Pension News

Pension News

 

GUIDANCE NOTES -  POLICE PENSION

These guidance notes provide important information about what to do upon the death of a person in receipt of a pension from Dyfed-Powys Police. It also contains contact details for Dyfed Powys Police and Carmarthenshire County Council together with answers to frequently asked questions. To view or print the document click on: GUIDANCE NOTES (Opens as a PDF file). 

 

PUBLIC SECTOR PENSION SCHEMES

The following has been received from Mr. Steve Edwards (CEO NARPO UK):
Please see attached letter (Click on LETTER) sent to HM Treasury in response to the Government decision to implement the Deferred Choice Underpin as the remedy to the discrimination caused in public sector pension schemes, this follows the 2018 Court of Appeal’s judgement in McCloud that found the Government had discriminated against public sector workers in their policy of transitional protection, which was part of the 2015 reforms to public service pension schemes.

I have also attached a document (Click on DOCUMENT) from HM Treasury outlining the resolution.

 

SEPTEMBER CPI PUBLISHED

The Office for National Statistics have now published the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2020 and this stands at 0.5%

Full details can be found on the ONS website

 

WIDOWS / WIDOWERS PENSION FOR LIFE

Survivors shouldn’t have to choose between financial security and happiness.

We need a UK-wide policy that mirrors Northern Ireland’s, ensuring that those that remarry or cohabit after the loss of their loved one retain their pensions in full, regardless of circumstance.

Further information about the campaign is contained in these leaflets: Widows Pension for Life  and An inequality in a United Kingdom

It’s time to get rid of this inequality. #pensionsforlife

August 2020 - Article in Guardian Newspaper:

The Home Office is being forced to defend regulations in England and Wales that are less generous than similar schemes operating in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and for members of the armed services.

Lawyers acting on behalf of four widows and a widower on Friday 21st August lodged their claim against the government in the high court in Manchester, alleging that regulation C9 of the 1987 police pension scheme breaches their human rights.

The National Association for Retired Police Officers and the Police Federation, which both support the legal action, say the rules force bereaved partners to choose between “financial security or isolation”.

Brian Burdus, the president of NARPO, said: “We have been campaigning to remove this archaic and unfair regulation for a number of years, due to the restrictions it places on the rights of widows and widowers.”

He added: “It is extremely disappointing that the government have not worked with us to resolve this matter, despite our repeated attempts, but we hope now that the court will deliver justice so that widows and survivors are not faced with making the choice between financial security or isolation.”

To see the full Guardian article, please use the following link-

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/31/police-pension-rules-officers-widows-widowers-face-court-challenge-england-wales

 

PENSION INFORMATION 2020/2021

Many thanks to NARPO members Liz & Grahame Davies, former West Midlands officers, who have compiled the following information regarding the State Pension and Police Pension:

STATE PENSION INCREASE 3.9% DUE TO TRIPLE LOCK

Pensioners on highest rate will receive £175.20p per week (instead of £168.60p) This equates to £700.80p every 4 weeks. The increase for the year will be £343.20p up to the end of tax year 20/21. 

Most will receive below the highest amount due to ‘contracting out’ in 1978. Contracting out was a system where employees gave up their right to additional state pension, in the form or the state earnings related pension scheme, ‘Serps’.

 

MARRIAGE ALLOWANCE, RE INCOME TAX.

Useful information if you qualify and have not claimed, it can be backdated to 2015: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance

You can benefit from Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership
  • You do not pay Income Tax or your income is below your Personal Allowance (usually £12,500)
  • Your partner pays Income Tax at the basic rate, which usually means their income is between £12,501 and £50,000 before they receive Marriage Allowance

 

PENSIONS FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN UPDATE

The NARPO National Executive Committee recently agreed that we should take legal advice to ascertain if there was a claim in law to challenge the archaic regulation surrounding this matter. As a result, we (NARPO) have consulted with solicitors and a leading Human Rights barrister who is of the opinion that we have a sound case to pursue the matter under the Human Rights Act and the right to fair proceedings under Article 6, the protection of property under Article 1 Protocol 1 and the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life under Article 8.

