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2018 Annual Benefit Statements

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Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

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 2018.

Who is eligible to receive an Annual Benefit Statement?

To receive an Annual Benefit Statement, you must have been an active Scheme member.

 

What is an Annual Benefit Statement?

Your Annual Benefit Statement is a summary of your pension benefits up to 31 March 2018 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 2018 Annual Benefit Statement by registering and logging on to My pension Online member services.

· Police and Firefighter Pension Scheme members will have their 2018 Annual Benefit Statements posted to their home address.

 

Further Scheme specific guidance is available at the links below:

NHS ABS Main menu 2018  Teachers ABS Main menu 2018  Police ABS Main menu 2018  Fire ABS Main menu 2018

      

 

 

Action Fraud advice on pension scams

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Wednesday, 22 August 2018 09:11

Following an increase in this specific Scam, Action Fraud have posted the following advice. 

Pension Scammers promise to convert pension funds into cash before retirement, or in some cases they may suggest people can take more than 25% of their pension pot as cash. Pension fraudsters promise to convert the pension benefits into cash before age 55.

Criminals are believed to be fraudulently exploiting the pension liberation process in a number of ways. These include failing to advise members of the tax implications of receiving cash from their pension; failing to advise members of the full extent of fees to be paid in relation to any onward investment; falsely representing anticipated levels of returns when investments are either non - exsistent or incapable of providing such a return.

The scammers have a variety of tricks to catch you out. They may:

  • claim that you can access your pension pot before age 55
  • approach you out of the blue over the phone, via text message or in person door to door
  • entice you with upfront cash
  • offer a free 'pension review' or try to lure you in with so-called 'one-off' investment opportunities

Check for facts before you make an irreversible decision. A lifetime's savings can be lost in a moment.

The Pension Regulator's five steps to avoid becoming a victim of a pension scam:

  • Cold called about your pension - just hang up!
  • Check the credentials of the compant and any advisers - who should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Ask for a statement showing how your pension will be paid at retirement, and question who will look after your money until then 
  • Speak to an adviser that is not associated with the deal you've been offered, for unbiased advice
  • Never be rushed into agreeing to a pension transfer

For more information about pension scams visit The Pensions Regulator website

Before you sign anything call The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047

The HM Revenue & Customs website highlights the tax consequences of pension liberation to individuals.

If you have been a victim of this type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling them on 0300 123 2040 or by using the online reporting tool

 

HMRC - Pensioner tax codes

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:30

We have recently been made aware of an issue with HMRC in relation to tax codes for some of our 2018-19 pension payments. HMRC have advised that they have now corrected the issue, and where applicable new tax codes (with an effective date of 11/07/2018) have been issued to SPPA.

If you have any specific queries about your tax code please contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300.

 

Trade Union Facility Time Disclosures

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 11:32

The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements ) Regulations 2017, took effect from 1 April 2017 and requires employers in the public sector to publish information on facility time.  Facility time is the provision of paid or unpaid time off from an employee's normal role to undertake trade union duties and activities as a trade union representative.

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency had two (FTE equivalent: two) employees who were trade union officials during the year to 31 March 2018.  Both employees spent between 1-50% of working hours on facility time.  The percentage of the Agency's total pay bill spent on paying employees who were relevant trade union officials for facility time during the relevant period was 0.03%.  Time spent on paid trade union activities as a percentage of total paid facility time hours was 100%.

 

SPPA IT Project

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Monday, 14 May 2018 13:01

Following recent press coverage on the SPPA IT project, we would like to reassure our customers that our focus, as it has been throughout this project, is to safeguard services for our customers. This will ensure that pensions continue to be paid on time and that we support scheme members appropriately.

There is no change in the service that SPPA provide and we will continue to put the customers' needs at the heart of our service delivery and work on business solutions to enhance the customer experience.

 

Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure Changes May 2018

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Friday, 27 April 2018 11:32

SPPA are introducing an improved one stage Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP) procedure which will take effect from 1 May 2018.

Any IDRP appeals received at SPPA up to 30 April 2018 will be dealt with under the current two stage process. 

Why is SPPA changing from a two stage to a one stage IDRP process, and what will this mean for our customers?

The change is being introduced to improve our customers' experience and their journey through the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP). Section 50 of the 1995 Pensions Act requires occupational pension schemes to provide a disputes procedure which allows someone with an interest in the scheme to ask for a matter in dispute to be resolved. SPPA's IDRP process currently incorporates two stages, but with effect from 1 May 2018 this will move to a one stage process. This includes appeals made on non-medical grounds for all schemes SPPA administer (Scottish NHS, Teachers', Firefighters' and Police), for example where a member disputes the level of their pension, and, ill health retirement for NHS (including Injury Benefits), and Teachers'. Medical appeals arising from both the Scottish Firefighters' and Police pension and compensation schemes will continue to be reviewed by a medical board provided by Health Management Ltd.

Moving to a one stage process will provide our customers with a robust, focussed and more efficient service and will be implemented with the support of stakeholder groups, Scottish Pension and Scheme Advisory Boards, (details of both Board's membership are available on the SPPA website) and The Pension Ombudsman. The Pensions Ombudsman supports a one stage process in providing a more timely process for individuals to achieve an outcome on their dispute.

 It should be noted that this does not affect SPPA's Complaints Handling Procedures which will remain as a two stage process.

 

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