grapevine Your tax & P60 questions answered Readersâ€™ stories Pensions increase
APRIL 2014, ISSUE 19
Hello and welcome... to this latest edition of Grapevine, your magazine from GMPF. Grapevine is your magazine, and we are always keen to hear from you. We certainly opened the floodgates with Mr Hulstone’s funny story last time about a calamitous trip to Kendals in Manchester... that prompted Netta Stout to get in touch with an amusing anecdote about the very same shop! You can read that on page 23. Once again, packaged with this Grapevine is your combined P60 and payslip, so do please read the information in the pages that immediately follow, as these answer many of the common questions we get asked. And a quick word from me if you’re planning on ‘tying the knot’. First of all “congratulations”, but secondly, do make sure you read the story on page 11, as not all your membership may count towards a pension for your ‘other half’ when you die. So on that cheery note, I would like to wish you all the best!
Ged Dale Head of Pensions Administration
Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Concord Suite, Manchester Road, Droylsden, M43 6SF
0161 301 7100
www.gmpf.org.uk Greater Manchester Pension Fund is administered by Tameside MBC and is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme
YO P U LE IN R PA ASE A S YS KE AF LIP EP EP & LA P6 CE 0 The bottom half of the . document is your P60 - your
Your P60 & payslip
Packaged with this Grapevine is a very important document - your P60 and payslip. The top half of the summary of tax and pension for document is your payslip forYour April,Aprilthe yearPayslip up to 5 April 2014. You may 2011 and shows details of your pension need to present this, for example if Name YOUR GROSS PENSION (Before deductions) from us beforePension deductions, and the you make a claim for Tax Credits, so Taxable No. amount of tax Nat. weIns.have taken. please make sure you keep it! No. Your April 2011 Payslip £
YOUR GROSS PENSION (Before deductions)
* Please note, any new tax codes apply from next month.
Nat. Ins. No. PAYE Ref.
Your percentage of Standard Lifetime Allowance used is:
£ Your April 2013 Payslip
In other words your pension this month YOUR GROSS PENSIO £ Taxable No. before we take anything off for tax. See * Please note, any new tax codes YOUR NET PENSION (After deductions) 6Ins. forNo. more about tax in general. Nat. apply from next For taxmonth. queries 0845page 3000 627 Tax Code
%DEDUCTIONS YOUR Name
For more information on Lifetime Allowance please see Tax the enclosed Grapevine Newsletter. Pension
HM Revenue & Customs, quoting your National
PAYE Ref. Insurance number and PAYE reference 582/M5010. Your percentage of Standard Tax Year Month % Lifetime Allowance used is: For pension queries, 0161 301 7100 Tax Code For more information on Lifetime Allowance please see Concord Suite, Greater Manchester Pension Fund,
the enclosed Grapevine Newsletter.
Manchester Road, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF
For tax queries
Taxable Pay to date
Tax Paid to date
YOUR DEDUCTIONS Tax
(After deductions) YOUR NET Your PENSION payment date this month is 1st April 2011
If you3000 need to separate 0845 627your payslip from your P60 you can tear along£this dotted line
HM Revenue & Customs, quoting your National Insurance number and PAYE reference 582/M5010.
Tax Year Month of Taxable Pay Tax Paid P60 End ofHMRC Year Certificate fortax 2010 - 2011 Your percentage Standard decides your code - it tells us
For pension queries, 0161 301 7100 Name Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Concord Suite,
to date Lifetime Allowance used is:
Nat.to Ins.take. No. howFormuch tax If you think your tax more information Allowance see £ on Lifetime £ please Manchester Road, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF the enclosed Grapevine Newsletter or visit: www.gmpf.org.uk Your April 2013 Payslip Pension No. Tax Code code is wrong please contact HMRC. YOUR NET PENSION (A Your payment date this month is 1st April 2011 If you need to separate your payslip from your P60 you can tear along this dotted line deductions) Messages this month Name PAYE Ref. (Before YOURtax GROSS PENSION For queries 0845 3000 627 PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT HM Revenue & Customs, quoting your National PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT Taxable Pension No. PAY TAX P60 End of Year Certificate forand 2010 - 2011 Tax Year Month Ta Insurance number PAYE 582/M5010. PAY reference TAX
£ £ For pension Nat. Ins. queries, No.
Nat. Ins. No. Name PAYE Ref.
