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Primetime Winter 2009 Issue 2 Your pension is safe See page 4 Pension fund newsletter for retired members Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 1 Useful information Hello and welcome... to this latest edition of the Norfolk Pension Funds magazine for Your name retired members. Your magazine now has a name – “Prime Time”. Congratulations to Mr Tony Newson who suggested the new title, Your National voted most popular at last years Retired Members Week events. Insurance number As well as the usual mix of stories to help you plan your affairs, I am Norfolk Pension Fund 01603 495788 delighted that we have been able to include a couple of features sent in by retired members. Thanks to everybody who sent in ideas State Pension 0845 6060 265 – do please keep them coming. Remember this is your magazine Other organisations you might want to be notified and we want to hear from you. There is a £10 M&S voucher for every story that we use. Bank As usual, there is quite a lot to take in, so if you need to know more, Building Society you are very welcome to call our pensions payroll team on 01603 495788. Local Council I hope that you enjoy this issue. Doctor Solicitor/accountant Tax Office Nicola Mark 0845 3667851 Head of the Norfolk Pension Fund Insurance policy Mortgage Credit card The Norfolk Pension Fund, 4/5th floor, Lawrence House Gas 5 St Andrews Hill, Norwich NR2 1AD Electric 01603 495788 firstname.lastname@example.org Other www.yourpension.org.uk We thank the Greater Manchester Pension Fund for their help with this newsletter. 2 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 3 Your LGPS Pension is safe ‘Your benefits are These days, it’s hard to Three yearly health check not affected by Every three years the Fund has a turn on the TV, open a ‘health check’ - where an outside the value of the newspaper, or browse specialist examines the value of the web, without finding its assets (its investments and pension fund…’ future income) and the extent of endless stories about its liabilities (what it has to pay out now and in the future). the recession, the credit This process is called a valuation, crunch, and the crisis in the and this is how we make sure that financial markets. These we always have enough money to cover your pensions, now and are very difficult times. into the future. Contributions from Employers are adjusted as a Understandably, many of you result of this exercise. may be worried that this might Your pension scheme was affect your Local Government created by statute and is backed Pension Scheme (LGPS) pension. by Government. This means that Please don’t worry – your LGPS your pension is well protected pension is safe and guaranteed. and guaranteed. How benefits are worked out A good track record Your pension benefits in the LGPS The Local Government Pension are based on your final pay and Scheme was created in 1922 membership when you finished and over the decades has seen work. huge swings in the value of Because of this, your benefits are investments markets, both up not affected by the value of the and down. Pension Fund, which goes up and The recent ups and downs down as it receives contributions do not affect our ability to and pays benefits, and as pay pensions. So you can rest investment markets rise and fall. assured that your pension is secure. 4 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 5 We all love Investigation in progress a good story Sometimes we make a payment of someone’s pension after they’ve died, simply because we aren’t informed in time. But in a small number of cases, we have discovered family members fraudulently claiming someone’s pension after they’ve died. To detect this type of activity, we take part in something called the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). It matches the records of all public sector pension schemes like ours, to the Department for Works and If you have one why not share it with us in your Pensions database. Primetime magazine. We’re interested in all sorts - maybe you’ve become a wiz on This then highlights cases where pensioners have died, and someone computers, or you’ve been travelling else has wrongly carried on claiming the money - all cases identified or have a favourite recipe you are investigated and sometimes this involves the police. would like us to try. But it isn’t just about picking up payments we shouldn’t be making - Don’t be shy - pick up your pen it can also help identify payments we should be making but aren’t. and paper, or start tapping that For example there are sometimes cases where the main pension keyboard, and drop us a line - if holder has passed away but a pension for a dependant such as a we feature your story, we’ll send husband or wife hasn’t been set up. you a £10 Marks & Spencers Voucher. Nothing to declare? Please send your stories to: Another aspect of the NFI exercise The Norfolk Pension Fund, is to prevent fraudulent claims for 4/5th floor, Lawrence House, housing benefit or other payments. 