Radical proposals to tell us what our pension’s worth

This is one of those blogs (good though it is) where the comments are a whole lot better! Please come for the blog and stay for the comments. This might be a good time to sign up to comment yourself, your views are as valid as anybody else’s (and on the subject of pre 88 GMP increases, probably a lot more valid than mine!) 

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 08.14.26

How you’re online statement might look

The DWP Select Committee has published its findings on the Government’s communication of the changes in state pensions. The publication, just over a week before the state pension system radically changes, couldn’t be more timely.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the report is that what it tells us about the Government’s communication strategy is “news”.  While the Government has been blogging away and issuing public service videos via its pension tube channel, its headline awareness videos largely go unnoticed. Without a promotional budget they are worthy but ineffective.

Awareness campaigns can work- witness the 2m + people who’ve watched the 10 seconds of Workie dancing in the hairdressers. Techies may argue that all that’s being communicated is the most basic features of auto-enrolment, but those numbers tell me Workie’s working.

So why are so few people tuning in and turning on to the DWP’s communication campaign on our new pension rights? Historically, the DWP’s answer to lack of engagement (see WASPI) has been to proclaim all is quiet on the pension front. Unfortunately, (see WASPI), lack of engagement can come back to bite the DWP in the bum.


 

I’ve no doubt that the WASPI campaign has given the DWP a boot up the backside on pension issues. The DWP Select Committee  is in no doubt that there’s a problem afoot, especially for those whose entitlements are being cut by the changes

The losses are largely products of the simplification of an outdated and extraordinarily complex system. It is those complexities, however, that make explaining the consequences to those affected imperative. People who understand their individual circumstances are better placed to adapt their plans in their best interest. Government should not rely on general awareness campaigns or happenchance in promoting that understanding. It should focus on identifying the individuals affected, assessing their potential losses, and communicating with them

There have been a rather more respectable 21,000 views for the Government’s explanation of what the end of contracting out might mean. But this is little more than a high-level overview. Last week the National Audit Office pointed out the shortfall in information available to ordinary people to find out about their Guaranteed Minimum Pensions and other details of their contracted out pensions.

The problems for people retiring at or immediately after April , is that there is a general expectation that “things can only get better, a problem created by the Prime Minister’s £155 per week ceiling on state benefits as a general entitlement. The expectation has been set too high.

So the acute problems worrying Frank Field and his team of MPs are a subset in a chronic problem of engaging and educating the mature British working population in what they can expect as state benefits.

The Department has rightly upped its efforts to explain the more complex elements of the reforms and made clear headway in establishing an online system for state pension statements. The Pensions Minister should take credit for this progress. Though the Government will need to ensure that those without access to the internet, or who are uncomfortable using it, are adequately informed, online provision of personalised pension information will clearly become increasingly important.

The Government aspires to promote greater private pension saving. In order to best plan for retirement, individuals need to see a complete picture of their state, workplace and personal pensions in one place. We therefore welcome the Government’s commitment to ensuring the creation of a pensions dashboard by 2019. This is in line with our previous recommendation. Achieving it will be challenging and we will continue to monitor progress closely.

The challenge is obvious, while the private sector might like to think it already has dashboards (Big Blue, MoneyHub, Lemonade and so on, the truth’s that most data is still out of the reach of the scraping technologies of Yodel and the like. Combining State Pension Forecasts with on-line information from private pensions means more than “having an app for it”! 2019 will be challenging.

For the moment, the Committee calls for immediate and dramatic intervention that pushes out information (rather than expecting us to find stuff for ourselves)

The Government’s pensions strategy is predicated on people engaging more with their pension savings and better planning for retirement. By relying on individuals requesting a state pension statement or generating one on a website, the Government risks missing those it most needs to reach.

We recommend the Government sends automatic state pension statements to all people aged 50 and over. These should be issued annually, in line with the private sector. Individuals should be able to choose to receive their statement by email or opt out on the digital statement system. Such individuals should still be informed by post of any major policy changes that affect them.

The proposal is radical; the Government would communicate with the entire adult population over the age of 50 by email, where no email exists, the information would be provided annually – presumably by post.

But where is this database of emails? How can Government get us to tell them how to talk with us?

Right now as a 54 year old, I cannot even get an online statement of my potential benefits. I have no idea what my years of contracting out and my time as a self-employed person have done to my entitlement to the new state pension.

