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Employment Tribunal - Transitional Pensions

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 10:25

Scottish Ministers note the decision of the Employment Tribunal, which determined that the age-related transitional protections included in the reform of the Firefighters' pension scheme were lawful. Subject to any further legal challenge the transitional protections introduced from April 2015 continue to apply.

 

Tax Changes for 2017/18

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 09:53

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

 

 

Transfer Club Factors

Friday, 03 February 2017 09:22

Public Sector Transfer Club factors have been updated and are effective from 1 March 2017. Any club transfer values or pension credit estimates issued or received with a relevant date prior to 1 March 2017, will be honoured, subject to meeting the three month guarantee period requirements. Where the guarantee period is not met, any request to transfer in or out of the scheme, from 1 March 2017, will require a recalculation using the new factors.

 

Teachers 2015 Scheme - Faster Accruals

Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:18

This is a reminder to Teachers' 2015 Scheme Members who took out a faster accrual contract in 2016/17 that the contract will run out on 31 March 2017

Should you wish to take out a new contract for the tax year 2017/2018, please apply before 31 March 2017. Any applications received after this may not be accepted.

If you are new to the scheme, or are interested in learning more about faster accrual, please see the factsheet.

 

Firefighters 18-20 SFRS Refunds

Thursday, 29 December 2016 10:16

finance

The amending regulations SSI, which will enable the SPPA to make payments in respect of the Firefighters 'Contributions Holiday', were laid in Parliament on 22 December 2016 and come into force from 6 Feb 2017.

On 23 December 2016 the SPPA Acting Chief Executive wrote to those affected by the amended regulations confirming the progress the Agency has made to date, and our requirements to ensure we can meet our anticipated timescales.

Retired members: We have verified all individuals affected by the 'contributions holiday' and are running test cases to ensure all calculations are correct. We aim to finalise calculations and notify individuals of their entitlement from 6 February 2017 and make payments by 31 March 2017, subject to the return of the appropriate mandates from the members affected.

Active members: The SPPA has confirmed with SFRS that the contributions holiday can commence from 6 February 2017.  GAD will provide the Agency with a calculator specifically for active members and we aim to advise the SFRS of the refund amounts due by  31 March 2017.

*HMRC Requirements:

HMRC has confirmed that the refund payments generated by the retrospective application of the employee contributions holiday constitute unauthorised payments and, as such, will generate an unauthorised payment charge tax liability. An agreement has been reached regarding payment of the surcharge, at no loss to the member, on the provision of a completed mandate to SPPA.  Please see the following link for more information on Unauthorised payments - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pension-schemes-and-unauthorised-payments

Some scheme members may have received additional income from other sources outside their employment as a firefighter during the contributions holiday period and may have sought additional tax relief on their firefighter pension contributions direct from HMRC based on this additional income.  If this has been the case we would arrange for the Governments Actuary Department (GAD) to arrange a bespoke calculation.

Further information is included in our FAQ's.

 

Consultation on GMP indexation and equalisation

Thursday, 01 December 2016 09:46

Contracted out employment ended on 5 April 2016. Between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997 members of contracted out occupational schemes built up an element known as a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). A GMP is intended to be broadly equivalent to the additional earnings related state pension the member would have received had they not been contracted out. A GMP becomes payable when a member reaches State Pension age and public service pension schemes were contracted out.

Prior to 6 April part of the annual indexation for a GMP was paid with the member's State Pension but this process ended with the introduction of the New Single Tier State Pension from 6 April 2016. Those receiving a GMP before 6 April 2016 are unaffected by this change.

It is anticipated that the loss of GMP indexation will be offset by individuals building up entitlement in the more generous Single Tier State Pension. However those close to State Pension age will not have the same opportunity to offset their GMP indexation loss and to address this the UK Government introduced an interim solution for those reaching state pension age between April 2016 and December 2018. For these members full indexation on their public service pension scheme  including any GMP will be provided for the member's lifetime by their public service scheme.

In announcing the interim solution the UK Government set out that it would undertake a  public consultation setting out options and seeking views on a permanent solution that will deliver GMP indexation That solution will also provide equalised indexation payments reflecting the different accrual rate of GMP for men and women. On 28 November 2016 HM Treasury issued the UK Government's consultation  and full details are available via the following link  Consultation on indexation and equalisation of GMP in public service pension schemes - GOV.UK  The consultation closes on 20 February 2017.

This consultation refers to those pension scheme members who have a GMP and reach state pension age after December 2018.

 

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