 NARPO are now in the process of gathering as much information as we can both from those widows, widowers and families of those who have been affected by this Regulation and have compiled questionnaires for members to complete and return to our Solicitors. Once all the evidence and information has been assessed and relevant witness statements obtained, the next step will be to formulate a Protocol letter of Claim and send it to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then make a formal letter of response to our Solicitors and at that stage we will review prospects and consider whether formal proceedings can and should be commenced at Court.We are pleased to say that the Police Federation have now joined us in this legal action and will add their weight behind the argument.

·         At some point surely the Government will see that this Regulation is outdated and that ALL police widows and widowers throughout the United Kingdom should have the right to retain their pension and retain their dignity without having to make that difficult and almost impossible choice.

We will continue to pursue this matter to obtain parity for police widows and widowers throughout the United Kingdom.

To find out more about how this unfair Regulation is affecting widows and their families today watch our video here.

  

WIDOWS PENSION FOR LIFE

Between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday 1st May 2019 at Portcullis House, London, we held another drop-in reception to raise awareness of our Widows Pension For Life campaign, which calls for parity for police widows / widowers within the United Kingdom, should they choose to remarry or cohabit following the death of their husband / wife. The reception was a good opportunity to reach Members from both Houses.

Parliamentarian Briefing document was given to MP’s and their Advisers with the actions we would like them to take in support of this Campaign.

Please find the following link to those MP’s or representatives who attended -

Drop In attendees

 Holly Lynch MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) which can be found here:

Police widows pension equality

We also encourage NARPO members to write to their MP to highlight this extremely important campaign and to support the EDM.

Please use this link to the template letter for members to complete and send to their MP- Letter to MP

You can find your MP at: Find your MP

Further information about the campaign is contained in these leaflets: Widows Pension for Life  and An inequality in a United Kingdom

 

EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE AND INJURY AWARDS

Important changes have been made to the Police [Injury Benefit] Regulations 2006. The amendment rectifies the situation created via the previous amendment which made ESA deductible from an injury award in any circumstances, even if for a different illness / injury than the illness / injury subject of the injury award.

The NARPO bulletin that provides further details can be found by clicking HERE

                                                                           

WERE YOU A SERVING OFFICER IN 1972 OR 1990?

The following has been posted on the NARPO HQ website:

Were you a serving officer in 1972 or 1990? If so you will have been given the opportunity to uprate your widow[er] pension.

We (NARPO HQ) have recently been made aware of an issue in relation to the inadequate retention of important pension records around the election made by Officers in 1972, when an option was given to uprate their widows pension entitlement from a third to a half.

The issue initially arose where a NARPO member died and told his wife before he died to make sure she received the half–rate pension as he had decided to uprate. The Pension Authority could find no records relating to the officer’s pension in 1972 and as a result made the decision that they would only pay the widows pension at the rate of a third. The officer in question had transferred from another Force and it would appear that his pension record was not transferred over with him. The widow was adamant, but nevertheless the Pension Authority refused to uprate the pension despite their being no record whatsoever covering his previous service.

Owing to the widows’ persistence and with assistance from our local NARPO Branch, the widow managed to find her late husband’s records in a separate location. That file contained a form signed by her husband in 1973 showing that he had elected to increase the widow pension entitlement through reduction in his own pension.

In correspondence with the Force concerned they have confirmed that in the absence of any records being found from 1972 they would automatically pay the widows pension at the rate of a third.

This record keeping issue could also affect those female officers serving in 1990, when an opportunity was given for them to ‘buy back’ previous service so that it attracted a half rate widower’s pension. This should be recorded on their pension records. Make sure your loved one receives the pension to which they are entitled.

YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONTACT YOUR PENSION ADMINISTRATOR TO MAKE SURE THEY STILL HAVE A RECORD OF YOUR ELECTION www.narpo.org/find-pension-administrator

 

WIDOWS PENSION ENTITLEMENT

The following has been received from NARPO HQ:

There appears to some uncertainty regarding the widows pension entitlement.
For clarity prior to April 1972 widows pension entitlement was a third. The Police Pension Regulations changed in 1972 and Pension Contributions increased to 7% which increased the widows entitlement to a half.
The Regulations allowed those in service prior to 1st April 1972 to enhance their pre-April 1972 widows entitlement to a half at a cost. At that time officers were given a time limited opportunity to upgrade pre-1972 service for the purpose of their widows pensions. To achieve this upgrade of earlier years, three options were offered; the payment of a lump sum, additional contributions from pay until the end of service or payment from the future police pension. Not all officers took the option to 'buy' back service.
Anyone who joined after April 1972 will automatically leave a half rate widows pension. Anyone with service prior to April 1972 and continuing to serve, will either leave a half [if they chose to uprate] or a mixture of a third for service prior to April 1972 and a half for the period after 1972. The election was effectively to ‘buy back’ previous service pre-April 1972, to attract a half rate widows pension.

 

MARRIAGE TAX ALLOWANCE:

Did you know you may be entitled to a tax break called the marriage tax allowance? The marriage tax allowance is a little known way for couples to transfer a proportion of their personal allowance (the amount you can earn tax-free each tax year) between them.

HOW IT WORKS

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,150 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner - if they earn more than you.

This reduces their tax by up to £230 in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the next year).

To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must have an income of £11,500 or less. You can calculate how much tax you’ll pay as a couple.

WHO CAN APPLY?

You can get Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership
  • You don’t earn anything or your income is £11,500 or less
  • Your partner’s income is between £11,501 and £45,000 (or £43,000 if you’re in Scotland)

For more information and to apply online click on: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance

You can backdate your claim to include any tax year since 5 April 2015 that you were eligible for Marriage Allowance.

N.B. You don't need to reapply if you got the marriage tax allowance last year.

 

PENSION OMBUDSMAN DETERMINATION ON TAX LIABILITIES ON RE-EMPLOYMENT

An important decision if any NARPO members are facing tax liabilities as a result of re-employment by the Police:

The Pension Ombudsman in a South Wales case has determined that the Police and Crime Commissioner had a duty of care, as an employer, to have informed the Applicant of the tax implications of re - employment on his retirement benefits. Its failure to do so has led to the Applicant incurring tax charges on his retirement benefits.

As a responsible employer the Commissioner had a duty of care to inform the Applicant of the tax implications of re-employment on his retirement benefits. I find that as a consequence of their failure to do so that they should reasonably meet the tax PO-7096 liabilities incurred by the applicant in this regard. So, I agree with the stance taken by the Commissioner that it proposes to pay the tax liability for the applicant in relation to this issue on confirmation of the amount from HMRC.

Full case link: https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/determinations/2015/po-7096/police-pension-scheme/

 

EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (ESA) - UPDATE

The below update has been received via e-mail from the CEO at NARPO Wakefield and is published in its entirety here in order that those retired officers that may be affected by the illegal deductions are fully aware:

​We have today received an email from the Home Office stating that whilst they are going to alter the Police [Injury Benefit] Regulations 2006 to make ESA a relevant deductible benefit, they have confirmed that any such change will not be retrospective.

As such all those Forces who have refused to refund any monies already unlawfully deducted from injury pensions should now be requested to repay such money unlawfully deducted without delay.​

The email has been sent to all Forces so they should now be aware of this. See email below:

From: Police Pension Team 
Sent: 06 April 2016 14:40
Subject: RE: Employment and Support Allowance - Update

Dear colleagues, 

As you may be aware there has been an inconsistent approach being adopted by forces regarding the deduction of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). 

We have confirmed in the past that we will be amending the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 to make it express on the face of legislation that ESA payments are to be deducted. Until the Regulations are amended, the advice remains that forces should comply with the current Regulations. 

Please note that these changes will not have retrospective effect and will come into force on the date of implementation. 

The Home Office will be providing further updates, including the intended implementation date, in due course. 

Kind Regards,

Police Pension Team

Police Workforce and Capability Unit I Home Office I 6th Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF I Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

 

 
 

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