While I entirely agree with the sentiment and applaud the ambition, I have absolutely no confidence that the DWP Select Committee’s proposals have any hope of becoming reality.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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36 Responses to Radical proposals to tell us what our pension’s worth

  1. Kenneth M Thompson says:

    Hi Henry,

    The only reason this report was done was because I sent a copy of a letter I received from Margaret Hodge the chair of the Public accounts committee before Parliament disbanded for the election last year to Frank Field chair of the work and Pensions Committee. I sent you a copy of the letter. In her letter it mentioned that she was getting the National Audit Office NAO) to investigate lack of information about changes to the state pension.

    It was only because of my letter and subsequent letters from some of my friends that instigated the inquiries by the NAO and Frank Field. These friend reach state pension age in May this year. and were complaining to the DWP that the DWP and Government weren’t mentioning that GMP increases were not going to be paid in any of their publications. The reason this was happening was that they denied that they were responsible for paying any of a persons GMP so because of this they could not say in any of their publications that GMP increases would not be paid to anyone reaching state pension age on and after 6 April 2016 under the New State Pension.

    For some strange reason non payment of GMP increases has not been campaigned against by Sally West of Age UK or Which Magazine or any of the Pensioner Organisations.

    It was not mentioned in any of the oral or written evidence or Green and White Papers before it became law. How could this have been missed. I assume it was missed because the legislation never mentioned it would not be paid..

    The information pack issue to MPs mentioned GMP increases under the current system were paid by the state but did not mention that they would not be paid to people reaching state pension age on and after 6 April 2016. Don’t you think it is strange that the NAO report was issued the day before Parliament disbanded for Easter and the one from Frank Field at 12.00 am on Sunday 27 March 2016.

    I don’t know if you realise that on the 1st of March 2016 the Treasury announced that anyone in Public Service would have their GMP increases paid if they reach state pension age prior to
    6 December 2018 and that they would make a decision later about Public Servants who reach state pension age on and after 6 December 2018.

    One thing that has been made clear from the Frank Field and NAO reports is that the state is currently responsible for paying GMP increases even though they have been denying it for several years.

    Because the DWP denied they pay GMP increases they have not been mentioning on the pension statements for people reaching state pension age on and after 6 April 2016 that they would not receive GMP increases.

    This would have been an ideal time to do it even if too late so that people could plan for the losses including loss of GMP increases.

    This is the biggest change ever to the state pension and up until now the DWP have refused to give any advance warning about loss of benefits that will make people worse off such as GMP increases 10 year rule and inherited and derived rights.

    In the past they gave at least 10 to 15 years warning such as reduction to inherited SERPS from 100 % to 50% and changes to women’s state pension age.

    They got into terrible trouble with inherited SERPS due to DWP not mentioning it in their publications until about two years before it was due to start in 2000 so it had to be put off for two and a half years and not let it affect people over state pension age. At the same time they had to introduce a sliding scale of reduction over a further 8 years.

    At that time Alistair Darling promised that in future people would be given full and accurate information as well as long notice about changes.that make people worse off.

    The DWP just don’t seem to be capable of writing to people giving long notice about changes which has been repeated in the change to women’s state pension which was announced about 15 years before it was due to start in 2000. I believe they did not start writing to the women until about about two years before it was due to start in 2010.

    This is what WASPI are complaining about. The changes to the new state pension are much worse as the Government has not written to anyone to give advance warning and as far as I am aware are still not mentioning it on the pension statements.

    Why have the pension industry accepted these changes by not mentioning that people should be given more notice about the changes and campaigned for the start date to be put off until this had been done.

    What has happened that pension professional don’t think people should be given any notice where in the past people used to begiven over ten years notice.

    I think the pensions industry and professionals should be ashamed of themselves by accepting these changes without any comment or campaigns.

    . Chris Thompson

    • henry tapper says:

      I consider the losses a lot – I’m waiting to find out what my contracting out deduction will be

      As for your points on GMP, I’ve been remiss and not looked into the issue in the detail I should and I do agree that there is something very odd about the burying of all this right in the middle of Easter!

      But sunshine is the best disinfectant so thanks for the comments

  2. Mike Post says:

    You might like to consider the losses that will be suffered by people reaching state pension age after 6 April 2016 who expect to be on low pensions from private pension schemes that were “contracted out” during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. When the New State Pension is introduced next month, the so-called Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) element of their private pensions, which is the fruit of contracting out and which was built up from 6th April 1978 to 5th April 1988, will cease to increase at all with inflation and the GMP built up from 6th April 1988 to 5th April 1997 will increase by a maximum of 3% per year.

