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State Pension top up – Less than 3 months left to apply
State Pension top up lets those who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 boost their State Pension income by up to an extra £25 per week in return for a lump sum contribution.
The extra amount is index linked, guaranteed for life and in most cases inheritable by a spouse or civil partner. The scheme is open for a limited period, until 5 April 2017.
For details visitwww.gov.uk/statepensiontopup.
'Triple Lock' -Briefing January 2017
National Pensioners Convention has produced a briefing dcoument on the Triple Lock for Pensions-
Independent Review of the State Pension Age
YOUR STATE PENSION STATEMENT EXPLAINED
Click the below link to see the latest Gov.uk factsheet to help explain your State Pension Statement
CONTRACTING OUT AND THE NEW STATE PENSION
Gov.uk have produced a new factsheet about those in Contracted Out schemes and the new state pension. Use the link below to view the factsheet.
Topping Up your State Pension
This is a guidance document produced by Royal London. It does not constitute financial advice.
This factsheet explains Pension Credit, including the changes from 6 April 2016 and the effect of temporary absence abroad. The factsheet has been revised with information about the temporary absence abroad rules from 28 July 2016.
Reductions in inherited SERPS
Research report that looks at reductions in inherited SERPS, legislated for in 1986, originally intended to be introduced from April 2000, but delayed following a campaign around inadequate publicity. A separate note CPB-07631 Inheriting additional State Pension provides more general overview of the provisions both in the old system (for those reaching State Pension age before 6 April 2016) and the new one (for those reaching State Pension age after that date).
Inheriting addtional State Pension
Looks at provisions for inheriting additional State Pension and transitional arrangements following the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016. A new State Pension (nSP) was introduced on 6 April 2016, for people reaching State Pension age on or after that date. The Coalition Government said it intended people to qualify on the basis of their own NI record and that there was “no rationale” for allowing them to inherit or derive state pension income based on the NI record of their spouse or civil partner. However, there is transitional protection to cover pre-implementation NI records. There would be no change where both members of a couple reach, or would have reached, SPA before the nSP was introduced. In other cases, the transitional arrangements would depend on when the survivor and deceased reach SPA.
Pensions After Brexit
Implications of Brexit are as yet unknown.
New State Pension Update 22nd June 2016
In its 27 March 2016 report the Work and Pensions Committee found widespread confusion over the impact of the New State Pension, just weeks before its introduction, with many people left "unprepared and confused". It concluded that communication of such important changes should never have been left to a general awareness campaign.
In response, the Government has agreed to write directly to those people who do not meet the Minimum Qualifying Period for the new state pension - 10 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions.
Women Against State Pension Inequality [WASPI]
We are a campaign group that fights the injustice done to women born in the 1950s (on or after 6 April 1951) regarding the changes to their state pension age.
The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s SPA (State Pension Age) to 65, the same as men’s. WASPI agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little/no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts), faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and no time to make alternative plans. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.
We started the campaign with just five ordinary women who in 2015 got together and decided to fight this injustice.
The AIM of the campaign is: to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s (born on or after 6th April 1951)
We do not ask for the pension age to revert back to age 60.
See the website at: WASPI
Minister for Pensions on contracting-out, protected rights and GMP
Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann, has published three new vlogs on PensionTube to help people understand these more complicated aspects of pensions.
If you are unsure about contracting-out, protected rights and GMP, just watch these videos:
Benefit and Pension Rates Leaflet
The Benefit and Pension Rates leaflet has now been published on GOV.UK. The leaflet also explains some rules on extra amounts payable for dependents and how income and savings can affect entitlement to certain benefits.
Increasing State Pension
Men born between 6 April 1945 and 5 April 1950, and Women born between 6 April and 5 October 1952 who don’t get a full basic State Pension may be able to increase the State Pension they receive, by paying up to six additional years of voluntary Class 3 National Insurance Contributions, for years going back to 1975.