5 St Andrews Hill, So remember, if you claim anything Norwich NR2 1AD, or like this, you must tell them you draw e-mail: jo.quarterman@ a pension from us, as they may have norfolk.gov.uk to take its value into account. Remember - the authorities take fraud very seriously, and anyone committing such a crime will be asked to pay the money back, and may face prosecution. 6 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 7 Pension Payment dates for 2009 Pensions up 5% this time As prices in the shops go up, it’s good to know your NPF We always pay your pension in arrears on the last traditional working day of the month. pension keeps pace... In 2009 pensions will be paid on the following dates... January Friday 30 January February Friday 27 February March Tuesday 31 March April Thursday 30 April May Friday 29 May June Tuesday 30 June July Friday 31 July August Friday 28 August Your NPF pension is increased by exactly the same as the rise in the September Wednesday 30 September Retail Price Index (RPI) as at September of the previous year (so this year, as at September 2008). Last years increase applied from the 7th October Friday 30 October April 2008, so would have been reflected in your pension payment in November Monday 30 November April. This years increase (5%) will apply from the 6th April 2009. December Thursday 31 December What if I’ve not been on pension long? If your pension began on or after 7 April 2008, then it will be increased Not all retired members receive a printed payslip each month any by a proportion of the full amount. So to give you the general idea, if more. For those of you that still do, as we have talked about before, we you’ve been on pension for six months, you’ll get half the full increase plan to reduce the number of payslip we print and post each month. – in other words 2.5%. These changes will come in later in the year. Instead of sending you a printed payslip each month, we will only send you a payslip when the If you are a retired member who is under 55, you will have to wait amount being paid to you varies. Please don’t worry about this – we until 55 for your pension to go up, unless you retired through ill will write to you before we make any changes, and you will have the health. option of still receiving a printed payslip each month. Do you have a GMP? If you were a member before 6 April 1997 and you have reached State pension age, your pension from us has to be at least as much as something called the guaranteed minimum pension or GMP. The figure is set by the Department for Work & Pensions, and they will normally pay all or part of the increase on the GMP part of your pension from us. 8 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 9 New job? Abatement Question: What is abatement? Please remember, you must tell us if you Answer: Within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) abatement is the term we use if we reduce or suspend pension get another job with any employer who payments for a period when: offers membership of the LGPS - whether • A pensioner of the scheme is re-employed with an employer, and or not you join the Scheme. In some • Is able to join the LGPS as an employee, and cases, working for this type of employer • Their new pay and pension together add up to more than their may affect some peoples pensions. If you final salary when they retired. think that this may apply to you, there is more detail in the article on abatement Like all Pension Funds, the under completely separate on the following page. Norfolk Pension Fund has to regulations. have a policy on abatement. • Added Years will continue to Our policy is regularly reviewed, be monitored and abated if in consultation with the necessary. Retired members who employers of the Fund. At the have any added years will receive last review, the Pension Fund a letter confirming their adjusted “Trustees” changed the policy on earnings limit (i.e. excluding the abatement. main scheme local government The new policy is that abatement pension) and will continue to Changing your bank? is no longer required in any case of further employment with any employer who gives you the receive yearly assessment letters. Nobody will receive less If your bank details change, your bank or building society right to join the LGPS. It is not pension as a result of this may not tell us, so please make sure you do! Please note entirely that straightforward for change in policy. we cannot take bank changes over the phone, so you will all members however… We will write to you if you are need to drop us a line or call in at our offices. Payroll is • This policy only covers pension a re-employed retired member usually run around the middle of the month, so please let paid on LGPS membership paid affected by this change. This us know in good time or it might delay your payment. for or service transferred into may take a little while as we go the Local Government Pension through all the cases affected. Scheme at the date of your If you have any concerns or retirement. It does not cover questions in the meantime compensatory added years, please don’t hesitate to call which are awarded and paid our Retired Members Pensions Support Team on 01603 495788. 