Posted by Chris A Brown at 19/10/2020 11:40:12
Following the Court of Appeal judgment in December 2018, the government has been working to fix the discrimination identified in the policy of transitional protection that was part of the 2015 reforms to public service pension schemes. A consultation has now been published, outlining the proposals to address the discrimination and the plans for the future.
The consultation can be viewed here:
GOV.UK - Changes to the transitional arrangements to the 2015 schemes
The Local Government Association (LGA) have also published a number of documents that you may find useful when considering the proposals, these documents are available here:
GOV.UK - Local government pension scheme amendments to the-statutory underpin
You can also find more information regarding the McCloud judgement on the Scheme Advisory Boards Q&A:
LGPS Board - McCloud
It is important to reassure members that any changes to the underpin protections will apply to all eligible members and that they do not need to make a separate claim for redress.
Posted by Sam Topham at 25/06/2020 11:52:27
When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2014, protections for older scheme members were introduced. Similar protections were provided in other public sector pension schemes. The Court of Appeal ruled that younger members of the Judges’ and Firefighters’ Pension schemes have been discriminated against because the protections do not apply to them. The Government has confirmed that there will be changes to all main public sector schemes, including the LGPS, to remove this age discrimination. This ruling is often called the ‘McCloud judgment’.
The Government is still considering exactly what changes need to be made to remove the discrimination from the LGPS. This means it has not been possible to reflect the impact of the judgment in your annual benefit statement this year. If you qualify for protection it will apply automatically - you do not need to make a claim. For more information, see the frequently asked questions on the national LGPS website.’
Posted by Chris A Brown at 05/05/2020 10:19:54
The Pensions Regulator has released guidance for Pension Scheme Administrators, asking East Riding Pension Fund to be more vigilant when processing requests from scheme members to transfer their benefits. During a pandemic the financial uncertainty and change in the financial position of scheme members could lead to them making decisions they ultimately regret.
Anyone can be the victim of a pension scam, no matter how savvy they think they are. It’s important that everyone can spot the warning signs.
Scammers try to persuade pension savers to transfer their entire pension savings, or to release funds from it, by making attractive-sounding promises they have no intention of keeping.
The pension money is often invested in unusual, high-risk investments like:
- overseas property and hotels
- renewable energy bonds
- storage units.
Or it can be simply stolen outright.
Read our booklet on how to spot a scam (pdf 122kb)
Many scammers persuade savers to transfer their money into single-member occupational schemes, or other occupational pension schemes.
Savers could lose all their money and face a high tax bill from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if they withdraw their pension savings before the age of 55.
Direct savers to the government’s Pension Wise service to understand their options.
All pension savers should speak to an independent FCA-authorised adviser before making a transfer, and in some cases are required to do so.
Changes to the stock market
As a defined benefit pension scheme the Local Government Pension Scheme is secure, the benefits that you receive from the scheme are not affected by changes in the stock market and are set as law by statuary instruments. This means that the value of your benefits will remain unchanged.
If you are paying Additional Voluntary Contributions to the Prudential, these benefits are defined contribution and depending on your individual plan may be affected.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Local Government Association have prepared some FAQs for scheme members, this includes what contributions you need to make during different types of leave of absence and information regarding how East Riding Pension Fund are operating during the pandemic. The FAQs can be accessed here:
ERPF COVID-19 FAQs (word 69kb)
Posted by Sam Topham at 30/03/2020 11:17:28
The situation surrounding coronavirus is fast moving, but ERPF would like to reassure our scheme members that we are doing everything we can to ensure our service is not disrupted during this time. ERPF is monitoring the latest advice from the UK Government to manage any consequences for scheme employers, scheme members and our own staff.
ERPF’s priority will be to protect the Fund against the impact of interruptions and we have already put robust measures in place to ensure that we can continue to pay pensions and administer the scheme whilst dealing with any significant event (such as the possible impacts of coronavirus). These measures are tested regularly as part of our Business Continuity Plan and will continue to be reviewed over the coming days and weeks. As the situation develops ERPF may need to limit non-essential services and we will continue to keep scheme members updated of any decisions or actions taken. At present, ERPF services are operating as normal.
As a result of coronavirus and the recent global downturn in the economy, the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) have issued a statement and have asked ERPF to reassure scheme members that their pension benefits will not be affected. The LGPS is a defined benefit scheme set out in law and therefore benefits payable will not be directly affected by stock market changes or performance of investments. Member’s pension accounts are revalued each year to allow for inflation and to keep up with the cost of living which are shown yearly on the annual benefits statement or payslip.
The SAB statement can be accessed here: