Pensions in payment

Getting paid a pension

Frequently asked questions about getting paid a pension

What is the pension increase for April 2021? 
What happens if I move overseas?
I’ve received a letter about Western Union annual pension verification, what should I do?
What’s Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE)?
What happens if I change my address?
How do I change my bank or building society details?
I’ve a question about the income tax I’m paying
What happens to my tax when I start taking payment of my State Pension? 
What happens if I go back to work?
What happens if I die?
Where can I see my payslips and P60s?
I’ve got a Power of Attorney, what do you need to see?
What are the alternatives to Power of Attorney?
I haven’t received my pension payment this month?
Can I transfer my pension once it’s in payment?
Can I take an additional lump sum from my pension once it’s in payment?
How can I get a proof of income?
When is my pension paid?

 

 

If you still have questions after reading the information provide on the Member Section of our website and in the Help Hub, visit the Contact Us section.

Each year your pension is revalued in line with the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the previous September.
The rate of pension increase for April 2021 is 0.5%. If you’ve retired within the last 12 months you’ll receive a part increase.
You’ll only receive an increase each April if you:
  • are aged 55 or over, or
  • retired on ill health grounds, or
  • are receiving a widow's, widowers, surviving partner or child's pension.
If you’re not in one of these sections shown above , your pension will be paid without increase until you reach age 55. At age 55 your pension is increase to the amount it would have been if you’d got the pension increases each year since your retirement.

How your Pension Increase is applied

  • Pension increase at State Pension Age

If your pension includes Local Government Pension Scheme membership between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997, your pension will include an element known as a Contracted-out Pension Equivalent (COPE), previously known as Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP).

  • Members with State Pension Age before 6 April 2016

If your pension includes COPE/GMP earned up to 5 April 1988 then the increase on this part of your pension will be paid with your State Pension. If your pension includes a COPE/GMP element earned on or after 5 April 1988, this will be paid by the Fund.

  • Members with State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016 and before 6 April 2021

Following the recent Government consultation on who will pay the increases on COPE/GMP payments, it has been announced that if your pension includes COPE/GMP payable on or after 6 April 2016 and before 6 April 2021, the increase will be paid by the Fund and includes any pre-1988 COPE/GMP

  • Members with State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2021

Following the UK Government consultation, it has been announced that a decision is still to be made regarding members who have a State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2021. We’ll let you know via our website and in a future issue of Penfriend when the decision has been made.

TOP

If you already live out with the UK or are moving abroad, your Fund pension can be paid directly into your overseas bank. Payments can normally be made in the currency of residence but in certain circumstances can be paid in another currency (eg sterling) as long as your bank account can accept payments in that currency. Your pension payments will be made through Western Union international electronic payment systems directly to the bank account you give us and in the agreed currency. There’s no charge for this as the Fund meets the costs. Download an overseas payment form and return it using the My Pension Online service document upload facility. If you choose to have your payment made into an overseas bank account, it’s important you know that the exchange rate applied is not fixed and will vary according to the market rate valid at the time of conversion.  This means that although your sterling pension payment won’t change, the local currency value will go up or down depending on the exchange rate, which happens at present with cheque payments. Payment will be made around the 15th of each month and should normally reach your account in three to five working days after this. Alternatively, you can provide a UK bank account and we can pay your pension into a UK account in your name.
Each year we need to ensure pension payments are being made to the correct person and check our records are correct and up to date for those members living abroad. This is part of our anti-fraud measures and safeguards the pension fund’s assets. The verification process involves visiting a Western Union Agent to collect the equivalent of £10 sent to you via the Western Union Agent network. This payment won’t be deducted from your pension.  Once you’ve received the cash payment, you don’t have to do anything further. Your pension payment will continue to be paid into your bank account. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there will be an alternative method of verification for 2020 which will be included in the correspondence sent to affected members.
TOP


What is Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE)
Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) is part of the benefits already in payment and no additional amount will be paid in respect of it.
The additional State Pension (previously known as State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and State Second pension (S2P)).  It was introduced in 1978 with the aim of providing everyone with an earnings related pension.  This was because there was a division between those who had access to an occupational pension scheme and those who had to rely on the state pension.  If employers “contracted out” and promised to pay a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) both employer and employee paid National Insurance at a lower contracted-out rate. Most public sector defined benefit schemes contracted out.
 
The new single tier State Pension was introduced in April 2016. For members who reach State Pension Age after that date, it compares entitlement under the old and new arrangements to determine a starting amount for your single-tier pension.  A deduction is made to take account of any contracted out employment and any Guaranteed Minimum Pension that has been earned.  This is expressed as a Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) and should be broadly the same as your Guaranteed Minimum Pension.

TOP




What happens if I change my address?

If you change your address, please let us know using the My Pension Online service to update your details. This is a quick and secure way to keep your information up to date.  Alternatively, you can use the contact us form to let us know your new details.  it’s important to tell us your new address, as we’ll stop pension payments if correspondence is returned when we try to contact you.

TOP




How do I make a change to my name or marital status?

Please let us know if you change your name or marital status by uploading your certificates via the My Pension Online service. If you’re moving, it’s important to tell us your new address, as we’ll stop pension payments if correspondence is returned when we try to contact you. If you contact us, remember to include your full name, National Insurance number and date of birth so we can locate your record.