A factsheetis available on GOV.UK, that explains more about options available.
Until the 5 April 2017, applications can be made to make a Class 3A voluntary contribution to top up State Pension by up to £25 per week. This is available for men born before 6 April 1951, and women born before 6 April 1953.
The UK and Spain have had a Double Taxation Convention for some time, but the new treaty only came into force in June, with further rules covering income tax and other taxes kicking in on January 1 and April 6, 2015.
Government service pensions paid to retired members of the fire service, police, civil servants, armed forces and local authorities are exempt from Spanish tax. Under the new treaty the amount of the pension is still exempt but must be included when calculating how much tax is due in Spain. This could have the effect of pushing any other income - perhaps from investments and rent - into a higher tax bracket meaning you’d have to pay more tax in Spain.
The new Spanish ‘disclosure’ rules mean that Spanish residents and expats living in Spain will have to declare all relevant overseas assets worth more than €50,000. This includes bank accounts, property and life assurance policies.
The Gov.uk website includes the following:
The tax system in Spain operates on the same basis as the tax system in the UK. In the UK, those who are resident for tax purposes are taxed on their worldwide income, regardless of the country in which it arises. Those who are not resident for tax purposes are taxed only on the income arising in the UK. A Double Taxation Convention between Spain and the UK operates to prevent income being taxed in both countries when a resident of one country has income arising from a source in the other country. The full text of the convention can be found on the HMRC website.
In the case of pensions for past Government service, double taxation is avoided by allocating an exclusive right to tax to the paying state. This means that in all cases where a UK Government Service pension is paid to a Spanish resident it will be taxable only in the UK, apart from where, exceptionally, it is paid to a Spanish national. HMRC maintain a list of the UK pensions that are classified as government pensions for the purposes of the Double Taxation Convention.
In a change from previous practice, all income received by a resident in Spain is now taken into account to calculate the applicable rate of income tax in Spain – regardless of whether the income itself is taxed in Spain. So an exempt UK Government pension will be taken into account for the purposes of determining the tax rate which applies to other income which is taxable in Spain. This is common practice in other states around the world.
If, as a resident of Spain, you have concerns over whether a UK Government service pension is going to be taxed in Spain in a manner not in accordance with the Double Taxation Convention, you should address these to the Spanish tax authorities.
In accordance with Spanish and international law, all residents in Spain (nationals and non-nationals alike) are required to declare assets or groups of assets held outside Spain. Assets may include bank accounts, securities, rights, insurance, annuities, property, etc. and the declaration is a separate exercise to the annual tax return.
To reinforce this obligation, and as part of the Spanish Government’s anti-fraud law, the Government requires all residents in Spain to file an annual informative declaration of assets held overseas by 31 March each year. Severe penalties for incorrect, incomplete or late reporting can be incurred and the legislation also means that criminal charges can be brought in the case of non-compliance.
Please see the links below:
The report finds that the impact of new state pension reforms on people with Guaranteed Minimum Pensions will “vary widely”, but the group most negatively affected by the new state pension will be those who have spent long periods in a contracted-out pension scheme and are close to retirement on 6 April 2016, and so have “little time” to build up additional entitlement to new state pension. The report also includes modelling from Department for Work and Pensions, which estimates that 50,000 people will be worse off in 2017-18 as a result of the introduction of new state pension. See full report HERE
USE THE LINKS BELOW FOR NEW SINGLE TIER STATE PENSION INFORMATION
As police officers only paid class 2 NI contributions as they were contracted out they may not have the required 35 years to qualify for the full STSP. To ascertain how many years contributions you have to qualify under the STSP please use the details below. They will not tell you over the phone and you need your NI number for reference when contacting them.
Future Pension Service
Tyneview Park TB218
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel:0345 300 0168
Textphone:0345 300 0169
NATIONAL PENSIONERS' CONVENTION ISSUE BRIEFING PAPER
NARPO is a member of the National Pensioners' Convention and will continue to consult and liaise with the NPC and other Public Sector Pensioner Organisations in relation to the current proposals contained in the Government white Paper with a view to achieving a fairer and simpler system for both current and future pensioners.