£ 0161 301£7100
Greater Manchester Pension THIS Fund, Concord Suite, FUND £PENSION PENSION TAX Tax Code Manchester Road, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF
Tax Code this * month Messages
This is your P60 - Do not throw away
YOUR DEDUCTIONS £
Your payment date:
If are youshown needwith to aseparate Refunds minus signyour (-). payslip from your P60 you can tear along this d Figures shownEMPLOYMENT here should be for your Tax Return if you get one. PREVIOUS
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT PAY TAX TOTAL PENSION/PAY TAX FOR THE YEAR This certificate shows the total amount of pension for incomePAY PAY £ TAX tax purposes that we have paid to you in the year. It£ also £ £ £ £ gives details of the total income tax deducted by us (less any Name refunds). Your percentage of Standard THIS PENSION FUND Year Ending 5th April 2011 Lifetime Allowance used is:this certificate in a safe% PENSION TAX Please keep place as you will need Pension No. P60 Substitute (GMPF) it if haveAllowance to fill in a please Tax Return, for Tax For more information onyou Lifetime see make a claim £ £ £ Credits or to renew your claim. the enclosed Grapevine Newsletter or visit: www.gmpf.org.uk for Refunds arethis shownLook with aout minus signmore (-). information about Messages month This is your P60By- Do throw away (After deductions) law not you are required to tell HM Revenue & Customs of shown anyPENSION YOUR NET Figures hereyour shouldpensions be for your Tax Return if you get one. increase in the enclosed income that is not fully taxed, even if you are not sent a Tax Grapevine Newsletter. P60 END OF YEAR Return. CERTIFICATE £THE YEAR TOTAL PENSION/PAY FOR
P60 END OF YEAR CERTIFICATE
P60have EndtooffillYear Certificate If you in a tax return, for 2012 these are the figures you will need. Nat. Ins. No. Tax Code
PAYE Ref. If someone asks for PREVIO TheFor Lifetime Allowance0845 is a limit 3000on 627the total amount tax queries PREVIO PAY your P60, you can PAY This certificate shows thequoting total amount of pension for income Revenue & Customs, your National GMPF isis administered by PAY TAX anyHM of us can build up in pensions it £1.25 million £ tax purposes that and we have to you in the year. It also Tax Year Month Taxable PaytearTax Paid Insurance number PAYEpaid reference 582/M5010. it off, keeping£ £ gives details of the total income tax deducted by us (less any to£ date to date for For the coming tax year. This box shows what refunds). pension queries, 0161 301 7100 the payslip part for THIS Year Ending £ 5th April 2011 £ Greater Pension Fund, Concord Suite, PleaseManchester keep of this this certificate in a safe placeby as you will need percentage is used up your GMPF pension. PENSION P60 Substitute (GMPF) yourself. it if you have to fill in a Tax Return, make a claim Manchester Road, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF for Tax £ P60Payslip2011.indd 1
Credits or to renew your claim. Your payment date: Look out for more information about If youtoneed to separate your&payslip from P60 you can tear along thisnot dotted line away is your P60 - Do throw By law you are required tell HM Revenue Customs ofyour anyThis your pensions increase in the enclosed Pensions Grapevine income that is not fully taxed, even if you are not sent a Tax Grapevine Newsletter. Return. P60 END OF YEAR CERTIFICATE
P60 End of Year Certificate for 2012 - 2013 shows the total amount of pension for income tax GMPF is administered byThis certificate
purposes that we have paid to you in the year. It also gives details of
Refunds are shown with Figures 3 shown here shou
TOTAL PENSI PAY
Your pensions increase this year... If you are due an increase, your pension from us is increased in line with the Government’s preferred rate of inflation - the consumer prices index, or CPI. This is measured from September to September, and the rate for the year ending last September was 2.7% - so that’s the increase this year. But please note there are three reasons why you won’t get the full 2.7% this month... full increase doesn’t apply until May. That’s because the pensions The increase actually happens several days into April - this year on the 7th. So remember, you won’t get all the increase you’re due until May.
If you paid into the Fund before 6 April 1997 and have now reached
State pension age you probably have what’s called a GMP - a guaranteed
minimum pension. This isn’t a separate pension but rather a minimum amount your pension from us has to at least equal. GMPs also attract pensions increase but some or all of this pensions increase is paid along with your State pension. So part of the increase is paid with your GMPF pension and part is paid with your State pension. you retired part way through the year, you Ifwon’t be entitled to the full year’s increase - see the chart on the right.
So as you can see, nobody will get the full 2.7% this month.
