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2017 Annual Benefit Statements

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The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) will issue Annual Benefit Statements for all active members of the Scottish: NHS, Teacher, Police and Firefighter Schemes from 31 August 2017.

Who is eligible to receive an Annual Benefit Statement?

To receive an Annual Benefit Statement, you must have been an active Scheme member on 31 March 2017.

 

What is an Annual Benefit Statement?

Your Annual Benefit Statement is a summary of your pension benefits up to 31 March 2017 providing details of:

· Current Accrued Pension Benefits

· Current level of death benefits

· Lifetime Allowance (LTA) information

Membership and pensionable pay data held on your record is provided on an annual basis by your employer and this information is used to calculate your Annual benefit Statement.

 

How can I access my Annual Benefit Statement?

· NHS and Teacher Pension Scheme members will be able to access their 2017 Annual Benefit Statement by registering and logging on to My pension Online member services.

· Police and Firefighter Pension Scheme members will have their 2017 Annual Benefit Statements posted to their home address.

 

Further Scheme specific guidance is available at the links below:

NHS Main menu ABS 2017  Teachers Main menu ABS 2017  Police Main menu ABS 2017  Firefighter Main menu ABS 2017

 

 

HMRC Personal Tax Account

Friday, 28 July 2017 08:18

HMRC have introduced a new service to allow you to manage your personal tax affairs.
Your online Personal Tax Account is a new way to view and manage your tax affairs in one secure place. There are a range of services available with more being added all the time.
You can use your personal tax account to:

• check your Income Tax estimate and tax code
• fill in, send and view a personal tax return
• claim a tax refund
• check and manage your tax credits
• check your State Pension
• track tax forms that you’ve submitted online
• check or update your Marriage Allowance
• tell HMRC about a change of address
• check or update benefits you get from work, for example company car details and medical insurance

Visit the HMRC website to sign in or set up your Personal Tax account.

Any queries relating to your personal tax must be made to HMRC on 0300 200 3300.

HMRC have introduced a new service to allow you to manage your personal tax affairs.

Your online Personal Tax Account is a new way to view and manage your tax affairs in one secure place. There are a range of services available with more being added all the time.

You can use your personal tax account to:

    • check your Income Tax estimate and tax code
    • fill in, send and view a personal tax return
    • claim a tax refund
    • check and manage your tax credits
    • check your State Pension
    • track tax forms that you’ve submitted online
    • check or update your Marriage Allowance
    • tell HMRC about a change of address
    • check or update benefits you get from work, for example company car details and medical insurance

Visit the HMRC website to sign in or set up your Personal Tax account at;

 HMRC Personal tax account: sign in or set up - GOV.UK

Any queries relating to your personal tax must be made to HMRC on 0300 200 3300

 

Appointment of new SPPA Chief Executive

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 10:34

Penelope Cooper 4

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency has announced the appointment of Penelope Cooper as its new Chief Executive.

Penelope, who is a Chartered Manager, will be responsible for the smooth running of the Agency in its management of key Public Sector Pension Schemes.

Penelope has 25 years' experience working in the Financial Sector in Scotland, London and mainland Europe, working for a range of companies including Citibank, Standard Life, HBOS and OneLife. She has gained a wide experience across the sector, and specifically within Pensions and Life Assurance.

She has also previously served as Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Europe.

Originally from Wales, after 14 years of working in mainland Europe, Penelope has returned to Scotland where she has very strong family connections.

Penelope said ' I am delighted to be joining SPPA at an exciting time for both the organisation, and the pensions industry more generally. I look forward to building on the successes already achieved, and to preparing the SPPA for the opportunities that lie ahead.'

 

Changes to nominated partner benefits

Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:38

Nominated partner benefits (also known as adult partner benefits in the police schemes) were introduced to public service schemes between 2006 and 2009. As part of entitlement to those benefits it was a mandatory requirement that a nomination form had to be completed (this requirement was removed from the Local Government Pensions Scheme with effect from 1 April 2015). This requirement was in addition to meeting the underlying conditions which must be satisfied for a continuous period of at least 2 years for a nominated partner pension to be paid.

Broadly these are:

· The scheme member is able to marry, or form a civil partnership with their partner;

· The scheme member and partner are living with each other as if they were a married couple or civil partners;

· Neither the scheme member nor the partner is living with a third person as if they were a married couple or civil partners; and

· The member and partner are financially interdependent or the partner is financially dependent on the member.

