Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson is backing a campaign to guarantee pensions to the partners of police officers.
The Labour MP has signed a House of Commons EDM which calls on the government to guarantee that the partners of deceased police officers continue to receive their pension if they re-marry or join a new civil partnership.
Bill Esterson MP said, “The system in Northern Ireland supports partners of deceased police officers but for some reason the government in London has not done the same in England. We have many police officers and retired police officers living in Maghull, Aintree, Crosby and Maghull. I believe that it is only right that they are given the peace of mind that they have earned after years of service by knowing that their loved ones will continue to receive their pension if they are widowed and then re-marry. This seems to me to be a matter of natural justice and also just reward for the service given to our community in keeping us safe.
“This would not be hugely expensive. The Conservative government in London always seems to find the money for pet projects but has cut our police numbers. The least that the government could do is to support the widows and widowers of police officers, who can face financial hardship if they re-marry and their new partner has a lower standard of living than they have experienced through their pension. As the Police Federation says, it is morally and ethically wrong to make police widows and widowers and their dependants effectively choose between future financial security and the possibility of future personal happiness. That is why I signed the EDM and is why I support our police officers and retired officers.”
Retired Police Superintendent, John Sayers from Maghull added,
“I know both serving and retired officers will be grateful for Bill's support for allowing the bereaved to eventually remarry without losing the pensions earned by their spouses. It's somewhat ironic that Government ministers are quick to praise the actions of our emergency services but slow to act when those emergency workers seek Government help.”
The House of Commons EDM (Early Day Motion) is below:
That this House recognises that police officers often place themselves in the way of harm to protect their communities, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice and leaving behind families and loved ones; believes that we have a moral and public duty to ensure all police widows and widowers are financially provided for for their lifetime; is deeply concerned that the Police Pension Regulations 1987 do not allow police widows or widowers the opportunity to marry or cohabit, without losing their right to a police widows' or widowers' pension for life; agrees with the Police Federation of England and Wales that it is morally and ethically wrong to make police widows and widowers and their dependants effectively choose between future financial security and the possibility of future personal happiness; welcomes the fact that the Police Pension Regulations 2006 allow new entrants or serving officers to transfer to a new scheme which permits their survivors to access benefits which are payable for life regardless of whether they remarry; regrets that nevertheless many police widows and widowers still remain disadvantaged by the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, and calls on the Government urgently to review the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 to ensure that the families of those who have served their community and been lost in the line of duty receive financial security regardless of their decision to remarry or cohabit.
Bill Esterson MP and former Superintendent John Sayers are pictured