Pensions Grapevine 2014
Here’s what happens if you only started drawing your pension part way through the year... In this case, you will get part of the year’s pensions increase as shown in this table:
Are there any other reasons the increase might not apply? Yes, if you are under 55, your pension won’t start increasing until your 55th birthday, unless you retired on the grounds of ill health.
Date of retirement 08 April 2013 - 22 April 2013 23 April 2013 - 22 May 2013 23 May 2013 - 22 June 2013 23 June 2013 - 22 July 2013 23 July 2013 - 22 Aug 2013 23 Aug 2013 - 22 Sept 2013 23 Sept 2013 - 22 Oct 2013 23 Oct 2013 - 22 Nov 2013 23 Nov 2013 - 22 Dec 2013 23 Dec 2013 - 22 Jan 2014 23 Jan 2014 - 22 Feb 2014 23 Feb 2014 - 22 Mar 2014
Increase 2.70% 2.48% 2.25% 2.03% 1.80% 1.58% 1.35% 1.13% 0.90% 0.68% 0.45% 0.23%
Working again? Please remember, you must tell us if you get another job with any employer who offers membership of the LGPS - whether or not you join the Scheme. In some cases, working for this type of employer will affect your pension.
Pension Pensions Power December Grapevine 2014 2006
Don’t get puzzled by It seems amazing how some celebrities and even large corporations seem to think they’re immune from paying taxes. But for the ordinary man or woman in the street, the harsh reality is, we are expected to pay income taxes – literally until the end of our days. So in this article we’ll look at the headline figures for this year... Each year for most of us, the amount of income we are allowed free of tax is decided by one simple thing - the level of the personal allowance. The good news is that the personal allowance is going up for the 2014/15 tax year to exactly £10,000. Example of someone on ordinary personal allowance: Margaret gets the ordinary personal allowance of £10,000, so that means she can bring in around £833 a month tax free. Her pension from GMPF is £633, she hasn’t started drawing her State pension yet, but she does get £300 a month from her part time job: Total income:
Personal allowance: £833 Difference:
So she will pay tax on the £100 difference – normally at 20%, so that would mean paying around £20 that month in tax. In practice it’s a little more complicated, but that gives you the basic idea. 6
Pensions Grapevine 2014
What should I do with the notice of coding I’ve been sent? Nothing! It’s just the taxman’s way of telling you what your tax code is.
What does my tax code mean? In simple cases, you just take your tax free income for the year and knock off the last digit. So if you have an allowance of £10,000 and no adjustments, say for State pension, your code would be 1000L.
What about the higher age related allowances? In addition to the ordinary personal allowance, there are also higher allowances for people born before a certain date. However, the Government decided a couple of years ago that these higher allowances would not increase year on year, effectively meaning they will disappear once the ‘ordinary’ personal allowance catches up with them. So for this year, the higher age related allowances will stay at the same level as last year and the year before. In other words: Age related personal allowance for people born between 6 April 1938 and 5 April 1948:
Age related personal allowance for people born before 6 April 1938:
“I told the ue Inland Reven I didn’t owe y them a penn because I e lived near th seaside.”
If you have been receiving both higher age related allowances and your State pension, the payment from us in May could be less than in April. This is because your State pension will increase, meaning that you could be due to pay more tax. And if you are, this could be taken from your pension from us, meaning that your May payment could be less than your April payment. What if I think my tax code is wrong? Please don’t tell us, as we are not allowed to alter it! You need to speak to the HMRC, as only they can sort it out for you. See the details below...
0300 200 3300
Open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri, and 8am - 4pm Saturdays. Text phone number for hearing & speech impaired members: 0300 200 3319
Please quote your National Insurance number and reference 582 M5010
Pensions Grapevine 2014
Different paydates We now pay GMPF pensions on two different dates: l T he first traditional banking day of the month for anyone who was already on pension before January 2012, and l T he last traditional banking day of the month, for anyone whose first pension payment was January 2012 or later. The fact we pay on two different dates won’t have any effect on your individual paydate – we will keep to whatever point in the month you have always been paid. We just thought you might like to know that some other GMPF pensioners have a different paydate – so this means you may have friends, family or old colleagues who get paid at a different time.
What happens if my traditonal pay date falls on a weekend or bank holiday? If you are paid at the start of the month: in this case, we will pay you on the next banking day. If you are paid at the end of the month: in this case, we will pay you on the previous banking day. See the cut out & keep calendar for the next 12 months on the opposite page.
