Thursday, 24 March 2016 12:24
In the budget on 16 March 2016, the UK Government announced changes to the Discount Rate which is used for financing purposes in public service pension schemes. The discount rate has been reduced from 3% above CPI per annum to 2.8% above CPI per annum, with a resulting impact on certain actuarial factors used in the schemes.. As the discount rate determines the way in which cash equivalent transfer values (CETV's) for public sector schemes are calculated, we have had to suspend some calculations with immediate effect for the NHS, Teachers', Police and Fire Schemes in Scotland. Transfers in and out of the Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) are also on hold. We expect to receive revised factors from the Governments Actuaries Department (GAD) within the next 2-4 weeks.
What type of transfers are affected?
CETVs for transfer outs to non-club defined benefit schemes from NHS, Teachers’, Police and Fire schemes in Scotland: This may affect you if you are transferring your benefits to another pension scheme. If we provided you with an estimate before 16 March 2016, and receive your request to transfer out within the guarantee period, we will review the value quoted against the new calculations and pay the greater of the two.
If you have previously received a transfer quote and decided not to proceed you may wish to review your decision. If you wish to do so, please request a new quote by writing to the Transfer Team at the SPPA.
Transfer ins from non-club schemes to the NHS, Teachers’ and Police schemes in Scotland: This may affect you if you have requested a transfer into the 2015 Scheme, and the transfer payment was not received before 16 March 2016. If you accept a transfer in quote, provided by us before 16 March 2016, within the guarantee period we will review the value quoted against the new calculations and pay the greater of the two. If you have not accepted your transfer and are still considering the action to take we will recalculate your transfer using the new factors once you confirm your decision to proceed.
Pension Sharing on Divorce: The provision of a CETV for divorce purposes is unlikely to be affected if your separation date is prior to 16 March 2016. There may be a delay in implementing any pension sharing orders received from 16 March 2016 until the new factors are received.
As LGPS transfers are also on hold, any queries should be directed to the relevant administrator.
In addition to revising CETV factors, GAD has also revised lump sum commutation factors applicable to officers retiring from the 1987 Police and 1992 Firefighters’ pension schemes in Scotland.