10 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 11 State Pension Centenary Today this basket could be bought at a major supermarket for £19.15... • 5 large loaves of bread £5.00 • 250g tea £1.28 The 1 January 2009 marked 100 years since the first pensioners went • 500g white sugar £0.48 to the Post Office to collect a State Pension of 5 shillings a week. In • 500g cheddar £3.38 1909 half a million people over 70 got a State Pension for the first time. • 2.5k potatoes £1.98 It’s an opportunity for us to salute the pension pioneers whose vision • 1k Value stewing steak £4.49 gave this country a vital base for our later years. • 7 pints whole milk £2.54 The Government have produced some interesting documents and 100th Anniversary of the State Pension Statistics facts to mark the occasion. You can see from the documents how The percentage of the generation who survived to State Pension Age different today’s pension is to the one of 1908, and that we face • 1908 = 24% new challenges. We live longer and want more from those years. For • 2008 = 84% example, in 2063, we should have our first 120 year old. This means • 2018 = 86% she is already 65 and drawing her state pension. She will do so for half her life. Who knows, she could be one of our retired members… Life expectancy at State Pension Age • 1908 = 9 years We thought that you might enjoy some of the facts and figures they • 2008 = 25 years have produced ... if you would like to know more, have a look at the • 2018 = 24 years* Department of Work and Pensions website at www.dwp.gov.uk/ mediacentre/pensioncentenary . *Life expectancy at State Pension Age decreases slightly between 2008 and 2018 because State Then and now Pension Age for women will have increased In real terms, the basic state pension is worth around four times more from 60 to 64. today than the amount received in 1908. One way of looking at it is to consider what basket of goods the state pension bought in 1908 and how much today’s pensioners would spend on the same. The full pension in 1908 was 5 shillings, which would buy... • 5 large loaves of bread 1s. 0d • Half lb of tea 10d • lb of sugar 2d • lb cheese 8d • 7lbs potatoes 3d • 2lbs meat (cheap cuts) 1s. 1d • 7 pints milk 1s. 0d 12 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 13 Latest news from Pat Bullock, Manager of your Pensioner Payroll Support Team... We hope that you have found this edition of Prime Time interesting and useful. During the year, there have been some changes to the team that are here to support you. This recipe was sent in by Ron Britton, who worked for Norwich City Council for over 40 years. He says, “Here is a cheap and Both Andrea and Elaine were promoted to other areas of Pensions, simple ‘winter warmer’ recipe.” and two new team members (James and Sandra) recruited to join Paul, Jane, Shenda and I. The new team is settling down well. Sandra Let us know how you get on if you make it, or maybe you have a says, “It has been great joining this team and being part of the favourite recipe you would like to pass on? If so, drop us a line to: payroll side of business. The work is varied and enjoyable and along The Communications Team, Norfolk Pension Fund, with my colleagues, I look forward to providing help and assistance 4th floor Lawrence House, 5 St Andrews Hill, Norwich, NR2 1AD to all our members.” or e-mail: email@example.com Do look out for Sandra and James, and the rest of the team, at this Ingredients (to feed 4 people) year’s Retired Members events. • 2 lb (900 g) peeled and sliced potatoes Please remember that we are here to help you with any concerns • 1 lb (450g) sausage meat, rolled into small balls (or skinned or questions you may have about your Local Government Pension sausages cut into bite size pieces) Scheme pension – you can contact us on 01603 495788. • ½ lb ( 225 g) peeled and sliced tomatoes • 1 apple peeled and sliced Best wishes, Pat • 1 onion peeled and sliced • 1 tablespoon plain flour • Stock or water • Salt and pepper to taste Method 1. Dip the sausage into the flour seasoned with salt and pepper. 2. Arrange a layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom of an earthenware casserole. 3. Cover with a layer of sausage followed by a layer of apples, tomatoes and onions. 4. Repeat the layers, finishing with potato. 5. Fill three quarters full with stock or water. Pat (right) with new 6. Cover tightly, and bake in a moderate oven team members (180 or gas mark 4) for approximately 2 hours. James and Sandra. 