternity leave and part-time working hours would all increase the gap for officers being able to reach the 30 years pensionable service marker.

The NPCC have confirmed there is nothing regulatory preventing officers from re-joining under the returners scheme with less than 30 years’ pensionable service, but this will leave officers with lower benefits than had they achieved the full 30 years. The commutation lump sum would be limited and they would not be able to re-join the 1987 pensions scheme. It is generally not within the member’s interests to leave and re-join before achieving maximum pensionable service.

Clearly each officer will need to assure themselves of their individual financial package prior to retirement and adjust their end date according to their own needs, but the force needs to protect itself and its members in relation to the uptake of the Returner’s Scheme. As such, the force needs to set boundaries on the service profile of its active officers, and those already retired, who are interested in the scheme: -

  • Any officer who has already retired and has achieved the full 30 years’ pensionable service is eligible to apply for the returners scheme.
  • Any officer who has already retired and achieved less than 30 years’ pensionable service is eligible to apply for the returners scheme, provided they retired prior to the publication of the SYP Returner’s Scheme October 2019 and associated guidance and can assure the force their retirement plans would have changed given awareness of the scheme.
  • Any officer who remains in active, current service, and wishes to apply to the scheme upon their retirement, must achieve the full 30 years’ pensionable service, as per the scheme guidelines.

The above is subject to all other relevant scheme rules and guidance that have already been published.

The force cannot be seen to encourage officers to retire with less than their full benefits, this must be up to individual officers to decide. Officers are free to retire in line with the scheme regulations, but the force retains local discretion to reject applicants to the scheme on the above criteria. (this includes, but is not limited to, the abatement of pensions and auto-enrolment into the 2006 Police Pension Scheme).

It remains each officer’s individual responsibility to assure themselves of their financial position in terms of their taxation position.

The impact of the McCloud Pensions Discrimination case and the remedial action required to remove the legally determined discrimination will be reflected in this guidance when it is published by the government. This will be at the point Primary Legislation and Regulatory changes have been effected, in the latter half of 2021.

To Apply

Officers need to apply for the scheme through the e-recruitment system. Successful applications will be sent to a district commander or nominated lead for the position and location applied for, and a suitability interview will be arranged.

If successful, the posting will be confirmed by the Establishment and Deployment Board (EDB)

To apply, please click here

Please note, all roles offered by SYP are subject to vetting by our Force Vetting Unit. You can read the full privacy notice in relation to police security and vetting here.