One of our members has had a significant win in a tussle with DWP.
The DWP (IPC) tried to say that Mrs B was not entitled to the uprating of her GMP. It was clear from their letter that they completely misunderstood the Treasury rules on the subject. On a challenge by our resident actuary, one letter only pointing out their error, they capitulated. Unconditional surrender.
We are now trying to press them into reviewing their records on every public sector pensioner, but they are dragging their feet, claiming that they have to consult their policy colleagues.
Dear Mr Nelson
Thank your for your e-mail dated 23rd October 2007. I am sorry for the
delay in replying to you but I needed to review the advice provided by
The letter sent to Mrs Bxxx on my behalf on 8 October contained
incorrect information about Public Sector Pension Schemes'
responsibility to pay increases on Public Service Pensions and I
acknowledge that your e-mail dated 23 October set out the correct
approach to the uprating when a person receiving such a pension moves to
a frozen rate country.
I am sorry for the confusion our letter caused.
I have written separately to Mrs Bxxx to apologise to her for this.
I can confirm that we have reviewed our process for dealing with cases
like this and we are taking steps to ensure that our staff understand
how to deal correctly with customers in the same position as Mrs
Once again I am sorry for the confusion we have caused on this matter.
Acting Pension Centre Manager
International Pension Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
0191 21 87071
Unfortunately Jim Rynn retired shortly after this episode, and IPC have not done anything to tell public sector pensioners how they are affected and what they should do.
Here is the explanation given by the Civil Service Pensioners Association. It is all right so far as it goes, but in our view it should be an initiative of the DWP to search its database for cases that have been missed in the past. However, alerting pensioners to the situation and prodding them to write to the International pensions Centre is the next best thing. Besides, pensioners are probably better than computers at this kind of thing!
BAPA can help you. Bureaucrats seem to be very confused about this simple procedure. See How it is done. Experiences of members suggest that it is up to the pensioner to pursue it both with DWP and the administrators of the pension scheme.
Public sector covers civil service, local government service, armed forces, police and other emergency services, National Health Service, teaching service, and of course, MPs and judges.
If you get an occupational pension from a Public Sector source, and if you earned the pension for service between 1978 and 1997, then you need to dig out the last increase advice that you received.
If you receive a regular advice like this and the GMP amount is not zero, then you are probably not getting the proper increase to your pension.
This is an updated version of an advice received in 2005. The 3.6% increase has not been applied to the GMP. As a result, the total pension has been increased only by 2.88 % instead of 3.6%.
Here is an explanation from a County Council in its annual advice to its pensioners.
Unfortunately, neither DWP nor HMRC seems to be diligent about telling the County Council. You will have to fight for your rights.
Back to Information Page
Back to Home Page