Nominated partner benefits were not introduced to the Police 1987 or the Firefighters 1992 schemes but members were given the opportunity to transfer to the 2006 schemes on preferential terms which do provide these benefits.

 

What’s changed?

On 8 February 2017, the Supreme Court decided that refusing a claim on the grounds that a nomination form had not been completed despite the underlying conditions being met is incompatible with Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and was therefore unlawful

The Supreme Court's decision also applies to other public service schemes, and since February SPPA has removed the mandatory requirement to complete a nomination form, although a form can still be completed on a voluntary basis. However the underlying conditions mentioned above have not changed and must still be met for a claim to succeed.

Scottish Ministers have decided that this change should be applied to any case that has previously met the underlying conditions but which would not have gained entitlement due to the lack of a nomination form. In those cases the member concerned should contact SPPA for guidance. It is important to note that to enable a nominated partner pension to be paid the underlying conditions must be met.

SPPA has applied this change for claims received from 8 February 2017 but this change will also apply to any claim disallowed where a nomination form was not held but the underlying conditions were met.
 

My claim was refused because my partner had not completed a nomination form- what do I need to do?

If you made a claim for a nominated partner benefit before 8 February 2017 and were refused on the grounds that a nomination form had not been completed then you should contact the SPPA as soon as possible for further advice.

Although the mandatory requirement for a completed nomination form has been withdrawn a form will still be available for anyone who would like to inform SPPA of their partnership details. This will only be used for administrative purposes but may provide useful additional information in the event of a claim being made. As mentioned above any entitlement to a nominated partner benefit will be based on the underlying conditions being met.

 

Teachers Schemes only

Nominated partner benefits are based on a member's service from 1 April 2007. There is an opportunity for existing scheme members to increase the amount of nominated partner benefits by buying pre 1 April 2007 service. This was previously offered on receipt of a nomination form but as completion of these forms will no longer be mandatory anyone interested in purchasing additional service for nominated partner benefits should contact SPPA. To  elect to buy pre 2007 service  an application must be made within 6 months of the partnership meeting the underlying conditions, as shown above, and which must be satisfied for a continuous period of at least 2 years.

 

Tax Changes for 2017/18 Update

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 12:14 Friday, 07 April 2017 09:53

Further to our previous notification of  tax bandwidths for 2017/18 and also changes to the Scottish Rate bandwidths.
The tables below provides examples of what it means for you.
UK Income Tax rates (if your main residence is out with Scotland). Example based on having a standard Personal Allowance of £11,500.

UK Income Tax rates

Band

Taxable income

Tax rate

Personal Allowance

Up to £11,500

0%

Basic rate

£11,501 to £45,000

20%

Higher rate

£45,001 to £150,000

40%

Additional rate

over £150,000

45%

Scottish Income Tax rates (if your main residence is in Scotland). Example based on having a Personal Allowance of £11,500. (You don’t get a Personal Allowance if you pay additional rate tax).

Band

Taxable income

Tax rate

Personal Allowance

Up to £11,500

0%

Basic rate

£11,501 to £43,000

20%

Higher rate

£43,001 to £150,000

40%

Additional rate

over £150,000

45%

Further information on income Tax rates and Personal Allowances can be found on the Gov.uk website: Income Tax rates and Personal Allowances - GOV.UK
If you have an enquiry regarding your personal tax please contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300

For 2017 to 2018 the basic Personal Allowance will be £11,500 and the basic rate limit will be £33,500. However, for Scottish tax-payers the basic rate limit will be £31,930.
The new threshold (starting point) for PAYE is £221 per week (£958 per month).
The new emergency tax code is 1150L for all employees.
Income Tax rates and bandwidths are:

   UK Rate %              Bandwith Scottish Rate            %             Bandwith
   Basic Rate 20% £1 to £33,500             Basic Rate 20% £1 to £31,930
   Higher Rate 40% £33,501 to £150,000                            Higher Rate 40% £31,931 to £150,000
   Additional Rate           45% £150,001 and above               Additional Rate 45% £150,001 and above

If you have an enquiry regarding personal tax please contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300 or visit:
www.gov.uk/income-tax

 

 

Pensions Increase 2017/18

Monday, 13 March 2017 10:18

Public service pensions in payment, together with those that are deferred for payment at a future date, are indexed annually based on the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measured as at the previous September. In the 12 months to September 2016, CPI was 1%. As a result, an increase of 1% is to be applied from 10 April 2017 for pensions in payment and deferred pensions. The UK Government expects to lay the Pensions Increase (Review) Order 2017 later this month.
 

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