Improper administration of AFPS 75

Discussion in 'Finance & Pensions' started by sandyspud, Apr 4, 2015.

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  1. Ex Service Personnel receiving AFPS 75

    Your abatement at State pension age should be 87pence per year x years of full service, and if on Graduated Pension an extra £2.345 x years of full service. This should never change throughout your life, according to a Freedom of Information request from HMRC.
    However Veterans UK (Previously SPVA) changed this rule in 2008 unilaterally, whereby the reduction of your pension will be calculated at discharge and index linked to the Consumer Price Index, which is contrary to the regulations of Naval and Marine Pensions (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 and Attributable Benefits Scheme) Order 2010.
    Veterans UK are not authorised to change the regulations merely to administer them, they were caught out in 2010 with Maladministration of AFPS, see BBC business news for details

    I need support to rectify this miscarriage of justice, as it will effect thousands of Ex Service Personnel. A group action may be required
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  2. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    I take it this is a follow up from your previous thread sandy? TBH, I'm not really following how you (me?) and others are being seen off. The administrators of pensions have changed the payments which is out of their remit? Even after being caught out nothing has been changed?

    Originally posted by sandy in 2013 to help anyone interested follow the topic,

    Since I reached retirement age, I was informed by Xafinity Paymaster that my AFPS 75 pension would be reduced by £266.75 per year. This happened in August 2012, and a long paper chase started, to find out why there was an abatement of my RN pension.
    Up to the present time, and since August 2012, I have trawled the internet looking for information on any legislation regarding this subject, and I have contacted XP, SPVA, HMRC and DWP to find some answers.
    I exhausted all complaint avenues and then went through the Internal Dispute Procedures, stages 1 & 2, with SPVA in Glasgow I then contacted the HMRC to give me information under the Freedom of Information Act.
    At this point I knew the AFPS 75 was being improperly administered. Stage 2 of the IDPS informed me there would be a pension reduction which was calculated at time of discharge, in my case that was done in 1975, & was £32.15, and that this was index linked to the CPI (Consumer Price Index) raising the sum to £266.75 at retirement.
    The information I received from HMRC informed me the reduction calculated at discharge, should never rise, even although the pension was index linked.
    On investigating further on the internet I found SPVA were found guilty of maladministration of AFPS pensions in 2011, you'll find details on BBC News - Armed forces pensioners underpaid, admits MOD
    I have been advised to proceed to the Pensions Ombudsman, but I would appreciate any helpful comments from other ex-servicemen in the same predicament
  3. This only affects personnel that retired round about April 2010? (assuming that it only effects,
    as is stated some 5000+ "interested parties").

  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Having said that, if the Treasury are illegally proffing £266 a year for 5,000 indivividuals who are former service personnel over the next thirty to forty years, it's certainly an issue that needs addressing.

    Far rather the money goes to the military pensioner than be retained by consecutive governments with £53,000,000 squandered on dubious ministerial "expenses".
  5. Yes Witsend this is a continuation of a previous claim of Maladministration of AFPS 75. Since I wrote that article I have referred the matter to the Pensions Ombudsman, who was critical of SPVA's handling of communicating with service personnel in matters relating to the Reserved Pension. However they took SPVA's side and rejected my claim, but ordered SPVA to pay me £100 for the amount of paperwork and stress. I have since contacted SPVA, after they contacted me for my bank details, to pay the £100, I was not interested in this money as I was still actively pursuing a just and fair resolution to this issue. Initially I was pleased with a letter from an Ombudsman lawyer, who stated she was not happy with a response she received from SPVA regarding the abatement. She asked them for proof of authorisation to them index linking the pension, but I never got a conclusion as she was removed from the case and a Senior Investigator took her place. He was apparently more receptive to SPVA's interpretation of the Naval and Marine regulations, although they were untrue particularly Rule. D22 and D23, they also repeatedly referred to Teachers and Civil Servants Pensions which were irrelevant.
    I have since referred the matter to my local MP, who agrees SPVA have failed to provide sufficient proof that they are authorised to change the Naval and Marine Pensions Act, and he has written to them to ask that they review their actions regarding Abatement. He cannot go any further until after the elections.