    Whilst reform aimed at simplifying a complex pension system is welcome, it is apparent that there are significant losers in the process and the impact is greatest on the less well off.

  3. Gerry Flynn says:

    Kenneth
    I assume you are referring to the pre 88 GMP element of peoples occupational pension, the question is therefore, if the State is refusing to increase that part of someone’s pension post NRA is the pension scheme going to increase it? If they are not, then people will have a part of their benefit which will never increase, which to my mind is in breach of the anti-franking legislation.

  4. Mike Post says:

    Gerry Flynn

    My post above was posted at the same time as Kenneth’s post.

    Neither the (British) Airways Pension Scheme (APS) nor the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) will be increasing the pre-88 part of their beneficiaries’ pensions and the post-88 increase is capped at 3%. This has huge significance for pensioners where the GMP is a significant portion of their pensions.

    Mike Post. Chair, Association of BA Pensioners

    • Mike
      Has BA contacted your organisation to tell you that GMP increases will not be paid to people reaching state pension age on and after 6 April 2016? or did you find this out yourself.

      Are BA going to write to all the future pensioners with GMP to tell them that they will no longer receive GMP increases via the state pension and change the wording in the pension scheme booklet?

      I think I was the first person to start writing to the DWP regarding how they were going to deal with GMP increase under the new state pension.

      For some reason they said they were not responsible for any of a persons GMP increase and that they had never paid it.

      That is why they have a problem . How can they tell people they won’t pay GMP increase if as they say they don’t pay them under the current system.

      I am not affected by these changes as I have been on state pension since 2005.

      I have a interest in the subject as I used to work in pensions for one of the large insurance companies before I took early retirement in February 2000.

  5. bobchampion says:

    Henry,
    Is there more to this than just DWP communication failings?
    For someone with an average pension pot of £50k, the state could provide well over 2/3rds of their retirement income. How many schemes / providers nudge their members from age 50 onwards to find out what their actual state pension income will be?
    Do the DWP Select Committee need to learn lessons on media management? Releasing this story on a Bank Holiday Monday will not raise the profile of the issue among the general public nor encourage many to find out what their state pension will be. Where is their call to nudge?

    • The withholding of information about GMP increase has been done on purpose due to the fact that the Treasury and DWP have been incontact with each other regarding what to do about GMP increase in the public sector. I know something about this as I was writing to the Treasury under Freedom Of Information and was told that they were aware of the problem of non payment of GMP increase since at least as early as January 2012.

      As it happens the Treasury announced on the 1 March that the Government were making special arrangement fo GMP increases to be paid for public sector workers who reach state pension age prior to 6 December 2018.

      See attached from Treasury 1 March 2016

      Government will fully index public service pensions for workers reaching State Pension Age from April 2016 to 5 December 2018

      “In response to the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016, the government will continue to price protect the Guaranteed Minimum Pension of public sector workers.

      This means that those who reach State Pension Age on or after the 6th April 2016 and before the 6th December 2018 – when the State Pension Age equalises – will receive a fully indexed public service pension for their whole life”

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-one-step-closer-to-introducing-new-state-pension-this-year

      If anyone is interested they can see all my request to DWP and Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act on the web site for what do they know.

  6. Gerry Flynn says:

    Mike

    It would be good to know what “M’Learned Friends” have to say on this matter, so if there are any out there with a legal view, it would be certainly add to the debate. Could we end up with a mass “Class Action” against the DWP?

    • Martin says:

      I put the question to an eminent pensions lawyer regarding a “contract” being formed between those contracted out and the State with regard to GMP uprating from SPA. I was told that because GMP uprating was actually State pension, the Government can do what it likes through statutory instruments, and so is not subject to upholding any promise.Promises like pie crust!

      Discrimination between two similar groups: one contracted out of Serps and one contracted in, doesn’t seem to be illegal either!

      • henry tapper says:

        Promises like pie crust! – love it!

      • Gerry Flynn says:

        Martin
        Surely this legal argument falls down once the Government said that they would increase the GMP for post NRA retirees who were members of the Civil Service/ Local Government pension schemes?

        It does not seem possible that 99.9% of C/o occupational pension schemes would have been allowed by their legal advisor’s for years to continue to publish the fact that the Government became responsible for pension increases on GMP’s post NRA.

    • Martin says:

      Gerry
      Public sector workers are protected by separate legislation (God knows why) that was approved just before the NSP Bill was going through (I wonder why?), fuelling a conspiracy theory, and may be why the removal of price protection of GMPs was ‘understated’ in the communications’ blackout by the DWP?

