Workers in the police force which protects Hartlepool Power Station who claim they should be able to retire on a full pension at 60 are to have their case reviewed.
Members of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) say they should be in line with the regular police service, who can retire at 60.
The union representing CNC Officers, the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, have always maintained that it is almost impossible for officers to maintain the mandatory physical and weaponry standards beyond 60 and “as a result the security of the Nations Civil Nuclear assets would eventually be compromised”.
Following talks earlier this month with the Minister for Energy and Industry Richard Harrington, who agreed that a pension age beyond 60 was inappropriate for CNC Officers, civil servants have now been tasked with putting together a financial case to put to the Treasury seeking an agreement to a retirement age of 60.
Hartlepool Mike Hill MP, who is backing the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, said: “This is positive progress in a campaign for equalisation which has been running since 2013, when the CNC were left out of the Public Services Pensions Act by omission.
“Due to the high physical demands of their jobs the Act provides an exemption for members of the police, firefighters and Armed Forces from the normal age of retirement allowing them to retire on full pension at 60.
“Because CNC Officers are not included in this provision they are being treated less favourably than their Home Office employed Armed Police colleagues.”
Mr Hill added: “These highly trained firearms officers who protect our nuclear power station day and night have to be able to carry 30kg of kit throughout their shift and maintain a high level of fitness, both physically and mentally at all times.
“By their own admission the Nuclear Police Federation says that this is practically unsustainable beyond 60 and if officers were not allowed to retire early there will not only be safety and security implications, but also capability issues because the carrying of arms is explicit to their contracts.
“The situation has not yet been fully resolved, but the campaign has fresh impetus and the focus has now shifted to the Treasury.
“I am looking forward to the omission mistake made in 2013 being corrected soon and that fairness and parity is achieved for these hard working officers.”