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Old Boys! Have you claimed your pension?? - Page 10

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Old Boys! Have you claimed your pension??

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in UK Armed Forces MoneySaving
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  • P.S. - see Post 89

    ADD:

    Not 'nothing at all'. They obviously accepted your reason for not claiming your pension at 60 - otherwise it would only have been paid from the date you claimed it, rather than being backdated to 60.

    Thanks for the feedback and background.

    As for the explanation of the reason for my tardiness in claiming my pension, the exact wording in their letter to me states "If more than 12 months has elapsed between the date you apply for payment of your PP and your 60th birthday, you must provide an explanation for the delay in application. Failure to provide such an explanation will result in payment of the award being witheld until an explanation is provided." That seems like 'nothing at all' to me. But you are quite right in that my explanation, the truth, obviously did satisfy them.

    Much to my (and doubtless your) surprise, I still have my discharge pack, a baby blue A5 folder with various bits and bobs inside, but nothing remotely like the brown envelope you describe. I say I still have it, I still 'had it' when I was packing in preparation for my house move last June. Needless to say, I couldn't find it when I applied for the pension but didn't need to refer to it. It may well have been binned after all these years with now no need for it...

    You are absolutely right about the myths and mysteries expounded by the barrack room lawyers. Most of them were well confused because I bought myself out for the princely sum of £1,800 iirc and none of them 'knew' to what I might be entitled but I do have to say that personnel admin during my time in the mob had the status of Unicorns and I saw more Russian Bears than I did admin bods.

    Regarding your tale of the guy decking a copper, I started sweating slightly because I had originally signed on for 9 plus 3 in the reserve. I was comfused about my future but somehow had a fit of sense when my time was coming and I signed on, firstly for a further 3 years (28 days extra annual leave which took precedence over everything except war, thank you very much) and then for the full 22 (more annual leave to get in). Having taken all my leave, I suddenly stopped getting the joke and decided civvy street was calling.

    Had I not signed on for those extra 3 years, I would have been in a far poorer state, not that I realised that at the time as I 'knew' I was not entitled to a pension.

    I'm sure, read hope, that things are different for today's servicemen and it is heartening to hear that steps are being taken to contact those with unclaimed entitlements.

    New then, where has that exotic holiday brochure gone....

    Brian
  • edited 12 February 2018 at 3:24PM
    SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    edited 12 February 2018 at 3:24PM
    Enjoy that holiday, Brian !

    I too hope that Veterans UK manage to trace those - or their widows - who are entitled to pensions.

    I've heard all the jokes about adminers - Mr S was a Chf Tech aircraft engineer. Mind you, he would come home and say that 'so-and-so says this that or the other about leave/pay/pensions - is that right?' and very often I would say 'no, that's not right at all' (or words to that effect) - then he would relay the correct information the next day.
  • edited 23 March 2018 at 12:47PM
    SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    edited 23 March 2018 at 12:47PM
    Just so folks here are aware, the following is from a briefing I was present at a short while ago:

    Veterans UK (formerly the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency) estimate there are some 26,000 unclaimed Preserved Pensions under the various Armed Forces Pension Schemes (mostly AFPS75) for people who have passed state pension age but not claimed their preserved pension.

    Obviously, some of those who haven't claimed may sadly be deceased, or have no known address or contact details.

    Equiniti Paymaster have carried out a tracing exercise to try to locate some of these and Veterans UK have started to send letters and application forms, starting with those members whose address details are most up to date. This has resulted in some 2,600 new Preserved Pensions being put into payment.

    However if you know someone who maybe entitled to a Preserved Pension and has not yet claimed it, please ask them to contact Veterans UK via any of the following means:

    [FONT="]Veterans UK helpline 0808 1914 218[/FONT]

    [FONT="]Veterans UK
    Ministry of Defence
    Norcross
    Thornton Cleveleys
    FY5 3WP
    [/FONT]
    [FONT="]Email [email protected]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT="]Freephone (UK only): 0808 1914 2 18[/FONT]

    [FONT="]Telephone (overseas): +44 1253 866 043[/FONT]

    [FONT="]Posted by LeglessLiam [/FONT]
    Does anyone know how this is going? Perhaps I was expecting too much, but it would have been nice to see adverts in the media explaining the rules and inviting those who qualify to claim their pensions (or widow's pensions).

    The 2,600 who were contacted simply because they hadn't changed address since leaving the Armed Forces is a start, but it's only 10% of those entitled. It's possible that a few more have been picked up when, on receiving less than the £159 per week State pension they may have been expecting, they would have been told by DWP that the difference was due to their Armed Forces pension entitlement.