14 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 15 Accounts and investments Here is a summary of the Norfolk The Pension Fund’s money is invested with nine fund managers, who each specialise in an asset type, such as UK shares, overseas shares, Pension Fund accounts and property, etc, as shown below. The aim is to have a mix of assets that provides the maximum return while managing the risk to the Fund investments... – or to put it another way, we try not to put all the eggs in the same Accounts basket! (Two currency managers, Goldman Sachs International and Our full accounts for 2007/8, and also our Statement of Investment Auriel Capital Management, were appointed with effect from April Principles, which includes details of our Socially Responsible 2008 and will therefore appear in next year’s accounts.) Investment and Corporate Governance activities, can be downloaded As at 31 March 2008, the manager holdings were as follows: from our website: www.yourpension.org.uk . If you would like a paper Harbour Vest Partners, copy, please contact us on 01603 222824. Standard Life Investments, Private Equity 1.3% Private Equity 3.0% Northern Trust Global Funds, 2006-07 2007-08 Cash 0.3% £000’s £000’s Aberdeen Asset Management, Government and Henderson Global Investors, Opening net assets of the scheme 1,736,327 1,891,261 company bonds 10.1% Government and Employees’ contributions to the fund 23,556 25,032 company bonds 8.7% Employers’ contributions to the fund 72,159 68,812 Baillie Gifford & Co, Fidelity Pensions Transfer Values Received 15,499 14,866 Shares in UK Management, companies 12.6% Shares in overseas Payments to pensioners and dependants -69,162 -73,003 companies 19.5% Transfers out and other payments to leavers -5,754 -6,366 Advisor fees and general administration costs -1,686 -1,959 Net investment return – including income and the change in value of investments 120,322 -75,726 Alliance Bernstein, Closing net assets of the scheme 1,891,261 1,842,917 Shares in UK companies 12.6% Capital International Limited, Morley Fund Management, Shares in overseas companies 17.3% Property 14.6% 16 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 17 Taxing times In the Chancellor’s pre budget report in 2007, he announced some changes to the way income tax works from April 2008, as well as the usual changes to the personal allowances. Personal allowance £5,435 a year (increased from September 2008) £6,035 a year Personal allowance for people aged 65-74* £9,030 Personal allowance for people aged 75 and over* £9,180 * There is an income limit for these age related allowances of £21,800 a year. This means that the allowance will go down by £1 for every £2 of income above the limit. There are also other allowances, such as the married couple’s Here’s an example assuming ‘Joan’ will pay tax at 20% allowance, and blind persons’ allowance but these don’t apply to everyone - please ask the Tax Office (HMRC) if you need more details. Joan is 66 and has a State pension of just over £80 a week (£4230 a year), and has a pension from the Norfolk Pension Fund of £500 a Working out your tax month (£6000 a year). So now to the crunch... if your income is above your allowance, how She has no other taxable income, so the total the HMRC will look at much tax will you pay? is £10,230... Last year, the Chancellor surprised many people by announcing a cut Income for tax purposes: £10,230 in the basic income tax rate from 22% down to 20%. This may sound Age related allowance: £9,030 like good news, but when you dig a little deeper, you see that as part Taxable income: £1,200 of the changes, the starting band of 10% disappears (this was the rate Now the 10% band is scrapped, Joan will pay tax at 20% on this that applied to the first £2230 or so). £1,200, in other words: Remember, it’s your tax code which tells us how much tax to take Taxable income: £1,200 from you, if any. And as these changes only came in from 6 April 2008, Tax due: £1,200 x 20% = £240 a year (£20 a month) they only applied from your May pension. And by the way, we don’t generate your tax code, it’s the HMRC. If you think that there is a To see the answers to some of the most frequently asked problem with your tax code, HMRC’s details are on page 16. questions on tax please turn over the page. 18 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 19 uently asked Tax Freq questions... Q I have received a form P2 Notice of coding what should I do? Keep in A Nothing! HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) will inform us directly of your new code. Q I think I’m paying too much tax, who should I contact? touch A HMRC, Youfor the fund. (You can findInsuranceyour P60.)and PAYE reference will need your National both on Q I’m a pensioner, should I be paying tax? Number with us! A If yourtoincome isThe amountyourtax you payallowance then you have pay tax. more than of personal is calculated on all your