TOP




What happens if I change my bank or building society details?

The quickest way is to update your bank details is by using the My Pension Online service. Register and log on then choose the 'Your Details' option from the dashboard. You’ll find the bank details screen in this section. We validate all bank changes and to do this we ask you to upload a picture of a bank statement showing your name, address, new sort code and account number to the online document upload. We can’t pay into Post Office Accounts. You can also receive your pension into an overseas bank account. We also accept requests in writing, email or telephone our office.  Bank account changes must reach us at least 10 working days before the payment date to be able to make the change in time.

TOP





I have a question about the amount of income tax I am paying?

We receive lots of queries about tax codes. Unfortunately, we’re unable to explain why HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has set or amended your tax code. We’re provided with tax codes electronically by HMRC and must apply the tax code advised to us. This means we can’t change your tax code. If you think it’s wrong, contact HM Revenue & Customs on 0300 200 3300 or visit www.gov.uk/incometax and they’ll be able to help. You can also view and query your tax using the HM Revenue & Customs Personal Tax Account online service. Go to www.gov.uk/ personal-tax-account and follow the instructions to register. When you call, you’ll need your National Insurance number and our PAYE reference which is 961 2406394.  The Pension Scheme Tax Reference is 00816815RX.

TOP





What happens to my tax when I take payment of my State Pension?

One reason for a tax code change is when you start receiving your State Pension. The State Pension uses any tax-free Personal Allowance you have first and this may previously have been used for your Fund pension. This can mean you have less tax-free allowance being applied to your Fund pension and so pay more tax on it.

TOP

When you retired, if you didn't receive any compensatory added years, you can take up new employment with any employer without your pension being affected.
  • If you were awarded Compensatory Added Years on retirement and you return to work for an employer covered by the Local Government Pension Scheme, your compensation pension may be reduced or suspended while you are re-employed.
  • If you were awarded Compensatory Added Years on Retirement and you return to work for an employer out with the Local Government Pension Scheme, your compensation pension won’t be affected.

TOP

The death in retirement section has details about what the person who is looking after your affairs should do when you die and what further benefits might be payable from the Scheme. The My Pension Online service also shows survivor pension details.

TOP




Payslips/ P60s
 
Your payslips and P60s are now available online via the My Pension Online service. They’re simple to view and can easily be printed if you need a hard copy. While our online service is the preferred method for many of our members, we also know that not everyone wants to use online services, which is why we offer our members the option of receiving their payslips and P60s electronically or by post.

• We’ve offered all of our members under the age of 75 the electronic option for payslips and P60s • Members over the age of 75 as well as those members who have opted out of the digital service will receive paper payslips. We’ll continue to send a P60 and payslips in April and May or if there’s a change of £10 or more.

If you wish to change your preferences, please contact us to let us know.

TOP

If someone hold Power of Attorney for you, please send us a certified copy of the whole document so that we can provide them with any required information to deal with your pension.
  • To certify the Power of Attorney the person who appointed the attorney (the donor) must write on each page - ‘I certify this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original lasting power of attorney’ 
  • On the final page, the donor must write - ‘I certify this is a true and complete copy of the lasting power of attorney’
  • Each page must be signed and dated.
  • Alternatively, a solicitor or public notary can also certify a copy of lasting power of attorney.
  • If a certified copy is not possible then you can provide the original Power of Attorney documentation. This are sent at your own risk and we suggest you send this using recorded delivery. We’ll return original certificates by recorded delivery.
We’re unable to make any changes until these documents has been received.

TOP


 



What are the alternatives to Power of Attorney?


 If you are unable to gain Power of Attorney, obtaining a guardianship order can be costly to obtain and we are unable to accept an appointee for social security benefits instead of Power of Attorney. The Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) website www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk has some other options that may be more relevant in some circumstances.  These options include an intervention order https://www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk/intervention-orders or Access to Funds https://www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk/access-to-funds.  As each circumstance is different, you will need to check to ensure the option you choose is the best for your own circumstances.

TOP

If we’ve had correspondence or bank payments returned, your pension may have been suspended. Please contact us to provide your new details so that we can investigate and reinstate your pension.

TOP


Once your pension has been put into payment, you can’t transfer out.

TOP




Can I take an additional lump sum from my pension once it’s in payment?

No but if the total value of all of your pensions is less than £30,000 you may be eligible to have it compounded. Contact us for more information if you think this applies to you.

TOP




Proof of income

If you need proof of income at any time during the year, you can download and print your payslips and P60 from the My Pension Online service.  Alternatively you can contact us and we can send you this information within 20 working days.
 

TOP



 

Your pension is paid into the bank on the 15th of the month, except if this falls at the weekend or on a public holiday when payment will be made on the last working day before the 15th.  A small number of members have their pension paid annual, these payments are made on the 15th of March or last working day before 15th.

15 April 2021
14 May 2021
15 June 2021
15 July 2021
13 August 2021
15 September 2021
15 October 2021
15 November 2021
15 December 2021
14 January 2022
15 February 2022
15 March 2022
15 April 2022