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Ted91
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Pay/salary. It’s important; there’s not need to be ashamed of admitting that. As Police Officers or members of the EPF, we have a ‘Duty First’ mentality, but let’s not pretend that the one day a month when our bank account gets some positive attention, is not at least near to the top of our list of priorities.

 Hence my post.

Newly married. First child on the way. Mortgage to pay. Car payments/petrol. Council tax. Home insurance. Life insurance(s). Countless other bills/debts. We all have them and they all require a stable if not ever increasing income, to prevent them from climbing on top of us and smothering us. I’m not asking to be rich beyond my wildest dreams, just enough to be happy and comfortable until the inevitable day when my knees give up and I can’t chase criminals for a living or hobby.

 

So… let’s talk pay scales.

From what I can tell, the current pay scale for anyone joining after April 2013, is as follows.

 

On entry (commencement of training): £20,370.

Pay point 1(after six month training period) - £23,586.

Pay point 2 (after 12 months serving at pay point 1) - £24,654.

Pay point 3- £25,728

Pay point 4- £26,802

Pay point 5- £28,947

Pay point 6- £33,267.

Pay point 7 (will reach this level, having served for a total of 6.5 years.)- £39,150.

 Please edify me if you see any errors so far.

 Let’s say you join at the ripe old age of 30. That means that, without promotion to higher ranks, this 30 year old will have reached the age of 37 and will be earning £39,150 a year, before tax. My tax calculations determine that this, in turn, means a take-home of £2,500 a month. That is £2,500, after tax.

Call me naïve, but as someone who left a job paying £18,500 a year to start the police training on £20,370 and then moved quickly (after six months) onto £23,586, that take home is not too shabby. Right now, just preparing to begin training, I couldn’t fathom that kind of wedge hitting my account each month.

 

Why, then, am I constantly hearing/reading horror stories of Police Officers quitting their jobs, resigning due to stress (pay stress, rather than on-the-job-stress) or even taking second and third jobs? Are stories like this scaremongering or media fallacies, or is there truth in them there tales?

Please do not misconstrue the meaning of my post; it is in no way judgemental or condescending; I am VERY new to this and I am not too brave to admit that these stories do concern me. I want nothing more than to work my dream job and support my family. Can I do both? Or will I end up moonlighting at Weatherspoon’s, or selling fishing tackle to Mr Roberts down the street?

 

Fraternally,

 

Ted91.

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You do recall that the £2500 doesn't;t take account of the pension contribution. But I get your sentiment.  Your comments have jumped from your initial entry change from £18500 to £20370 so a change but not huge, then you leap onwards by 7 years to use the £39000 wage as the comparison.  
Isn't it always that we tend to live or try to live just within our means and sometimes our needs exceed those means.  You mention a child on the way, so perhaps when you do have the additional child costs in place and at least the short term loss of your partners salary, you may change your post.  Perhaps we can reflect in a year's time.  
Your outgoings example:

 Mortgage / rent to pay. £850 pm

Council tax. £150
Car payments/petrol - £300 (real world costs such as depreciation as it eventually has to be replaced - few cars really cost less than @ 40 ppm). Multiple for more users
Home insurance. £75-100
Life insurance(s) £150. (especially now you'd be looking for long term high value family cover)
So far its @ £1550 and nothing personal has been brought
Elec / gas / oil - @ £150 ( allow for servicing replacements etc would make it higher)
Phone, mobile, internet etc £100 (or multiple for more users etc)

Food / House shopping - £600 upwards
Now getting to about £2400

That's a healthy £100 leftover to save for a holiday, few meals out or takeaways.  We may tweak those numbers a bit, may not need a car, but the numbers do erode whatever income we have.  

How much you choose to spend can vary hugely from person to person, location to location - even the difference between having to use a car to get to work or it being an option (rural -v- urban may be a factor)

You would need to do your own sums and decisions.  

 

 

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I’m coming up to 25 years old in the next few months, currently on pay scale 3 and will be on 4 come October. I also earn an extra £2,000 per annum for South East Allowance which as you can imagine doesn’t alter the monthly budget too much. My monthly take home after tax, pension etc is £1600-£2000 depending on any overtime, bank holidays or additional shifts. I live comfortably,  albeit I have no children. It’s only me and my girlfriend however we have a mortgage for a house worth £240,000 and we don’t “skimp and scrape” throughout he month. Don’t get me wrong, like anyone I’d love a bit of extra cash but as long as you live by the rule and that is “live within your means” then you won’t go far wrong. I joined up with people who were paying £250-£300 finance for a car  top of the range, where as I drive a 2012 plate Seat which is owned by me - it all depends what you want in life. 

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Very much a personal thing. With the U.K. average salary at just under £28K then, as the OP says, a Constable’s wage is not too shabby.
A couple of things to consider also - location. Cost of housing/living varies massively. Any other household income? Other expenses - previous loans, debts etc.
Other jobs available in your area. Where I worked as an unskilled ex cop I’d have jumped to maybe half my salary due to the local job market. My son is a manger with 40+ staff and is on £28K - and he’s done well to get there in 8 years with the company.
I recall struggling as a DC with 8/9 years service (different pay scales back then but I’d have been on the equivalent of about £28K in todays money) mortgage, young child, non working partner, one old car; without overtime I was living on the overdraft come the end of the month.
Also your expected standard of living. A couple of@BlueBob numbers makes me raise my eyebrows. £100 for phones? Me £12 mobile and £25 for broadband and home phone.
£600 for food/house! Maybe you have a brood of kids but me and the other half less than half of that.
I’ve seen a lot of cops struggle as they ‘need’ a flash car, new iPhone every year, full Sky Package etc.

