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    • Bezm
    • By Bezm 19th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Bezm
    Civil service pension
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    Civil service pension 19th Mar 17 at 1:22 PM
    Between the ages of 18 and 24 I worked for the Civil Service and paid into a pension. I went on Maternity leave and did not return to work, receiving the minimum maternity pay.
    After I resigned, I remember getting a letter asking me if I wanted to receive some payments which had been paid into my pension, and being financially in great need, I said yes. I received a small lump sum.
    I believe this may have been my pension contribution and have a significant affect on my future pension provision. I did not receive any advice on what impact taking this money would have on my pension when I retire. I am currently a teacher and have paid into the teachers pension since the age of 30.
    Could anyone advise me of what actions I could take, or who to contact to find out more?
Page 2
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 20th Mar 17, 5:05 AM
    • 5,806 Posts
    • 6,997 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    My whole point is that I am unsure exactly what the money I was refunded was from. Believe it or not, this was at a time when financial advice was only deemed necessary for wealthy or high earning individuals. Us mere mortals on minimum wage were considered lacking in the necessary intelligence to make informed decisions
    If you are referring to a time when minimum wage existed that isn't in the last few years, no fee regulated financial advice was being dished out by just about every high street bank and building society. Every single one of those advisers would have told you the pros and cons of cashing in a bloody good pension in the way you did, enabling you to recognise that your action of taking the money and running was short term foolishness.

    That access to easy advice doesn't exist today unless you're prepared to pay a large fee for it.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 20th Mar 17, 7:53 AM
    • 4,788 Posts
    • 6,785 Thanks
    Kynthia
    My post explained the likely reason you were offered the money and suggested you contact MyCSP. Their contact details will be on the website civilservicepensionscheme.org and you can write or call them. It may take time to get specific details of your employment as they need to go back to the employer, who may not have kept your personal file but tgry could explain why you were given the money and didn't qualify for a pension.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • hyubh
    • By hyubh 20th Mar 17, 8:19 AM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 1,153 Thanks
    hyubh
    I must have missed your 'advice', the tone of your reply was more of an opinion, and a harsh one at that.
    My whole point is that I am unsure exactly what the money I was refunded was from.
    Originally posted by msb1234
    If a full refund was possible, I doubt a preserved pension with the scheme was. In other words, I think you may be imagining the decision to have been bigger than it actually was.

    The ideal situation would have been: in the PCSPS past the 'vesting period' (whether this was 2 years as currently or 5 years as it was in the early/mid-80s) to get a preserved pension rather than the option of a refund; join the TPS when you did, and transfer the old civil service pension in; have 30+ years in the TPS. While you weren't able to do the full sequence, when it comes down to it, the 30+ years in the TPS (i.e. what you actually have) is by far most valuable part of it.

    It's more likely that they would be women who had children in their very early 20s and did not return to work. The self same women who now find that their state pension will be paid many years later than they expected
    On a personal level, you really haven't been hard done by...
    - As previously discussed, only a minority of people have a quality DB pension like your TPS one.
    - The end of 'contracting out' last year is now leading to you earning a higher state pension than you would otherwise have earned.
    - Amongst those lucky enough to have 30+ years service with in a DB scheme, you and your fellow public sector scheme members will be privileged by the scheme fully indexing your 'GMP' (= element of your final salary pension roughly corresponding the additional state pension you would have had if weren't 'contracted out'), which won't be happening with the vast majority of private sector DB schemes.

    All told -
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 20th Mar 17, 8:30 AM
    • 5,608 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    If you are referring to a time when minimum wage existed that isn't in the last few years, no fee regulated financial advice was being dished out by just about every high street bank and building society. Every single one of those advisers would have told you the pros and cons of cashing in a bloody good pension in the way you did, enabling you to recognise that your action of taking the money and running was short term foolishness.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    It may not have been a foolish decision. The OP at the time according to her was in dire financial straits and desperately needed the money. That money at that time may well have enabled her to get on the solid foundation that is now enabling her to have a gold plated teachers pension. So it may well have been a good decision. Rock and a hard place .....

    The foolish part is now wanting to benefit from that money twice. Once at the time, once again now.

    Not to mention, blaming CSP for the decision she took then rather than acknowledging it was her younger self that made that decision, and AFAICS even if it was the best decision, she still wants the pension as well ! Blame culture at its finest.
    • GunJack
    • By GunJack 20th Mar 17, 9:55 AM
    • 9,429 Posts
    • 7,025 Thanks
    GunJack
    plus, even if it was a refund of paid pension conts., the op would still have retained 6 yrs of state pension entitlement for that time, through the NI conts. paid during that period..
    ......Gettin' There, Wherever There is......
    • isasmurf
    • By isasmurf 20th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    • 1,481 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    isasmurf
    http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/deferred/information-for-deferred-members/
    I think I was a member of the Civil Service Pension Scheme in the past - how do I check?
    You can request that we check any pension you may have using the information or change request form.
    • msb1234
    • By msb1234 20th Mar 17, 9:49 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    msb1234
    Sorry, yes I am. Some glitch in logging in!
    • msb1234
    • By msb1234 20th Mar 17, 10:04 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    msb1234
    Has anyone told you you're very bitter!!!
    I will not have a'gold plated' teachers pension as you seem to think. I have paid a great deal over the years into my pension and wanted to check I get everything I'm entitled to. I am not blaming anyone, I made a very ill informed decision. I do not want to benefit twice for the same thing. I do not want compensation.
    I do, however, want to ensure that I can retire in a few years time with some degree of financial security therefore not requiring me to claim benefits off the state, as many pensioners now have to do. Believe me, I won't be living the high life! BTW, is this a forum for advice, or a place where complete strangers can be extremely nasty?
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 20th Mar 17, 10:57 PM
    • 5,608 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Has anyone told you you're very bitter!!!

