Reform of Ill-health Retirement Benefits for Police in England and Wales: The roles of National Policy and Local Finance
We examine the ill-health retirement of police officers in the forces of England and Wales between 2002-03 and 2009-10. Differences in ill-health retirement rates across forces are statistically related to area-specific stresses of policing and force-specific differences in human resources policies. Reforms to police pension plans - in particular a shift in the incidence of financing ill-health retirement from central government to local police authorities - occurred in the mid-2000s. We show these measures impacted on the level of ill-health retirement, especially on forces with above-average rates of retirement. We find that residual differences in post-2006 ill-health retirement rates across forces are related to their differential capacities to raise revenue from local property taxes.
This paper was prepared for the NBER Conference on 'Retirement benefits for state and local employees: Designing pension plans for the twenty-first century', held at Jackson Lake Lodge Wyoming in August 2012. We thank the organisers of the latter for the invitation to present this paper. We are grateful to seminar participants at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and at this NBER conference for comments and particularly, in some cases, for detailed and helpful suggestions on an earlier draft. We thank the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Home Office for making available some of the data used here. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of either these bodies, nor of any organization or review team of which the authors have been part, nor of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Reform of Police Pensions in England and Wales, Rowena Crawford, Richard Disney. in Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century, Clark, Rauh, and Duggan. 2014