When will you send me a payslip? Remember when you were at work? You probably got a payslip every month, every week, or whenever you were paid. But it’s not the same with your pension... We always send out a payslip when someone first retires, then, you will always get one for April (which doubles as a P60) and then one for May, with this being the first month that includes in full, the new rate of pensions increase. Apart from that we only produce a payslip when your monthly pension (after deductions) changes by £5 or more. 8
Pensions Grapevine 2014
www.gmpf.org.uk 0161 301 7100 Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Concord Suite, Manchester Road, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF
Remember for any tax queries please ring HMRC on 0845 3000 627
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T W T
T W T
Bank holidays & weekends are marked in pale blue: M
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If you began receiving a pension in 2012 or later, we will pay your pension on the last banking day of the month. If this date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday, then we will pay your pension on the banking day before. Your pay days are marked in orange:
2014/15 Pay dates planner
T W T 5
If you were already receiving your GMPF pension before 2012 we will pay your pension on the first banking day of the month. If this date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday, we will pay your pension on the next banking day. Your pay days are marked in green:
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29 3 0
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NOVEMBER 2014 1
OCTOBER 2014 T
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MARCH 2015 6
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
FEBRUARY 2015 5
JANUARY 2015 4
DECEMBER 2014 2
T W T
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
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Calling all overseas pensioners Whether you’re currently soaking up the sun or knee deep in snow, if you live abroad, there’s a change you need to know about. We have now changed the company who makes our overseas payments to Western Union. This brings several benefits: l There is no charge for the transaction (which there was before) l They use their own payments network so pensions should be paid more quickly as soon as just one day after the normal UK paydate l As before, you will receive preferential exchange rates And by the way, you don’t need to do anything... we have made all the arrangements.
All change for LGPS... But no change for pensioners like you On 1 April 2014 the Local Government Pension Scheme undergoes one of the biggest changes ever in its 92 year history. It’s a totally new way of working out benefits ‘as each year goes by’ rather than waiting until someone leaves. But these changes only affect people who haven’t drawn their benefits yet. So even if you now work again for an LGPS employer, the changes will have no effect on the pension you are already drawing. 10 Pensions Grapevine 2014
Tying the knot? Don’t get tangled up in the scheme rules! We had a chap call us the other day and ask what seemed like a simple question: “Can you tell me how much pension my wife would get if I died?” he said. They say you should never answer a question with a question – but we did. We asked him “When did you get married?”, to which he surprised us by answering “Well she’s not my wife yet, we’re getting married next month”. And that had a big impact on the amount of pension his wife would get if he died first! That’s because if you get married after you retire, we can only base your husband or wife’s pension on membership after a certain date – so if your membership goes way back, we may not count it all…
Here are the limits:
In fact whether you get married, form a cohabiting partnership or form a same sex civil partnership after you retire then generally we cannot use any of your membership before 5 April 1988 to work out a pension for your other half. The one exception is where a man marries a woman after he retires, in which case we cannot base his widow’s pension on any of his membership before 5 April 1978. Having counted up your membership based on these limits, we then work out your spouse’s or partner’s pension as follows:
So in the case of the chap who rang us, although he had retired back in 2000 with 39 years membership dating back to 1961, we could only base his wife’s pension on his membership from April 1978 – a total of 22 years.
Pensions Grapevine 2014 11
Don’t go over the limit... These days we can all pay as much as we like into a pension scheme, but HMRC has limits on how much of our pension savings get tax relief. These two limits are called the annual allowance and the lifetime allowance. This article is just a quick reminder that both these limits reduce for the tax year 2014/15, but this is unlikely to affect you as a pensioner. Annual allowance: this looks at the amount by which your pension can grow each year, so it only tends to be an issue for people who are still paying in and who find the value of their pension pot grows significantly, for example following a promotion. For information, the annual allowance will go down to £40,000 for the tax year 2014/15. Lifetime allowance: this is a limit on the amount of pension savings you can build up over your life that benefits from tax relief. Your pension savings with GMPF will have been tested by us against the lifetime allowance when you first started to draw them. So as long as all of your pension benefits are already in payment, and you have no intention of starting a new pension, you do not need to worry about the lifetime allowance. For information, the lifetime allowance will go down to £1.25 million for the tax year 2014/15.
What’s your designation?