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54 minutes ago, Reasonable Man said:

Very much a personal thing. With the U.K. average salary at just under £28K then, as the OP says, a Constable’s wage is not too shabby.
A couple of things to consider also - location. Cost of housing/living varies massively. Any other household income? Other expenses - previous loans, debts etc.
Other jobs available in your area. Where I worked as an unskilled ex cop I’d have jumped to maybe half my salary due to the local job market. My son is a manger with 40+ staff and is on £28K - and he’s done well to get there in 8 years with the company.
I recall struggling as a DC with 8/9 years service (different pay scales back then but I’d have been on the equivalent of about £28K in todays money) mortgage, young child, non working partner, one old car; without overtime I was living on the overdraft come the end of the month.
Also your expected standard of living. A couple of@BlueBob numbers makes me raise my eyebrows. £100 for phones? Me £12 mobile and £25 for broadband and home phone.
£600 for food/house! Maybe you have a brood of kids but me and the other half less than half of that.
I’ve seen a lot of cops struggle as they ‘need’ a flash car, new iPhone every year, full Sky Package etc.

It is as you say, what you want from life - and it is things like a mobile - for some its a PAYG for £10 a month but for others its that new phone, gone paste contract time and still spending the £30-40 a month, plus the landline and internet and sky or whatever.  Even on the £12 (x2) + £25 broadband plus phone and calls (probably landline ad calls @£25) still pushes over the £60-70 a month so the budget fo £100 is prob not too far off in broad terms.
And the exampled use of an old car is fine - lets remember there is always a time when it has to be replaced, planning on a depreciation or savings of @ £150-200 a month is still only about £1500-2000 a year towards the replacement car, assuming non is used to support a holiday / etc . 
Whatever the household set up is, its always a sound idea to do ruthless annual financial plan and just see where the money goes or where it stops.
 

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When I applied for the BTP, I was on a salary nearly £3k more per annum, but was happy to accept the loss to do a job I wanted to do.... I'm still waiting a start btw, but since the last role I was in, I've changed again - and I'm on max £16.5k p/a ... But even despite the £6.5k drop in income, I still have the same leftover...
Live by your means

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Because we have to pay heaps in pension contributions, fed subs, etc. and the rate of pay hasn’t been increasing at the rate of inflation.

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17 hours ago, Mazza said:

Because we have to pay heaps in pension contributions, fed subs, etc. and the rate of pay hasn’t been increasing at the rate of inflation.

You have to pay heaps in pension contributions? I thought the Police pension was THE best in the county for employer contributions? 

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2 hours ago, Ted91 said:

You have to pay heaps in pension contributions? I thought the Police pension was THE best in the county for employer contributions? 

It may well be but don't forget the employee also has to pay in a fair bit.    But some still say that overall it is about one of the best on the market

 

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You have to pay heaps in pension contributions? I thought the Police pension was THE best in the county for employer contributions? 

You don’t HAVE to pay into the Police Pension Scheme. You could have a private one or (foolishly) non at all.
The current scheme is not as good as the previous one and contributions are high 12.44%-13.78% of pensionable earnings - but then the returns are high as well. The pension is the thing you need to have a really serious think about NOT joining - and a chat to a financial advisor.
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You have to pay heaps in pension contributions? I thought the Police pension was THE best in the county for employer contributions? 


It’s not mandatory but if you want a job pension then it’s a fair whack of the wages go on that. The job puts in something like £4 for every £1 you put in but coming from a job where I had zero contributions to a pension, I certainly feel the difference.

And you don’t pick how much you contribute, it’s a set amount. I think I pay 13.76%.
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7 minutes ago, Mazza said:

And you don’t pick how much you contribute pay 13.76%.

 

Thats one of the financial numbers that need to be included when we were looking earlier at where the wages go.  With many companies / pensions looking at 4-6% then its a heck of a difference, but not found many officers who would say that overall its a waste of money.  Just seems like that at times!

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From what I can see,  Police employer contributions are 21.3%. Again, hoping not to sound too green and naive, that sounds like of a lot...

If I am honest, whatever the case may be, the UK Police still seems like one of the best careers to have and (when I finally receive my training start date), it will be a gargantuan leap from where I currently work. 

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From what I can see,  Police employer contributions are 21.3%. Again, hoping not to sound too green and naive, that sounds like of a lot...
If I am honest, whatever the case may be, the UK Police still seems like one of the best careers to have and (when I finally receive my training start date), it will be a gargantuan leap from where I currently work. 

Employer contributions and your contributions being tax free are often forgotten/ignored when questioning the value of pension contributions.
£240 a month may seem a lot to contribute to something that won’t benefit you for decades but with employers contributions there’s over £600 invested in you. Cancel the pension and you get less than £200 a month extra, after tax and NI.
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17 hours ago, Mazza said:

 


It’s not mandatory but if you want a job pension then it’s a fair whack of the wages go on that. The job puts in something like £4 for every £1 you put in but coming from a job where I had zero contributions to a pension, I certainly feel the difference.

And you don’t pick how much you contribute, it’s a set amount. I think I pay 13.76%.

It's closer to £2 per £1 of employee contributions, perhaps even less now.

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