GMP Overpayments Arising from a Scheme’s Reconciliation Exercise

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In common with public service schemes across the UK a number of overpayments are expected to be identified from the reconciliation exercise where current GMP data held by schemes is incorrect. This will have resulted in schemes paying too much annual indexation to affected pensioners where all or part of the GMP indexation has also been paid by DWP.

A similar exercise undertaken in 2008/09 identified schemes were found to be holding incorrect GMP data. Scottish Ministers chose to allow the pension in payment to remain unadjusted going forward for affected pensioners in the LGPS, Police and Firefighter schemes. This was achieved by introducing legislation that provided for a new scheme award known as an increased Pension Entitlement (IPE) which reflected the GMP related overpayment.  It was not possible to introduce an IPE for either the Teachers' or the NHS scheme as this would have required HM Treasury consent which was not given.

Scottish Ministers have decided that a similar approach should be taken for GMP related overpayments that arise from the current reconciliation exercise. Again this means that affected pensions in the LGPS, Police and Firefighter schemes will see their existing level of pension maintained by the award of an IPE and regulations to provide for this award will be consulted on during 2018. However as in 2008/9 it will not be possible to apply an IPE to affected Teachers' and NHS pensioners as to provide a similar approach requires HM Treasury consent for the necessary legislative changes.

A decision on how any accrued overpayments will be handled will be decided by the scheme's Accountable Officer as soon as the total number and amount of overpayments are known. There may also be a small number of cases where the incorrect GMP data has led to an underpayment of pension.  In these cases the affected pension will be corrected going forward with any arrears being paid to the pensioner.

SPPA will not be able to identify which pensioners are affected until the reconciliation exercise concludes in late 2018 so cannot communicate directly with affected members at this time. This will be done at the conclusion of the reconciliation along with a decision on how accrued GMP related overpayments will be managed. In the meantime the following Q&A aims to address some of the questions that may arise.

Q&A: GMP overpayments arising from a scheme's reconciliation exercise

Link to Scottish Government Website