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GAD Factors

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 15:15

In the budget on 29 October 2018 the UK Government announced changes to the Discount Rate which is used for financing purposes in public service pension schemes. The discount rate has been reduced from 2.8% above CPI per annum to 2.4% above CPI per annum, with a resulting impact on actuarial factors used in the schemes. The Governments Actuaries Department (GAD) are issuing revised factors to SPPA over the next three months. Some calculations will be suspended for the NHS, Teachers', Police and Fire Schemes in Scotland until the new factors are received.

Transfer ins from non-club schemes to the NHS, Teachers', Fire and Police schemes in Scotland: The change may affect you if you have requested a transfer in and the transfer payment was not received before 29 October 2018. If you accept a transfer in quote, provided by us before 29 October 2018, within the guarantee period we will review the value quoted against the new calculations and pay the greater of the two. If you have not accepted your transfer and are still considering the action to take we will recalculate your transfer using the new factors once you confirm your decision to proceed.

As LGPS transfers are also on hold, any queries should be directed to the relevant administrator.

Other calculations: Some other calculations are suspended for a short time until new factors are received. Any scheme members impacted by the change in factors will be advised on an individual basis.

 

SPPA Pledge to NACWG

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SPPA Pledge to National Advisory Council for Women and Girls (NACWG):

SPPA is proud to have signed the NACWG Pledge to help tackle gender inequality in Scotland. The NACWG has been set up by the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls with a pledge to create an 'inclusive Scotland where all women and girls can reach their full potential'. You can find out more about the NACWG on the website: https://onescotland.org/equality-themes/advisory-council-women-girls/

As part of this Pledge, SPPA is also planning to host a number of in-house events across 2019, targeted at discussing the importance of tackling gender inequality and at raising awareness on this vital issue. 

We will share more information on, in addition to the outcomes of, these events in 2019.

NACWG Image

 

SPPA IT Project

Friday, 05 October 2018 07:58

In October 2015, the SPPA awarded a contract to Capita Employee Benefits to implement a new, integrated pensions administration and pension payroll system named 'PS Pension project.

Following some press coverage on the SPPA IT project, we would like to reassure our customers that our focus, as it was 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.

Yesterday the Auditor General signalled her intention to prepare a report on the PS Pension project in 2019 once negotiations between SPPA and Capita Employee Benefits have concluded. For commercial reasons neither Audit Scotland nor SPPA can comment on the negotiations.

 

2018 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 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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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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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.

 

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