    • Martin says:

      Whoops! I meant to add to the other excellent point you made.
      This is a bone of contention for me! I agree with you completely. It seems completely incomprehensible that, as you say, ALL pension scheme booklets state this. I put this to a different lawyer who opined that maybe schemes were a bit unwise to openly state something that could not be upheld (or words to same effect) if Parliament decided to change. GMP top-ups are viewed as State Pension, which is regarded as a benefit …. The 1970s was a less litigious era and so maybe there was more trust.

      The problem for those impacted — who are caught between their schemes and the Government — is who is responsible? This is why pension schemes are passing the buck to the Government and the Government are, well, pointing to changes in legislation which they are free to do (blah, blah, blah).

  7. Mike Post says:

    Gerry

    It would indeed be a help to have a legal view. It is surprising how uninterested the media seem to be too.

  8. Mike Post says:

    Christopher Thompson

    BA Pensions has not contacted ABAP about the changes, However it has put out a news item on the BA Pensions website: https://www.mybapension.com/resources/news/InFocusAPS_2016_feb.pdf
    “APS will still provide pension increases in the same way that it always has.
    The Government has said that the NSP will provide an improved overall
    benefit for most individuals. For members who reach SPA shortly after 5 April
    2016, it may not be possible to offset the change to State Pension increases
    by building up further NSP. We have raised this issue with the Pensions and
    Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), (previously known as the National
    Association of Pension Funds) and DWP.
    It is not possible for us to provide exact details of the personal impact to
    you as these are changes to the Government’s State Pension provision
    but the Government has published a series of fact sheets
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-pension-fact-sheets
    and you can request a State Pension forecast or check your SPA at
    http://www.gov.uk “.

    ABAP has already commented on the changes at http://www.abaponline.org/

    This is a problem of unfairness to the lower paid created by Government, not by BA’s pension schemes.

    • Martin says:

      Mike,
      Thanks for this.

      So the trustees haven’t contacted the members?

      A good, detailed account by the ABAP. What will this potentially mean for the examples of A, B and C in terms of a 20-year loss at today’s rates?

      The word ‘unfair’ is used often when talking of low incomes only, but this is unfair across higher levels. I wonder how much the Government is saving all told on this stealth raid?

      Have you read the National Audit Office’s (NAO) and the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s (WPSC) reports published this week on the dire communications from the DWP?

    • billopp says:

      Thanks for coming back. I do realise that the DWP keep mentioning that people who reach state pension age on and after 6 April 2016 will make up any losses if they are still making NI contributions. Many people I know took their occupation several years before their state pension so are not in a position to gain any extra NSP .

      They have blown this explanation out of the water as the Treasury announced on 1 March 2016 that the Government will fully index public service pensions for workers reaching State Pension Age from April 2016 to 5 December 2018.
      If this is the case why do they think it necessary for state employees to have their GMP increases paid on and after 6 April 2016.

      In response to the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016, the government will continue to price protect the Guaranteed Minimum Pension of public sector workers.

      They wont have any changes made to their scheme in the way of pension reduction or increase in members contribution because the Government passed a law just before the new state pension was being discussed that public service schemes could not be changed for 25 years.f

      This means that those who reach State Pension Age on or after the 6th April 2016 and before the 6th December 2018 – when the State Pension Age equalises – will receive a fully indexed public service pension for their whole life.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-one-step-closer-to-introducing-new-state-

      Another thing to remember any extra benefit you receive as pension on and after 6 April 2016 would have to offset loss of inherited, derived rights,GMP increases, increases in NI and if in the private sector loss of future accrual on current bases or increase in contribution rate due to employer losing their 3.4% NI rebate or even worse closing the scheme down for future accrual as final salary and switching to money purchase. I believe my own pension scheme closed the final salary scheme to existing members this January. They are a large insurance company that specialises in pensions. If they have closed their scheme what hope for the rest during the next few years when schemes have to cope with loss of 3,4% NI rebate.

      Can any one trust the triple lock if you cant trust the Government to pay the increase on GMPs which were supposed to be Guaranteed why should you believe them about triple lock..

      The worst thing about all this is that two Pension Ministers and the DWP have denied that the Government pay GMP increases . That is why they are having trouble in mentioning GMP increases will not be paid under the NSp. So I think they will find it very difficult to explain in plain English that GMP increases will not be paid to people reaching state pension age on and after 6 April 2016.

