Q. How do I get my Pension Forecast?
A. Pensions at Shared services should provide you with any pension forecast.
Q. What is the level of my contribution each month?
A. 13.7% of Pensionable salary
Q. What allowances are pensionable?
A. Pensionable Pay - includes:
Q. How is my final pension entitlement calculated?
A. The average of your final year’s salary is used to calculate your pension but the best salary from the previous three years applies, so if for any reason you had a higher salary in either of the 2 proceeding years that is the figure that will be used.
A year is calculated from the date of retirement backwards in blocks of 365 days. This figure is called your Average Pensionable Pay (APP). For each year of service up to 20 you are given 1/60 of the APP & 2/60 of APP for each year thereafter up to 30. This is what is known as the double accrual period.
For example if you retired with 30 years service, your pension would be calculated like so:
So for illustrative purposes only if your APP after 30 years service was £36,000. Your entitlement without commutation would be £36,000 x 40/60 or £24,000 p.a
You can commute a maximum of a quarter of your pension as a lump sum. So if you chose to commute the figures would be £24,000 / 4= £6000 which then has to be multiplied by your age factor. The commutation factors can be found in the WMP Federation Diary or you can download the document Communation on Retirement for more information.
Q. What if I resign before completing 30 years service?
Q. Does being temporarily promoted to the next rank affect my pension?
A. Yes any salary from being temporarily promoted is included in your Average Pensionable Pay (APP)
Q. Can my pension be forfeited?
A. Yes but only in very limited circumstances. Regulation K5 of the Police Pension Regulations allows forfeiture in the event of you being convicted of Treason or for an offence which involved the abuse of your position as a police officer or bringing the Service into disrepute. The final decision rests with the police authority and can be forfeited in whole or in part, permanently or temporarily.
Q. What is the “Death in service” benefit and who can receive it?
A. The Death in Service Lump Sum Grant is calculated as two times your pensionable salary and is paid to your Spouse or civil partner if married and your Estate if not. In addition there is also a Widow/er’s Pension but this is only paid to a legally married spouse or civil partner and would cease in the event of them remarrying or Co-habiting. A surviving child allowance is also paid.
Q. Is my pension index linked?
A. Yes but only from the age of 55. and at that point it would attract index linking back to date of leaving.
Q. When is the best time to retire?
A. When it’s right for you, but the last day of the month is a good date, as it means you will receive your full A/L allocation for that month (20 hours) get paid your wage for all of that month and then as your pension is paid in advance you will receive your fist pension pay cheque on the 1st day of the next month.
Q. How long will I have to wait for my Lump sum & first pension payment?
A. The lump sum is normally paid into your bank account the first working day after you leave and the pension is paid on the 1stof each month.
Q. Under what conditions is my lump sum only 2.25 X my pension as opposed to the full 30 year or age 55 entitlement?
A. If you leave between 25 yrs and 29 yrs 364 days service.
Q. Can I opt out of paying any further pension contribution once I’ve got 30 years service?
A. Yes you can but (a) you would lose the death in service lump sum grant (b) you would pay tax on the pension contributions which are now in your pay (c) you pay a higher rate of NI (class 1) as you are no longer in an occupational pension scheme & (d) your pension is calculated on the last day you were in the scheme and so will not reflect any subsequent pay increases.
Q. Will divorce affect my pension?
A. Not necessarily it all depends on individual circumstances, the joint assets of the marriage, and whether your spouse has his/her own pension will impact upon the outcome. The PFEW would recommend that you consult a solicitor who is a specialist in this area of law, such as Gorvin’s who have a department especially for police officers!