    BillyNoMates it is of no consequence how many ex service personnel are involved, SPVA have a duty to administer Armed Forces Pensions as they have been ordered and not as they see fit.
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  6. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm still struggling to fully understand how they are seeing us off sandy. Any chance of spelling it out for me and anyone else scratching their head.

    Does this effect someone on an immediate pension fixed until their 55?
    Or does this effect someone on an immediate pension when they hit 55?
    Or someone who left before completing their time and when they hit 65?
  7. Witsend I have attached an excerpt from an email I received from SPVA in 2013
    All ex-service personnel who have at least 1 years reckonable service prior to 1 April 1980 will be liable for an abatement to their Armed Forces Pension on reaching state pension age i.e age 60 for women & age 65 for men. This abatement will be applied to their Armed Forces Pension at the appropriate age irrespective of whether their state pension is in payment or not.
    The reason for this abatement goes back to when the National Insurance Scheme was made compulsory for all employed persons in 1948. This scheme made flat rate National Insurance contributions compulsory for all employees and employers irrespective of whether the employer concerned already provided their own occupational pension scheme. As a result, employers who provided their own occupation pension scheme were contributing to both pensions schemes for the same period of service.
    Provisions were therefore introduced to allow such occupational pension schemes to reduce benefits at age 60/65 by £0.8708 a year for each complete year of reckonable service prior to 1 April 1980.
    Additionally, employees who contributed to the Graduated Pension Scheme during the period 3 April 1961 to 5 April 1975 will have their Armed Forces pension reduced by the basic graduated pension earned by their graduated contributions. Again, this reduction is made to prevent an individual from receiving the benefit of both the state pension scheme and an occupational pension scheme for the same period of employment

    The level of abatement notified to an individual on a letter from Pensions Division will differ from the actual amount deducted from the pension by Equiniti Paymaster. This is because there was a change to the method of applying these abatements for individuals who reached age 60/65 on or after 1 May 2008. All such abatements are now subject to increase in line with the Price Index, in other words the same increases which are applicable to an individual’s pension are applicable to the level of the abatement.

    This is contrary to the regulations laid down in Naval and Marines Pensions Act found on the following website

    There are 108 pages but only D. 6, D.22 & D.23 apply, they clearly state the amount of abatement and when it is applied, ie State Pension Age.

    If you check the BBC website you will see Cdr Michael Goldthorpe(Rtd) picked up on a difference in his projected pension and actual amount, this was found to be due to maladministration.

    If you ask why the situation has not been rectified, I suspect it might be because I was not an officer. FPS are aware of the situation, they advised me to seek a judicial review which would cost around £30000 or take MOD to court, which could be expensive.

  8. I have spoken to David Marsh and I understand that this has been raised with MOD and will be again. I will provide updates as things develop.
  9. Sandys so you are saying for my service from 1974 to 1980 my anual pension will drop by £0.87 X16 = 13.92?

    What about years served after 1980?

    I am with wits not totally baffled just trying to get my head into gear
  10. With the new State Pension coming into force and guaranteed levels of State Pension and as I hit State Pension in 3 years I looked into it and discovered that serving personnel and other "public servants" do not pay "full stamp" and , despite having paid NI for a qualifying period (10 yrs I believe) they do not qualify for the full guaranteed level but get a reduced amount. So if you came out the RN and got a job in the private sector you would have paid full stamp for the qualifying period thus entitled to the full amount however if like me and a few others on here you came out and got a job in the public sector - unless you opted to pay more in NI then you will get a reduced amount of the State Pension which from what I can see amounts to about £24 a week.

