Why is 68 too late for you?

As part of our 68 is too late campaign we would like to invite members to put together an individual letter and send it via email to your own member of parliament.

The reason we want to take such an individual approach is to maximise the impact on as many MPs as we can around the unreasonable expectation that prison officers can work to a normal retirement age of 68 years old.

It would have been very simple for us to put a sample letter onto our website, however we decided not to do that for several reasons.

MPs are getting very adept at spotting an organised mail- shot, we want individuals to give their own perspective, feelings and thoughts around why working through to 68 is unreasonable.

Older members of staff, feel anxious as to if they will be able to continue to deliver their role, they worry about being dismissed and downgrades or having to accept an actuarial reduction of pension for having to leave before normal retirement age.

Younger members, some of whom could be facing 48- or 49-years’ service have similar concerns of remaining fit enough to deliver their duties, concerns of burn out and a feeling that the current pension arrangements are not fair, regardless of age.

A one size fits all letter is not an option, this is a complex subject, that means different things to different people.

We have embedded a tool below, where you can enter your postcode, and this will generate the email address for your local MP.


Please compose a word document, address your MP by their Christian name, and tell them exactly how you feel around the prospect of working through to 68 years old.

If you have had your pension age changed during your employment describe your feelings and frustrations in relation to the goal posts being moved by Government, mid service.

If you have concerns that you will have to leave early, but not qualify for ill health retirement, express your concerns at not being allowed to access your pension other than following a reduction for it being paid early due to an unreasonable normal retirement age.

Ask your MP to support the POAs 68 is too late campaign.

Ask your MPs to urge government to reopen talks with the POA around alternative approaches that could reduce this injustice.

Things to tell your MP

  • when you joined the service
  • the changes in the workplaces
  • the increased levels of violence
  • the nature of the duties you deliver
  • the operational environment and the levels of stress you endure
  • the verbal and physical threats that you deal with day in day out
  • the pressures on you to meet the needs of prisoners with mental health issues
  • the pressures you face in relation to prisoners who carry out acts of self-harm
  • staff shortfalls and the impact on regime and rehabilitation
  • the low levels of morale in the service
  • the experience haemorrhage that has seen 86,000 years of prison officer experience walk out the gate

Put all this on paper and send it to your MP.

Use the tool below to contact your local MP


Have your say

Colleagues we will be giving serving operational grade staff the opportunity through a series of video shorts to express their personal feelings and frustrations around a retirement age of 68 for operational staff.

If you want to give your opinion look out for the 68 is too late banner at upcoming meetings and events, pop over and add your message to our campaign.

The POA urge Government to reopen constructive meaningful talks with this Union and lets work together to find a solution.

Recent campaign videos and media

Pension updates

Please find updates on Pensions and the 68 is too late campaign:


Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.