    It's still not enough. Even a pension from just a few years service could make an appreciable difference to some veterans.

    A media blitz with the details could go a long way to getting this information out there.
  • kangoorakangoora Forumite
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    Whilst it's great that people are finding this thread and locating their missing pensions and also the government are looking to locate missed pensions for other ex-servicemen/women.........

    There is an element of personal responsibility here also. I left in 1989 (aged 27) and I knew I had a preserved pension and kept my discharge papers with the contact details for the pension office. I'll be contacting them in a few years time to request my pension.

    Keeping a note of pensions you have built up and who the providers are is needed for any pension, not just a military one. Especially if you have moved house and, let's face it, the majority of people will move house sometime between their 30's and 60 years old. I'm happy to blame the government for a number of things but for an individual not claiming their pension it isn't the governments fault.

    On the topic of locating people to give them their pension I would have thought it a fairly simple matter. The Army pension people must have peoples NI number, so simply going to HMRC and locating that NI number would surely catch the vast majority of people not claiming - either they are working and paying tax or already drawing an old-age pension from DWP, both of which would reference to an NI number.

    Of course, this simple solution means that 3 different government departments have to actually talk to each other - not an easy thing in my experience. Also, maybe data protection might impinge on it?
  • kangoora wrote: »
    Whilst it's great that people are finding this thread and locating their missing pensions and also the government are looking to locate missed pensions for other ex-servicemen/women.........

    There is an element of personal responsibility here also. I left in 1989 (aged 27) and I knew I had a preserved pension and kept my discharge papers with the contact details for the pension office. I'll be contacting them in a few years time to request my pension.

    Keeping a note of pensions you have built up and who the providers are is needed for any pension, not just a military one. Especially if you have moved house and, let's face it, the majority of people will move house sometime between their 30's and 60 years old. I'm happy to blame the government for a number of things but for an individual not claiming their pension it isn't the governments fault.

    On the topic of locating people to give them their pension I would have thought it a fairly simple matter. The Army pension people must have peoples NI number, so simply going to HMRC and locating that NI number would surely catch the vast majority of people not claiming - either they are working and paying tax or already drawing an old-age pension from DWP, both of which would reference to an NI number.

    Of course, this simple solution means that 3 different government departments have to actually talk to each other - not an easy thing in my experience. Also, maybe data protection might impinge on it?


    Spot On.

    Also, surprisingly enough, some people with small(ish) AFPS pensions do not wish to be traced, or indeed claim their pension.

    This is usually where they are in receipt of certain income related benefits (Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit etc) and the spin off benefits from these (Cold Weather Payments etc),
    Claiming the AFPS pension could make them substantially worse off, particularly in the mid to longer term, due to the way the benefits system works, particularly in the age 60 to 65 segment and older.

    Providing they remain ‘under the radar’, having 'selective amnesia' about their service from many years ago may be financially beneficial (I won't enter into the potential moral/legal ethics).

    I also met one chap who didn't want to claim his pension, as he wanted to use his relatively small 3x preserved pension lump sum payable on death to pay for his funeral and buy mourners a few beers at his wake. If he had claimed his pension whilst living he knew he would have spent the money!

    Also tracing those who are now deceased and those who now reside abroad is almost impossible unless they (or in the case of the deceased, a surviving widow/widower) actually comes forward to claim the pension.



    Another tranche of people who seem to forget about claiming their preserved pension are those aged under 60 who become ill or disabled after their service and are permanently unable to continue to work. In these cases, the Preserved Pension maybe claimed earlier than age 60.



    Generally, if veterans and widows/widowers make contact with the ex-service organisations seeking financial help, the question of whether or not they may be entitled to a preserved pension would be explored.


    Overall though, with MOD revenue being so tight currently, having a broad-brush advertising campaign was not deemed viable. Hence the limited targeted campaign. That is not to say that anyone claiming their rightful pension would not be paid (they will be and quite quickly once identification and other checks are carried out), just that actual advertising costs are prohibitive.


    So, if you ever bump into any veterans/widows/widowers who may fall into the ‘entitled to claim a preserved pension’ category, tell them to make enquiries about it.



    Liam
  • edited 24 March 2018 at 1:52PM
    SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    edited 24 March 2018 at 1:52PM
    Liam (and kangoora) - I agree, but only to a point. The LGPS also struggles to pay small benefits to those between 60 and 65 who are 'better off' on means tested benefits. However, once they reach State pension age, DWP can and do see that they have contracted out pension benefits which ARE then taken into account when assessing further entitlement to means tested benefits - even if not claimed.

