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Pension News

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE
Mr Tony Williams (Pensions Officer) has confirmed that all payments were dispatched on Wednesday 16th December and will arrive in the nominated accounts on Friday 18th December 2015. 

 

PENSION ‘INCREASE’ 2015-16

The following has been received from Steve Edwards, Deputy CEO at NARPO HQ:

The CPI figure for September 2015 dictates the Pension Increases in April of the following year, as the figure is a negative it will mean that all public sector pensions will remain unchanged, as will NARPO subscriptions which are also linked to it.

However, the State pension is different, the Government have set a triple lock and this means that the state pension will increase by the higher of three factors, CPI, Wages Index or 2.5%, in this case it will be 2.5% from April 2016 (Subject to Confirmation)

 

 

COMMUTATION FACTORS DISPUTE

It is too late to remove the other item about the above matter from the latest issue of the DPP NARPO newsletter, however, the up to date information on the subject is as follows:

All the officers affected by the decision should have received by Monday 7th December a letter from the Pensions Department giving details of the amount payable. No action need be taken, unless the officer wishes to have the amount paid into a different account from that into which their pension is paid. Otherwise, the stipulated amount will be paid into their bank account on 18th December 2015.

If this is indeed the case, I shall write to Mr Tony Williams (Pensions Officer), on behalf of DPP NARPO thanking him for his department’s efforts in keeping the promise made at our Branch meeting held at Saundersfoot in early October that the money would be paid by Christmas.

Phil Hopkins (Chairman DPP NARPO)

 

COMMUTATION FACTORS DISPUTE - DISCHARGE LETTERS

Some members have started receiving their additional commutation figures and discharge letters and as such NARPO have obtained legal advice on the validity of the discharge letters and have been advised:

To be clear, the only potential respondents to a further claim are GAD and the Home Office. The only relevant discharge relates to a possible claim against them. The request for a discharge against GAD and the Home Office is consistent with GAD guidance on settlements that I have seen. Naming the force or any pension fund is unnecessary, but harmless. The first point to make is that any form of discharge is not called for. The Home Office is obliged to pay the additional commutation payment under the Police Pensions Regulations. GAD is obliged to pay any tax due, and to pay interest, following the Milne determination. If the Home Office refused to pay without a discharge it would be in breach of the Regulations; if GAD refused to pay without a discharge, the Ombudsman would force it to. That would take time however, and interest is only running at bank base rate. If the discharge letters are acceptable, there is no harm in signing them and getting earlier payment, even if the discharge is unnecessary.

The advice also suggests that members should check the calculation made by the administrator and if not shown on the letter members should request that calculation so they can be satisfied that the amount due is correct before signing.

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE 

For information of retirees that retired between 2001 and 2006 and qualify for the back payment. Clive has spoken to Mr Tony Williams, Pensions Officer at FHQ, the tables have now come through to enable calculations to be made, they are more complex than first thought and work is ongoing to sort it all out. Those retirees that retired between the relevant dates have been identified and Mr Williams will write to those retirees in the near future to provide an update and timescales.

 

UPDATES RE COMMUTATIONS FACTOR DISPUTE

The following has been received from Mr Tony Williams, (Force Pensions Officer) at DPP FHQ:

Following careful consideration of the issue of the discharge notice, the Government have decided that, given the particular circumstances of this case, the use of discharge notices is NOT required in relation to these payments. They have also told the Forces that we can make payment to the individuals affected in line with the guidance provided by the Government Actuary’s Department.

Dyfed Powys Police Update:

I can confirm that we have completed the figures and have sent them away to be authorised by GAD. As soon as the figures get confirmed, between Carmarthenshire County Council (Pension administrators) and myself (Force Pension Officer) we will start to make the payments to the individuals affected.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your patience. 

 

GAD ISSUE COMMUTATION FACTORS FOR 2001 AND 2004

Following the determination of the Pensions Ombudsman in Milne v The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD), this document, provided by GAD, includes tables of factors to be used in calculating redress and detailed guidance for scheme administrators to aid them in calculating the amounts owed to individuals.

Use this link the document: NEW FACTORS GAD DOCUMENT

(The document confirms than men who retired on or after 1/12/2001 will receive additional amounts, unfortunately it confirms that only women who retired on or after 1/12/2004 will receive additional amounts - this is because the factors in the new 2001 tables are less than the factors that applied to women post 1998). 
 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - HOME OFFICE RESPOND TO NARPO LETTER

NARPO have now received a response from the Home Office in relation to the commutation factor dispute in which they confirm that Force Pension Administrators are now working to identify those affected, calculate the sums owed and ensuring that payments are made as soon as possible.

See more at: files/Hocommutation.pdf

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - UPDATE FROM THE GOVERNMENT ACTUARY'S DEPARTMENT (GAD)

Pensions Ombudsman determination (W Milne) – commutation factors update 3rd July 2015 .