      The DWP pension booklet NP 46 up to the 2005 edition used to mention GMP increases were paid via the state pension. It disappeared and was replaced by a 2008 edition which is on the net.
      and did not have in it the information about GMP increases being paid by the state.
      At least the reports done by the National Audit Office and Work and Pension now says they do pay GMP increases and that they are to tell people in publications that GMP increases are not to be paid under the NSp. I will believe it when I see it happen

      If you go to the Work and Pensions web site and look at Understanding the new State Pension inquiry – publications and list of Written evidence and look at my entry under Mr Christopher Thompson USP 0017 20 November 2015 and look at the annex at the end you will see a very clear explanation from HMRC of how my GMP is worked out and who pays the GMP increases

  9. bobchampion says:

    Oh what a tangled mess we get ourselves into.
    In any radical reform there must by definition be winners and losers.
    If everyone spent their careers entirely contracted out or entirely contracted in life would be so much easier. But life is not like that.
    Currently the basic pension is subject to triple lock (minimum increase 2.5%) whilst S2P (and therefore 1978 -1988 GMP) increases in line with CPI (currently 0.3%). New State Pension will increase in line with triple lock.
    Someone who was contracted out during 1978 – 1988 will under the new state pension scheme receive no increase from the state on their GMP, However if subsequent to that period, they contracted back in they will receive triple lock increases on a much larger pension than they would have if the reforms had not been introduced. That person may therefore receive a better package from the state despite having a pre 1988 GMP. They have a pre1988 GMP and are winners.
    What is the solution that is being asked for? Reintroduce CPI increases paid by the state where contracting out legislation requires scheme to give a smaller increase? Surely this can only be done if some of that increase is offset against new state pension increase on benefits in excess of basic state pension to ensure that no one becomes a double winner. now we are really complicating what is intended to be a simple, easily understood scheme.
    Currently under S2P it is possible to accrue £8K of pension in addition to the basic state pension. By the time the new scheme has fully matured that will be only £2k in today’s money. For those on just above average earnings this could mean they have a large shortfall to make up with no reduction in NI contributions in sight.
    These are the real losers in the new system, yet those of us with pre 1988 GMPs are dependant upon them continuing to pay full rate NI contributions to pay the state pensions we are promising ourselves.
    Promise ourselves too much and we may find a bigger loss of expectations in years to come.

  10. Gerry Flynn says:

    Bob

    Sorry I disagree with you. I for one have a pre 88 GMP and under the new State Pension I do not qualify for the new higher rate even though I meet the criteria for having a full NI history, (in fact I have more than the 35 years), and there are going to be a awful lot of people who will fall into the same boat.

    The crux of the matter is that the Government promised to pay these increases along with reduced NI as part of the package sweeteners, (bribe), to encourage employers to C/out, therefore shifting the cost onto the employers shoulders and reducing the Governments future liability. If the Government is not going to pay the increases and the pension scheme refuses to do so as well, then there will be millions of retired people who will have part of their pension that will never increase and the triple lock is in no way going to make up for the shortfall. I still think that if this becomes the case then it should fall foul of the “anti franking” legislation, unless that has been quietly expunged from the law books.

    In away this exposes the potential for the new “Lisa” to be abused by future Governments and even more so if we moved from “EET” to “TEE”.

  11. Mike Post says:

    Gerry

    Just a thought but perhaps seeking Judicial Review would be or would have been (if it is out of time) the way to tackle this?

  12. Gerry Flynn says:

    Mike
    That is a good idea but how on earth do you set the ball rolling to instigate a “Judicial Review”? Unless we can get some “heavy weight” hitters behind this, then I am afraid it’s just going to sink into obscurity! Anyone know some one from the pension legal profession who would do this on a “no win, no fee/pro bono” basis?

    • Mike Post says:

      Gerry
      From Google: Judicial Review must be initiated ” in any event
      no later than three months
      after the
      grounds to make the claim first arose. ”
      So I think it could be too late.

      • Gerry Flynn says:

        Mike
        You could argue that as this change only comes into affect in April 2016 with the introduction of the single tier state pension and the cessation of C/out, if these were not introduced, it would be “carry on” as normal, (even though the Gov would deny/ argue it was never their responsibility in the past, which we all know is being economical with the truth),

      • Mike Post says:

        A question for a friendly lawyer.

  13. henry tapper says:

    Sound like one for the Con Keating/ Robin Ellison school of heavyweight pension muscle. I’d be happy to act as support/publicity.