    So ... if I read Sandy right ... not only am I going to get a reduced State Pension... I'm going to loose £187.92 (per annum) of my AF Pension as well! The problem is that most Public Service NI is at the lower rate and with the new Pension Rules they are going to reduce your State Pension if you have only paid lower rate for the qualifying period but I cannot get my head around the logic of why they should impose an abatement on my AF pension based on the fact that I paid a reduce amount of NI.
  11. My Post Office pension was reduced when I received my state pension, but my pussers one stayed the same (as for as I can remember)
    I served from 62 to 89 and am now 68, it's all a little beyond my pay or retirement grade i just dont understand it.
  12. After working all ones life the robbing gits are trying anther way to fleece us and not pay out money into our pensions?
    Only bonus is we will have less money for them to Tax us, but I am sure they will find a way around that.
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  13. When I started my crusade against, primarily, Xafinity Paymaster, as AFPS administers, I knew almost immediately there was something amiss. They could not tell me why there was an abatement to my RN pension, then they palmed off my enquiry to SPVA. Their answer to my query did not make sense and their explanations were becoming long winded and, basically, not making a lot of sense. Anyway I plugged away picking up more and more information and I found SPVA had been caught red handed underpaying ex service pensioners IN 2010 to which they, owned up. They blamed their computer systems, well what else would you expect. So in this case, no action, is disasterous, we must make our voices and numbers count. This deception has gone on for too long, Veterans UK have been caught out once and now, it would appear the leopard has returned
  14. I received a letter from MOD in Norcross, Blackpool, as I requested data under the Freedom of Information Act. I asked them for documented proof that Equiniti or SPVA 0r Veterans UK were authorised to change the Abatement conditions, as was indicated on 1st of May 2008. They refused my request stating file shown in attached file'
    I am now requesting an independent review before I take the matter to the Information Commissioners Office.
    How are the Forces Pensions Society getting on

    Attached Files:

  15. This is a 2nd file from FIOA in Norcross, Blackpool. This is arrogance in it's ugliest form

    Attached Files:

  16. I recently received the final review report from MOD in London. Please note in Paragraph 10 there is no authorisation letter from MOD or SPVA to Equiniti to change the procedures for pension abatement in 2008.
    In Paragraph 14 my request under the Freedom of Information Act, in this instance has not been fully met.
    I am now awaiting advice from a 2nd MP, and some other avenues before deciding whether to refer the matter to the ICO as there has been a flawed interpretation of the AFPS 75. If you receive this pension and you are over 60/65 it could be effecting you by approximately £235 per year. Stay posted

    Attached Files:

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  17. I'm interested in the notion that public service employees do not "pay full stamp", I certainly did and I never had to ask to do so, in fact I was never given an option.
    I really don't have the head for pension regulations and calculations to be able to follow much of this but I note that my advice from Equiniti tells me that a GMP of £58.76 is subtracted from the total for my previous year's total pension before my increase in pension of 1.2% is applied. Has this anything to do with what you discuss here, sandyspud?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  18. The GMP modification is something different. What the earlier posts are about is National Insurance Modification.

    If you are a Forces Pension Society member, there is a range of useful leaflets explaining various pension issues - there is one which explains these modifications.

    I believe the original poster has been discussing this issue with David at our HQ.
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  19. Thank you very much, vauxhall.
    I probably should get myself informed about pensions. I'm pretty good as far as my NHS pension goes but the armed forces pension scheme seems unnecessarily complicated.
  20. The Information Commissioners office has informed me they are powerless to act in this case.
    It is obvious AFPS 75 rules were changed by SPVA who instructed Equinity Paymaster to index link the pension abatements to the Retail Price Index, in 2008. They were not legally authorised to do so, and although SPVA say they were authorised, the Ministry of Defence have no record of this and as RN personnel were involved, approval from the Privy Counsel was required but was never requested or given. All this information was gained from MOD at Whitehall and Cleveley and I have passed it on to my MP, Martyn Day.
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