The Pensions Ombudsman’s determination on the Milne complaint was published on Friday 15 May 2015, and GAD issued a Technical Bulletin on that date giving an outline of the case and the Ombudsman’s ruling. GAD and the Government accepted the Ombudsman’s determination in full: GAD has complied with the required actions in relation to the specific case of Mr Milne and is working with the relevant Government departments to facilitate redress in other cases. GAD has prepared the required tables of factors and shared them with the relevant Government departments. However, while these tables are a significant element in the determination of redress, in themselves they do not provide enough information to enable administrators to deal with specific cases. To ensure administrators have all the information they need, GAD is also preparing detailed guidance for calculating redress in a range of different circumstances. This guidance has now been prepared by GAD and is currently being reviewed. It includes information about when redress should be provided in the form of an additional lump sum and when in the form of an increase to the pension being paid, as well as how to handle cases where the pensioner has died. The guidance will shortly be finalised and issued to scheme managers for them to pass to the scheme administrators. We anticipate that this will be completed soon and certainly be available by the end of July to help scheme managers with their process. GAD expects that the guidance and accompanying factors will be published once they are passed to the scheme administrators, and GAD’s current position is that the factors will not be published separately from the finalised guidance. It is important to note that GAD has prepared the guidance in its professional role as actuarial adviser to the schemes concerned. GAD is not able to provide advice to individual members. Any queries from members concerning the process of calculating and paying redress should be directed to the relevant pension scheme

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - GOVERNMENT ACCEPT OMBUDSMAN DECISION

NARPO are pleased to note that they have now received a response from the Treasury in which they confirm that the Government accept the determination in full - not only in relation to Mr Milne but also in relation to the other individuals potentially affected by the determination. 

The Treasury also confirm that Police and Firefighter Pension Scheme  Administrators are now working to identify affected individuals and will ensure that payments are made as soon as possible.

NARPO are encouraging Members to be patient in this matter and not overburden Administrators with queries at this stage allowing them to get on with the task in hand as quickly as possible without distraction.

A copy of the letter can be viewed by clicking HERE

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE – OFFICERS WHO RETIRED PRE 2001

Following the publication of the Pension Ombudsman’s Determination into his investigation of a complaint of maladministration by the Government Actuary’s Department failure to regularly review police and fire-fighters pension commutation factors NARPO have received a high volume of enquiry about the outcome and implications for individual members of that determination.

The below link gives a brief history of the complaint and addresses, in particular, the question of further complaint about historic commutation factors. The views expressed in the document, in particular about further complaint, are based on comments made by the Ombudsman in his determination. 

To view the document click HERE

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE

Please note that Clive is receiving queries regarding the recent decision by the Ombudsman in relation to the Commutation Factor Dispute.  At present there is nothing to add to the information that can be found on the national NARPO website www.narpo.org as this contains the most up to date information.

Therefore, for those that may be affected by the decision, it is suggested that you keep an eye on the NARPO website for any updates.

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - UPDATE

The following email dated 18th May 2015, has been received from Clive in relation to the ongoing Commutation Factor Dispute:

I have received requests for a plain English version of the Commutation update sent out earlier, the ombudsman’s decision is based on one case, there is still scope for an appeal and the figures are as yet unknown.  I will keep you updated but below is a précis of the information received from NARPO HQ:

If you retired before 1st December 2001, you will not be receiving any payments as the Ombudsman has decided that the factors introduced in 1998 were sufficient.  Those retiring after 1st December 2006 will not be receiving any payments as the factors were revised as from 1st December 2006 (as a result of a successful legal case by the police Federation).

The applicable dates are for those retiring between 1st December 2001 and 30th November 2006 may be receiving payments based on the revised figures to be provided as of 1st December 2004.  As yet NARPO HQ have not had sight of the new factors produced by GAD (Government Actuaries Department) so are unable to indicate what this means in real terms to those so affected.

NARPO HQ will bring pressure to bear if required, on the Home Office and Forces to bring a swift conclusion to this matter with the minimum of fuss for our members and at this stage we are hopeful that the payments will be automatic without the need for individual complaints. It is hoped that this helps to answer any queries you may have.

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - UPDATE: 29 APRIL 2015

The Pensions Ombudsman Service has issued the following statement:

We have now received responses from the parties to the provisional decision that we issued earlier in March on the lead case we are investigating, and are now in the process of assessing them. We believe that we now have all the information we need to make a final determination and we expect to publish it in May.

Some people have asked if the publication of the Ombudsman’s findings has been delayed to wait for the outcome of the general election. The answer is “no”. In making decisions we are completely independent of government and party politics. We have not discussed the issue with politicians of any party, nor have they tried to discuss it with us.

Others have asked whether the fact that the present Ombudsman, Tony King, ends his time in office in a few weeks is likely to cause any further delay.  Tony King has every expectation of being able to complete the case before he stands down.

Finally, when the determination is made public, we intend to publish guidance on what action, if any, other retired police officers and firefighters who may be affected by the same issue need to take.

 

COMMUTATION FACTOR DISPUTE - LATEST NEWS

GAD and the retired fire-fighter who is the lead complainant have now been sent the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Conclusions. Essentially these set out the material facts of the case, any submissions made by the parties and the Ombudsman’s view of the outcome. The parties will now have a little time to prepare responses to what has been said.
See more via the Ombudsman site at: PENSION OMBUDSMAN

 

POLICE & FIRE SERVICE FAIRER COMMUTATION CAMPAIGN (FACEBOOK)

This Closed Facebook Group exists to connect retired Firefighters and Police Officers. (Serving colleagues and the next of kin of deceased colleagues are also welcome to join.).

The purpose of the group is to secure justice for the 30,000 who were disadvantaged by the failure of government departments to award correct commutation payments. It affects those who retired during a period from between 3rd May 1998 and 30th November 2006.

When you have access to the relevant page go to FILES and scroll down to FAQ Pension Issue V.5 as this will provide you with the issues involved and the reason for the ongoing campaign.

 

PENSION INCREASE 2015/16

Police Pensions Rise: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2014 is 1.2% and Police Pensions will rise in April 2015 for those eligible by the said amount.
For more information go to: http://www.narpo.org.uk/index.php/pensions/police-pensions.html.
 
 

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