    • Martin says:

      According to Wiki:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_English_law

      you can’t bring a JR to challenge an Act of Parliament (yuk!). Write to Frank Field et al. on the WPSC’s inquiry and ask them why they did not recommend a transitional arrangement. I fail to see why the current process could not have been bolted onto the NSP or find another way to calculate the GMP/COD?

      • Gerry Flynn says:

        Martin
        I don’t think that the Government introduced an Act of Parliament which specifically stated that they were not responsible for pre 88 GMP increases, if they had we would be presented with a “fait accompli” but that is not the case. I think they are trying to pull a fast one.

    • Gerry Flynn says:

      Henry
      What would it take to get messers Keating/Ellison involved?

  14. Henry,

    Why do you think all pension scheme booklets mention GMP increases are paid by the state if this is not the Case. Would they have all had the wording vetted by pension professionals and their legal department. What did the government say in the legislation when it first started that gave everyone the idea that GMP increases are paid with the state pension. As it happens I have a copy of the first booklet issued by the DSS which covered GMP increases which in those days was completely the responsible of the state to pay.

    When all the pension schemes first contracted out surely they would not have contracted out if their members were not going to receive the same benefit as if they had remained contracted in.

    The original booklet NP 34 “A more secure future” was issued in January 1978 and states under

    (Not a very appropriate title as we now know the state don’t want to keep to their side of the bargain in getting people to contract out.)
    Page 4 Inflation-proofing.

    Once your pension has been awarded it will be increased annually by the state (unless you are living outside the EEC etc

    Page 16

    Inflation-proofing.

    After you retire the state will protect your guaranteed minimum pension (and widows guaranteed minimum pension) against price rises. So you will have at least the same protection as someone who depends entirely on the state scheme pension.

    Nothing could be any clearer. Another thing to remember is that in those days everything was pre 1988 so it was only the state that had to pay GMP increases which in those days could be before a person reached state pension age if they were a widow and had inherited their husbands GMP.

    This is a fairly complicated subject that is explained very well in the DWP booklet NP 46 dated 2004. A guide to state pensions.
    http://www.pensions-advice.me.uk/pdf/np46/np46apr04.pdf

    Read page 51

    Protection against inflation

    Each year the part of your pension earned from 6 April 1978
    that replaces additional State Pension will be reviewed to ensure that
    it is protected against inflation.
    Occupational pensions built up before 6 April 1988 will have all the
    increases needed to keep up with inflation added directly to your
    additional State Pension.

    Page 52
    Occupational pensions built up from 6 April 1988 to 5 April 1997
    and personal pensions built up from 6 April 1987 to 5 April 1997, will
    be at least partly protected by the scheme. The rate of increase will
    be 3%, or equal to the rate of inflation if this is less. The rate of your
    additional State Pension will be increased by any amount that
    inflation goes up above 3%.

  15. Gerry Flynn says:

    Christopher

    Spot on, I new there was a document that was issued by the DWP which explained all about C/out and who had responsibility for what but could not remember what it was called. I had a copy of NP34 for years along with my IR12 Practice notes from HMRC, ( which I still have, sad I know).

    • Can you look at your HMRC notes to see what they say about GMP increases and post them on this blog..

      When Steve Webb was the Pensions Minister he made HMRC change their wording about GMP increases and also got the House of Commons Library change the wording about how they explained GMP increases. Luckily I kept copies of the previous editions which were taken off their web sites.

      I have a letter from him saying he was going to do it.

  16. Mike Post says:

    Martin
    Re your yuk! Accordding to Hogan Lovells: Legislation can also be challenged by way of judicial
    review. Secondary legislation — Orders, Regulations or other statutory instruments made by a Minister, regulator or public authority — can be challenged on the full range of judicial review grounds (as to which, see below). By contrast, primary legislation (that is,Acts of Parliament) can only be challenged on limited EU and human rights law grounds.
    So how did the govt change the rules re GMP inflation updating? Was it primary or secondaty legislation?

    • Martin says:

      Mike
      You may be right! We need a legal beagle!

      In January I wrote to Frank Field et al.:

      “I understand that certain secondary legislation is still required for this to go through? I trust that Mr Field will inform the committee approving this legislation that there are still some very important issues that are being raised and make the committee aware of the gravity of the situation.”

      This was with the GMP issue in mind. I did not get a reply!

      We all know that the GMP terminated nearly 20 years ago and that this was crystallized.Steve Webb stated that the closure of the ASP meant that the GMP/COD/ASP could no longer be performed. This was because the DWP’s systems were not programmed under the nSP to perform this calculation. I don’t buy it!

      Maybe Henry can elucidate?

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