Welfare

Welfare

Welfare

Officially there is no change at present to services provided by the force so we will have to see how it goes, hopefully it will get back to normal when, or if Margaret Hunter feels able to return to work.

 

The Welfare Fund is here for your use should you need it. All requests, including costs that may result from using the service above, will be considered but we do have to ensure that any request falls within our rules.  The Welfare Fund is here to help you so if you feel you need assistance or advice please feel free to contact me on 01642/714727 or email Narpo.cleveland@outlook.com

 

Pensions

I have a number of issues to mention, starting with the correction of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) so it is a deductible benefit from an Injury Award. What I, and almost everyone else ‘missed’ is that ESA is now deductible from 10th February 2017 so overpayments are being claimed back AND it includes ESA for ANY illness/injury irrespective of whether it was the one that you receive your Injury Award for.  If you are affected you will already have been contacted by Kier.  The Association and Police Federation are both trying to get the latter part reversed.

 

I continue to get questions about State Pension as well as Facebook and email messages. As I am waiting expectantly for my own State Pension (sadly I’m about to hit the magic figure) I will remind you what all the letters mean.  Generally, the first thing you receive is a letter about SERPS and Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP).  This is exercising some of you as it shows an amount that Kier will pay you per week.  That is the GMP and refers to the level the Police Pension must fall to before the pension will be ‘topped up’ by Kier.  It is also NOT subject to pension increases as any change is put on your State Pension.

 

The second issue is the loss of £1.70 per year of service before 1980 due to not paying full NI. When you originally retired you will have received your pension totals and where this deduction was enforceable a second pension rate was shown on reaching 65. (The difference in mine was £15 less than my full pension.)  The original pension is used and all increments since retirement are added to produce a figure divisible by 12 that will be deducted from your pension once you receive State Pension.  Mine looks like it will work out at a deduction of about £11 per month!

 

Finally, your tax allowance is used to make your State Pension ‘tax free’ and the remainder is used for your Police Pension so you pay more tax on the Police Pension so it looks less again!!!

 

On the good side, you will receive your State Pension which is additional to anything you get from the Police so you SHOULD be better off in the end. This can vary from the minimum on the old scheme to the maximum on the new one. It just depends how many years of FULL NI stamp you have accrued as we had a contracted-out pension scheme which has reduced NI.

 

Hope you aren’t too confused!! You can top up your NI with a payment for each year in order to reach the maximum payment.  You can also defer your pension for up to 3 years that brings about an extra £10.40 per week for each year.  If you do not claim your state pension it is automatically deferred.  It is something to consider carefully.  Could you make more use of the cash, could you invest it yourself for use in the future?  The issue is that by deferring or paying the top up you may not get any benefit, nor will your partner, if you should ‘drop off your perch’.  It is quite simply LOST.

 

Bereavements since the last meeting.

The following members have passed away since the last meeting: –

Full members Dave McCulloch, Paul Hanson, Tom Emmerson, John Murphy, Reg Hughes, Ian Corbett and non member Kevin Baker.

New Members.

The following new member has joined the Association since the last meeting: –

Full members Alan Turley, Steve Rees, Richard Fanning, John Towse, Julie Mcgowan, Brian Boulton (transfer from Rotherham), Michael Dent and widow member Kat Hanson.

 

The current membership stands at 1253.

 

As you can see there has been a slowing down of membership If you know anyone who is NOT a member, particularly those recently retired PLEASE give them the branch details so we can keep the membership growing.  As you may have noticed we are also happy to accept membership from those close to retirement but still working: that has been the benefit of taking part in the Pre-Retirement courses.

 

There are two points I would like to mention. Sadly the welfare department and myself are reliant on calls from members or their families to pass on information. Where this has not happened the force has been unable to send notices to members. Similarly if I am not informed about changes of address I may lose touch with some members for a time. Please! Let the welfare department or myself know about any changes.