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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.


NHS and Teachers’ Pension Calculators now available on the SPPA Website

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 14:46

SPPA has published Pension calculators for use by members of the National Health Service and Teachers' pension schemes in Scotland. The calculators will provide you with an illustration of your Scheme benefits at a future retirement date. It is for illustrative purposes only and is not a guarantee of future benefits. It is not intended to provide you with financial advice. If you require financial advice, you should contact an independent financial adviser.

NHS Pension Calculator

Teachers' Pension Calculator



Pension Ombudsman & TPR

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:57

The role and responsibilities of The Pension Ombusman (TPO) & The Pension Reglator (TPR) have changed.

The Pensions Ombudsman deals with complaints and disputes which concern the administration and/or management of occupational and personal pension schemes. 

You have the right to refer your complaint to The Pensions Ombudsman free of charge. 

Contact with The Pensions Ombudsman about a complaint needs to be made within three years of when the event(s) you are complaining about happened - or, if later, within three years of when you first knew about it (or ought to have known about it). There is discretion for those time limits to be extended. 

The Pensions Ombudsman can be contacted at:

10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, E14 4PU.
Telephone: 0800 917 4487
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can also submit a complaint form online:

If you have general requests for information or guidance concerning your pension arrangements contact:

The Pension Advisory Service
11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB
Telephone: 0300 123 1047


Tax Rates 2018/19

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Friday, 06 April 2018 09:19

For 2018 to 2019 the basic Personal Allowance will be £11,850 per year.

New Scottish Income Tax rates (if your main residence is in Scotland).

 Band  Taxable Income    Tax Rate  
 Personal Allowance *    up to £11,850  0%
 Starter Rate   £11,851 to £13,850  19%
 Basic Rate  £13,851 to £24,000  20%
 Intermediate Rate  £24,001 to £43,430  21%
 Higher Rate **  £43,431 to £150,000    41%
 Top Rate **  Over £150,000  46%

* Assumes person in receipt of the Standard UK Personal Allowance

** Personal Allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 earned over £100,000.

Further information on Scottish Income Tax and fact sheet can be found here:
Scottish Income tax 2018/19

UK Income Tax rates (if your main residence is out with Scotland). The table shows the rates you pay in each band if you have the standard Personal Allowance of £11,850.

 Band   Taxable Income  Tax Rate  
 Personal Allowance   Up to £11,850  0%
 Basic Rate   £11,851 to £34,500  20%
 Higher Rate   £34,501 to £150,000   40%
 Additional Rate   £150,001 and above  45%

Further information on income Tax rates and Personal Allowances can be found on the 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.

Information for Employers

Tax thresholds, rates and codes

The amount of Income Tax you deduct from your employees depends on their tax code and how much of their taxable income is above their Personal Allowance.

There are different rates for Scotland.

 PAYE UK tax rates and thresholds     2018 to 2019
 Employee Personal Allowance   £228 per week
 £988 per month
 £11,850 per year 
 UK basic tax rate  20% on annual earnings above the PAYE tax threshold and up to £34,500        
 UK higher tax rate  40% on annual earnings from £34,501 to £150,000
 UK additional tax rate  45% on annual earnings above £150,000

 PAYE Scottish tax rates and thresholds     2018 to 2019
 Employee personal allowance  £228 per week
 £988 per month
 £11,850 per year
 Scottish starter tax rate  19% on annual earnings above the PAYE tax threshold and up to £2000  
 Scottish basic tax rate  20% on annual earnings from £2,001 to £12,150
 Scottish intermediate tax rate  21% on annual earnings from £12,151 to £31,580
 Scottish higher tax rate   41% on annual earnings from £31,581 to £150,000
 Scottish top tax rate  46% on annual earnings above £150,000

Emergency tax codes

1185L W1

1185L M1

1185L X

Further information can be found on the website: Rates and thresholds for employers: 2018 to 2019 - GOV.UK


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Link to Scottish Government Website