“Best of TPAS-Best of MAS”; here’s your starter for 10!

Best of TPAS – best of MAS

It’s good to hear that people with money problems will now get a “best of MAS/best of TPAS” service, ( what this press release is alluding to).


The Money Advice Service (MAS) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) have launched an integrated webchat service which will ensure customers are connected to the most appropriate webchat platform for information on the specific topic they need to discuss.

Since January 2016, TPAS and MAS have been working together to ensure telephone helpline callers with pension queries are connected to TPAS and those with wider financial questions have their calls answered by MAS. Following on from the success of this joint working initiative, TPAS and MAS have now extended cooperation to cover live webchat services on their respective consumer facing websites, moneyadviceservice.org and pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk.

On the introduction of the new service, Michelle Cracknell, CEO of TPAS said:

“This is a great example of playing to your strengths. It has been a win – win – win initiative; MAS has been able to offer an enhanced service to its customers, it reduces costs and the customer gets to speak to a pension specialist. With us now both working together on webchat, we are looking forward to this initiative going from strength to strength.”

Charles Counsell, CEO of MAS added:

“It’s important for customers to get the specialist guidance they need and we’re really delighted that we are now able to directly transfer our web based customers to TPAS when those customers have questions related to pensions. TPAS and MAS will look for further ways to improve our services and in due course we are looking forward to joining up our customer journey completely in the new Single Financial Guidance Body.”

Pick the nuts out of this!

I don’t get a postbag, but if I did it would be one marked “Steelworker’s pension problems”.

Below’s an email with the kind of issue that steelworkers face. That TPAS and MAS are going to have big “post-bags” filled with these kind of queries, makes you realise what a valuable service this new Single Financial Body could provide.

Guidance is not easy, nor are pensions, thank goodness we have proper people like Charles and Michelle in charge.

I am 51, 52 next year; I started in 1988 with British Steel, and have had continuous employment and a protected pension age.  

Mainly to pay off a large mortgage to allow my wife to retire early (she’s not well), I’m looking at all options.

 We currently need both salaries to pay the monthly mortgage amount (she’s in the NHS, and doesn’t get to access her pension for a few years).

 The PPF may be a suitable option for me, although I’m having the devil’s own job trying to get a clear indication of my maximum lump sum from the PPF (despite employing a regulated FA to ask the PPF, the scheme, and the helplines, we’re both still struggling).

 I’m thinking of taking the PPF lump sum next year at 52, drawing the PPF income, and paying tax on it at 40%, whilst at the same time working for a few more years with Tata and continuing to save into the Tata sponsored DC scheme which was set up for us in April 17 – this receives 10% from Tata, 6% from me, plus potentially a salary sacrifice of some £14k additional per annum which will hopefully negate the tax paid on the PPF taxed pension income (which represents a PPF pension of about £14k from age 52, my benefit at age 65 is £26075, 33 % of which is pre-97).

Provided I don’t crystallise from the DC pot I’m advised that I can draw the pension from a DB scheme (or in my case the PPF, which isn’t sponsored by Tata) and not spoil the DC pension tax free allowance of £40k per annum.

 The great difficulty I’m having is finding out an accurate prediction of my PPF lump sum, or how it would be calculated.

Is the commutation applied in pre and post 97 tranches in proportion, is it capped, if so how, is there a maximum limit on the lump sum, is it affected if I’m married?

 If you know of anyone who could help me with any PPF specific lump sum calculations please let me know – the PPF helplines suggest verbally it may be £175k but our helpline suggest something like £107k – a huge difference and one which is causing me all sorts of worries about whether to go that route. I have my full pension breakdown in the T t C pack.

My numbers are as follows:

  •  Started 5/9/88, finished 31/3/17, but stayed employed by tata.
  •  I have a GMP of £1,196.52, all built up after 1988.
  •  My pensionable pay at date of leaving was £53,094.98

 Pension built up as follows:

 Pre 97                   £8,767.11

97-05                     £7,090.67

05-06                     £873.57

06-09                     £2,666.87

09-12                     £2,642.62

12-16                     £3,227.56

After 16                £806.89


Total                      £26,075.29 per year


Many thanks in advance


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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