VICTORY
With the compliments of British Age Pensioner Alliance

One of our members has had a significant win in a tussle with DWP.

 
She has a pension from a public sector source, a County Council. Because she now lives in Canada part of her pension from the Council is frozen by DWP. In this situation, DWP is supposed to tell the pension fund to make up the difference.
 
While she was trying to get justice on this matter, DWP  batted it about from department to department. But now after long months and many emails she has won.
 
There is a standard procedure for this situation, but nobody in DWP seemed to know about it. Fortunately for her, we did. She had to knock a few heads together - metaphorically, though I am sure she could have done so literally, given the chance.

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
policy colleagues.

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
Bxxx.

Once again I am sorry for the confusion we have caused on this matter.

Your sincerely

Jim Rynn

Acting Pension Centre Manager
International Pension Centre
Room TC216
Tyneview Park
Newcastle Upon Tyne
 
0191 21 87071
07836 352287
 
 

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!

 
   

Another Victory.

Joy has lived in Australia for 20 years, and in all that time the GMP portion of her teacher's pension has been frozen. Through the efforts of BAPA she discovered that she was being deprived of her rights.
 
She and David have followed up assiduously and have now been rewarded. She will receive back pay with interest, and her teacher's pension will immediately be handsomely increased.
 
If you are a public service pensioner, teacher, sailor, health worker, county council worker, then you may need to check and you may get an unpleasant surprise, followed by a pleasant surprise if your press your case.
 
Now here is the lesson.
 
If you have a pension from the public sector derived from employment between 1978 and 1997, you may also be affected - and you will not be aware of it.

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.

 

The Pension Increase (Review) Order 2007

 I am pleased to inform you that under the above Order your Pension Paid by xxxxx Pension Services has been increased as shown below: 

 

 

 

Current Annual Pension

 

1000.00

 

LESS Total G.M.P. (if applicable)

 

200.00

 

 

 

800.00

 

3.6% Pension Increase:

28.80

 

 

3% Pension Increase on

 

 

 

Post 88 G.M.P. (0.00):

0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Pension Increase

 

28.80

 

ADD Total G.M.P. (if applicable)

 

200.00

 

New Annual Pension

 

1028.80

 

The monthly gross amount shown on your pay advice has an adjustment, as the increase does not apply from the beginning of a calendar month.

 

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.

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