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Prison Officers: Retirement

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 88626, tabled on 7 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what consultations his Department has had with prison officers before raising their retirement age to 68.

Answered on

15 December 2021

Prior to 2007, the pension age within the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme was 60. In July 2007 Cabinet Office introduced a career average scheme for new entrants, which increased the normal pension age from 60 to 65. In designing the 2007 scheme, Cabinet Office did give consideration to the fact that the prison officer role was a physically demanding one, but they concluded that, as there were a number of other Civil Servants whose jobs were similarly demanding, that a lower pension age could not be justified compared to other scheme members. From 2015 the pension age in the Civil Service Pension Scheme was increased to reflect the State Penson Age of the member, after the recommendations made in the 2011 Hutton Report on the sustainability of public sector pensions.

We highly value our hardworking prison staff and offer access to medical professionals and an employee assistance programme to ensure continued physical and mental wellbeing. The pension age for Prison Officers is set under the Civil Service Pension Scheme, which is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office and consultation was undertaken by them.

I have met the Prison Officer’s Association for our introductory meeting at which a range of issues were raised, including pension age. I am meeting them in the new year to discuss this issue again.