JOIN THE DWP'S NEW STATE PENSION CAMPAIGN
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a major campaign to raise awareness about changes to the State Pension. Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb MP, announced the campaign at a press launch on Tuesday 18 November. The campaign features advertising in newspapers, online and radio, as well as a brand new video channel, PENSIONTUBE, which is becoming the go-to place for bite-size pensions information.
The State Pension system is changing in April 2016 and we are trying to inform people about how they are affected. People receiving the State Pension before April 2016 won't be affected and will stay on the current system. People who retire in the first five years from April 2016 can use our new State Pension statement service to find out what they will get and when. Everyone should visit GOV.UK for more information.
Watch the short and simple State Pension videos on the new YouTube channel, PensionTube, at
TOP UP YOUR STATE PENSION
From 12th October 2015, you will be able to top up your State pension by up to £25 a week. For more information, see this link: STATE PENSION TOP UP
CAMPAIGN FOR FAIRNESS IN STATE PENSION OVERSEAS - INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM of BRITISH PENSIONERS
Many of you may know pensioners from the UK, who emigrate have their State Pension entitlement frozen in most countries outside the EU. The International Consortium of British Pensioners is fighting for fairness for all British pensioners, who choose to live abroad, seeking that their pensions be index linked. Currently they are interested in the attitudes of British pensioners still living in the UK. The links below gives more details on this topic.
DEFERRING YOUR STATE PENSION
Did you know you can defer your State Pension? You can get this as either extra State Pension or a lump sum payment. For further details, use this link: DEFERRING STATE PENSION
NARPO Headquarters at Wakefield is always available to answer any Police Pension enquiry. Either the Chief Executive or the Deputy Chief Executive can provide personal advice on a whole range of pension issues during normal office hours. Written and Email enquiries can also be catered for; all we ask is that you include your NARPO membership number with your request.
You will also need to identify the Police Pension scheme applicable to you. Although we recognise that currently the vast majority of our members will be subject to the provisions of the 1987 Regulations, a new Police Pension scheme was introduced for new recruits to the service from April 2006. These new Regulations are only applicable to new recruits and to those officers serving in April 2006 who elected to transfer to the new Police Pension scheme following its introduction. We have included links to explanatory booklets on both these schemes below.
Medical Pensions and Injury Awards are two areas that have experienced an unprecedented increase in growth of enquiries. Throughout the 43 Police Forces in England and Wales a much more robust and systematic approach to Medical Pensions and Injury Award review continues to develop. NARPO accepts this new approach, as long as it is carried out fairly and with compassion; is based on sound medical evidence and is conducted within the guideline of the relevant Police Regulations.
To fall in line with the Government’s ‘A Day’ proposals, intended to simplify pension provisions across the board, in April 2006 the Injury Award provisions were then included in a separate statutory instrument, The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. These Regulations are applicable to all current and former police officers irrespective of the Police Pension scheme to which they are a member. We have included a link to this legislation and a further link to advice on the medical appeals procedure applicable under Police Pension legislation.
LINKS TO USEFUL POLICE PENSION INFORMATION
OTHER PENSION GROUPS PUBLICATIONS AND UPDATES
State Pension top up scheme opens on 12 October
State Pension top up is a scheme allowing men born before 6 April 1951 and women born before 6 April 1953 to increase their State Pension for life by between £1 and £25 a week in exchange for a lump sum contribution. The payment is guaranteed for life, protected against inflation and inheritable in most cases by a spouse or civil partner. The scheme opens for applicants on 12 October – visit www.gov.uk/statepensiontopup for further details.
We have prepared a range of videos and case studies on the scheme which you may find of interest – please feel free to share these with your followers and members:
We have also prepared the infographic below – please share this on your social media channels.