    This aside, I suspect that a lot of the 'missing' AFPS pensioners date from the late 70s/ early 80s. You only have to read some of the comments on these boards to see that people have said that they were told by a mis-informed barrack room lawyer/superior that the 12 year resettlement grant was in lieu of a pension, or that you still had to serve 22 years in order to accrue any pension rights. Yes, they would been issued with pension information on discharge, but many 30 years olds - not just in the Armed Forces - are of the mind set that 'pensions are for pensioners'.

    Again, back to the LGPS, we would try to trace our missing pensioners via the DWP tracing service (which isn't free). DWP wouldn't just give us the address under DATA protection rules - instead, they would pass on a letter from the LGPS saying that they may have pension benefits and to contact us direct for more information. Barely 50% did.

    In the case of the AFPS, in an ideal world everyone who left the Armed Forces would have kept their discharge pack pension information leaflets and duly contacted Veterans UK on the due date. They would have also told their wives/husbands that the AFPS would pay benefits in the event of their death before 60.

    Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world.

    Yes, media advertising is expensive - but has anyone asked if the newspapers would run them for free? Most clearly support our Armed Forces in other ways, so why not this one?
  • kangoorakangoora Forumite
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    I do think it's great that they are tracking down ex-servicemen to ensure they get the pension they are entitled to. I don't have anything against this, I was just pointing out you can't really blame the government for somebody not understanding their pension rights and making a claim themselves as they should have done.

    I have no doubt there are potentially millions (if not billions) of pounds of pensions being sat upon by all sorts of pension funds and I wonder just how much effort they put into finding pensioners who they owe money to. My wife found she had a pension pot worth £20k from before I met her which was a nice surprise BUT this only turned up because her work opened a new pension with the same provider who found out she had this existing pot and informed her about it.

    I'm an ex-squaddie myself but the government could be opening a real rod for their backs here. There are potentially 100's of thousands of ex-government employees (which is what a ex-HM Forces service person was at the end of the day) who could be in a similar position such as ex-Civil services employees to name one. What is going to happen when someone says it's 'unfair you are spending this time and effort to trace ex-forces and not do it for all ex-government employees' - and I have no doubt that someone will say this at some point.

    Anyway, I'm happy it is happening and, hopefully, a number of people will get the pensions they have earned - ideally everyone will.
  • edited 24 March 2018 at 8:42PM
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    edited 24 March 2018 at 8:42PM
    kangoora wrote: »
    I do think it's great that they are tracking down ex-servicemen to ensure they get the pension they are entitled to. I don't have anything against this, I was just pointing out you can't really blame the government for somebody not understanding their pension rights and making a claim themselves as they should have done.

    I have no doubt there are potentially millions (if not billions) of pounds of pensions being sat upon by all sorts of pension funds and I wonder just how much effort they put into finding pensioners who they owe money to. My wife found she had a pension pot worth £20k from before I met her which was a nice surprise BUT this only turned up because her work opened a new pension with the same provider who found out she had this existing pot and informed her about it.

    I'm an ex-squaddie myself but the government could be opening a real rod for their backs here. There are potentially 100's of thousands of ex-government employees (which is what a ex-HM Forces service person was at the end of the day) who could be in a similar position such as ex-Civil services employees to name one. What is going to happen when someone says it's 'unfair you are spending this time and effort to trace ex-forces and not do it for all ex-government employees' - and I have no doubt that someone will say this at some point.

    Anyway, I'm happy it is happening and, hopefully, a number of people will get the pensions they have earned - ideally everyone will.

    I became a LGPS pensions administrator after I left the RAF - so I can say with certainty that the LGPS does its best to track down its errant pensioners. I'm confident that the Civil Service, NHS, etc etc do the same. For some reason, it appears that it's just the AFPS that leaves it to their deferred pensioners to instigate a claim.
  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    What is really needed isn't an advert it is one of the "rags" to run an OMG what a scandal type pieces. The remaining 90% (& probably a whole lot more) would be in touch within weeks.
  • edited 25 March 2018 at 7:02PM
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    edited 25 March 2018 at 7:02PM
    badmemory wrote: »
    What is really needed isn't an advert it is one of the "rags" to run an OMG what a scandal type pieces. The remaining 90% (& probably a whole lot more) would be in touch within weeks.

    You'd have thought so, wouldn't you? There have been newspaper articles on the campaigns to pay pensions to veterans who left before 1975 and in support of the post-retirement widows, neither of which came/will come to anything, but nothing about the veterans (or their widows) who DO qualify but who may not realise it.
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