    No. You can read what you want into it but I'm not.

    I will not have a 'gold plated' teachers pension as you seem to think. I have paid a great deal over the years into my pension You've paid nowhere near into it what someone in the private sector would have to pay in, to get the same level of benefits. (Dont read bitterness into that, I'm just stating a fact).

    and wanted to check I get everything I'm entitled to.
    Well, you've had the advice, including from me, how to do that.

    I am not blaming anyone,
    " I did not receive any advice on what impact taking this money would have on my pension when I retire" Thats not blame then? OK. It sounded like it. Maybe i misinterpreted it as you did my "bitterness"

    I made a very ill informed decision. I do not want to benefit twice for the same thing. I do not want compensation.

    It may have been ill informed but I suspect it was probably the correct decision.


    I do, however, want to ensure that I can retire in a few years time with some degree of financial security therefore not requiring me to claim benefits off the state, as many pensioners now have to do. Believe me, I won't be living the high life! BTW, is this a forum for advice, or a place where complete strangers can be extremely nasty?
    Originally posted by msb1234
    I thought it had been shown earlier on that you do in fact have such a pension, well in excess of what most have, which I dont begrudge you at all. Its just a fact, the employers contribution is well in excess of pretty much everyone outside civil service. Thats why they've been reducing the teachers pension (very short sighted IMO, but whatever...).
    • hyubh
    • By hyubh 20th Mar 17, 11:12 PM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 1,153 Thanks
    hyubh
    Has anyone told you you're very bitter!!!
    I will not have a'gold plated' teachers pension as you seem to think.
    Originally posted by msb1234
    As a statutory scheme, anyone with an internet connection can look up the details in a few minutes... and find that yes, it is a very generous scheme by contemporary private sector standards.

    I have paid a great deal over the years into my pension
    Not really, for the benefits earned.

    I am not blaming anyone, I made a very ill informed decision.
    That's not what people here have emphasised however. On the contrary, we have suggested that there possibly wasn't much of a decision to make, or perhaps, that there was and (in the circumstances) you made a good choice.

    I do, however, want to ensure that I can retire in a few years time with some degree of financial security therefore not requiring me to claim benefits off the state
    There is no chance of that given 30+ years TPS. An extensive occupational pension paid by the general taxpayer yes, but not benefits ;-)

    Believe me, I won't be living the high life!
    Won't be that much different to now when you are working however, once the state pension kicks in too...
    • GunJack
    • By GunJack 21st Mar 17, 8:22 AM
    • 9,429 Posts
    • 7,025 Thanks
    GunJack
    ^^^ speaking of which, has the OP gone online and checked her state pension entitlement? wouldn't be surprised if the max of the NSP would be achievable with a few extra years of conts.

    https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check-your-state-pension
    ......Gettin' There, Wherever There is......
    • coyrls
    • By coyrls 21st Mar 17, 9:50 AM
    • 707 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    coyrls
    I worked in the Civil service in the early 80s and left after more than 2 years’ but less than 5 years’ service and was given the option of a refund of my pension contributions, I think the alternative was a transfer into an occupational scheme that would accept the transfer and I don’t think there was an option to become a deferred member of the Civil Service scheme (although it was a long time ago). I was in my twenties and took the money. I guess in strictly financial terms it was the “wrong” decision and I haven’t been in a DB scheme since but the money had a higher utility for me then than it would now and I retired at 59 with adequate pension provision.

    I know the correct advice is that you are better off the earlier you start contributing to a pension but people shouldn’t underestimate the boost they can make to their pension in later years when they are likely to have more “spare” money available. It is quite possible to make up for early “mistakes”.
    • woolly_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 21st Mar 17, 10:39 AM
    • 412 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    woolly_wombat
    I took a refund of NHS pension contributions in the early 1980s rather than transfer into a subsequent employer's pension scheme.

    I then compounded the error by opting out of SERPs in the late 80s when I started an Equitable Life with-profits pension.

    Don't beat yourself (or anyone else) up over it Bezm. You did what was right for you at the time.

    As my late mother would have said "these things happen".

    I'm now paying class 3 NICs to make up for past errors.
    • coyrls
    • By coyrls 21st Mar 17, 11:06 AM
    • 707 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    coyrls
    I then compounded the error by opting out of SERPs in the late 80s when I started an Equitable Life with-profits pension.
    Originally posted by woolly_wombat
    Yep, I did the very same thing!
    • Acquinas
    • By Acquinas 22nd Mar 17, 12:34 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Acquinas
    I worked in the Civil Service too from the 1980s through until this last year. I worked with many women who had effectively been "paid off" when they got married, but returned to work in their 30s and 40s. It was, I think, called a "marriage gratuity" and was in essence a refund of the notional contributions to what was then a non-contributory pension. Most of the ladies concerned got a few hundred quid to pay for their wedding or the deposit on a house. The option was never available to men and reflected a mindset that when a woman got married she gave up her job to raise children and then rely on financial support from their spouse. The fact that it was not open to men at all shows us pretty much exactly what is was: a bribe to ship out and leave the promotion opportunities to us blokes.

    Those who are taking a rather sniffy attitude to the OP should may be think about the prevailing attitudes in the 1970s and 1980s and the extent to which these women really had a choice. Maybe the OP's life is better for having left and I'm guessing that as a teacher she probably had a rather more fulfilling life than many civil servants. But I'm not buying this "cake and eat it" trope.
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