income, including your pension(s) See pages 18 and 19 for details of this year’s personal allowances). Q How is my tax code calculated? Please remember to keep us in the picture if you move house, or if this newsletter A Yourshould check this carefully and contact code isifcalculated, it didn’t come to the right address. P2 Notice of coding shows how your you HMRC you think You can do this by phone, by fax, by email, is wrong. or by post (but preferably not by bottle). If you would like help understanding your Notice of coding before See back cover for all our contact details. contacting HMRC, please call us on 01603 495788. You are also very welcome to call at our Norwich offices - our opening hours are shown below: Monday to Thursday: 8.45am - 5.00pm Friday: 8.45am - 4.00pm Telephone 0845 366 7851 Open 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week Our phone lines are open until 5.30pm Monday to Please quote your National Insurance number and Thursday and until 4.30pm on a Friday reference 531/N3722P or their web address: ww.hmrc.gov.uk/home.htm 20 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 21 Norwich-Dedza Partnership School at Norwich City College is assisting the development of Volunteers can help with fundraising. People with useful tourism. The Partnership wants skills can visit Dedza and carry Africa beckons some to help with vocational and other out projects for two weeks or members of the Norfolk training for young people in longer. Pension Fund. Sue Norgrove, Dedza who have no employment. To find out more about the who was a manager for The Partnership welcomes all Norwich-Dedza Partnership, Norfolk Children’s Services, forms of support. Financial see the website and Nick Nicholson, who Sue at rock donations are needed for www.norwich-dedza.org. worked for Norwich City painting site bursaries and other work. Council, are trustees of a local A good news story... sports kit, etc that were charity that supports Dedza donated by councils, schools District in Malawi. and individuals in Norfolk. The following article was sent Physiotherapist encourages you These items are used in local in by Helen Johnson. Helen had to “just walk along the corridor The work of the Norwich-Dedza government offices, the hospital, to undergo surgery a while ago, with these crutches”. However, a Partnership is carried out by schools and community groups. and was quite nervous before few weeks later as you progress individuals and organisations in and around Norwich. In Malawi, There is a Bursaries Fund to pay hand. She hopes that her from two sticks to one stick to projects are co-ordinated the school fees for secondary experiences may encourage a tentative walk with no sticks, through the local government school students whose families someone else. you suddenly realise that you council for the area, the Dedza are subsistence farmers with Helen writes... are back to normal. You might District Assembly. no income. Schools in Norfolk As time goes by it’s not only need to build up your distance and Dedza have been linked so our cars that start to wear out. gradually but when you are There are several strands to retired what else is there to do that pupils can learn about each I recently had to have a hip the work. The Partnership has but have lots of little practise others’ lives. Volunteer visitors replacement operation and sent shipping containers with walks round the block? It’s a carry out short teacher training want to encourage anyone who computer equipment, school good way to meet all those sessions. is doubtful about the process to books, tools, sewing machines, neighbours you have never The Partnership raised funds get it done. spoken to before! that enabled the Dedza District The worst part is the night Assembly to renovate a run-down before the operation when Six months on and you are hostel used by people looking you want to sneak out of the taking the dog out, driving after their relatives who are hospital and go home and carry around in the car and feeling patients in the local hospital. on with your walking stick. like a new person. So, if you’re Nick Two days after you also wish dithering, Go on! Be Brave! greets young Easton College is helping with you had never bothered as the Say “Yes”! Malawian agriculture projects and the Hotel 22 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 Norfolk Pension Fund Newsletter 2009 23 Can we help you? The Norfolk Pension Fund 5th Floor Lawrence House 5 St Andrews Hill Norwich NR2 1AD 01603 495923 firstname.lastname@example.org www.yourpension.org.uk Please have your National Insurance number handy G21356 CB 1/09 Printed on recycled paper using vegetable based inks If you would like this magazine in large print, audio, Braille, alternative format or in a different language, please contact Doreen Metcalf on 01603 222 824 (minicom 01603 223 833).
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