Thanks to Kathleen Coombe for this funny story from her work days... At the Council where I used to work, anyone wanting to book some annual leave had to fill in a leave sheet, with details such as the dates of the leave requested, and their name and designation. One particular member of staff submitted their leave sheet for approval... it was filled in with all the correct details with one exception... where it asked for designation they had put Torquay. We all found this very funny, and it still sticks in mind forty years later! 12 Pensions Pensions Grapevine Grapevine 2013 2014 12
New look online service on the cards by GMPF
For a while we have had a free, secure and interactive service called GMPF online, which allows you to log into a user friendly version of your pension records online. In the coming months we will be launching a newer and better version called Mypension. So read on to find out what you need to do if you are already a GMPF online user, or how to sign up for the first time...
What you can do with by GMPF
l See a simplified version of your pension records l Tell us about any changes in your home address, telephone number or email address l Contact us with a direct query l Check and print your last six payslips l Check and print your current P60 (proof of income)
Important note for existing users of GMPF online
The old GMPF online has already been switched off, as part of a change in our computer systems. So once Mypension goes live, please start using that instead. But please note, your existing GMPF online login details will not be recognised by Mypension. So you will need to set yourself up as a new user see how to register for what to do...
How to register for Mypension
Visit our main website which you can find at www.gmpf.org.uk and just click on the link on the homepage to register for this free service. And once youâ€™re all signed up, use the link to the same page to log in. Pensions Grapevine 2014 13
AL RY I EC A P S M M SU
Introduction Last year, investments delivered excellent returns, with the Fund increasing in value by £1.4 billion to £12.6 billion. Despite this these are undoubtedly very tough times: l t ough for many employees who have now experienced a pay freeze for 3 years and seen big reductions in the numbers employed at their organisation; l t ough for our employers to continue delivering services during a period of unprecedented cuts in funding; and l t ough for us at the pensions office to balance the aims of affordability and stability of cost with prudence and sound governance. The UK economy generally is also struggling. The country’s credit rating has been downgraded and the new Governor of the Bank of England has said he intends to keep interest rates low to support growth. The further reductions being sought in public expenditure will have a material impact on scheme members and employers.
Funding Issues The expectation is that GMPF’s funding level will remain amongst the best of LGPS funds on a like for like basis, but the expectation remains that further increases in employer contributions will be required from April 2014.
Investment Performance We have had an excellent year with returns of 14.5% (compared to the local authority average of 13.8%). GMPF also has an excellent long term track record. During 2013/14, we will be introducing some changes to our investment management arrangements with the aims of improving returns and increasing manager diversification.
Membership Changes Looking ahead, local authorities will be required to make further budget savings, and this will result in reductions in the number of employees. We are also seeing the number of employers continue to increase, in particular as more schools become academies. These changes are adding to the reduction in employee members at local authorities. However the introduction of auto-enrolment amongst other things will help boost employee membership, as it means new staff or people who had previously opted out being put into the scheme automatically.
Changes in legislation The Government is still fine tuning the regulations required for a new look LGPS from 2014. This will have a major impact on ourselves at the pensions office, and on current members. But rest assured, as current pensioners, there will be no impact on yourselves at all.
Conclusion This is a very difficult environment in which to be managing a defined benefit pension fund. GMPF’s long history of excellent performance means that we are in a very good position compared to most other LGPS funds to effectively manage the challenges that we face. The statutory nature of the LGPS provides the security of the pension promise that you receive.
Peter Morris, Executive Director of Pensions
Top 20 equity holdings
Pensions Grapevine 2014 15
Management arrangements Internally managed
Cash & alternative arrangements Property Total Main Fund £12,258 million
£831 million £566 million £10,861 million
Legal & General
Property Venture Fund GVA
Benchmark asset allocation Major asset class split
PUBLIC EQUITY 62%
UK GOV’T BONDS 17.9%
UK CORPORATE BONDS 24.2%
UK INDEX LINKED 11.5%
ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS 4.5%
OVERSEAS GOV’T BONDS 11.5% OVERSEAS CORPORATE BONDS 3.0% OVERSEAS INDEX LINKED 5.5% CASH 26.4%
UK/overseas equity split
Overseas equity split
UK EQUITIES 40%
NORTH AMERICA 32.5%
OVERSEAS EQUITIES 60%
EUROPE 27.5% JAPAN 15.0% PACIFIC 10.0% EMERGING 15.0%
You can download a PDF version of the full Report & Accounts for the year to 31 March 2013 from our website, www.gmpf.org.uk.
16 Pensions Grapevine 2014
How we performed The graph on the left compares our returns with other local authority pension funds. And the graph on the right shows our returns from each type of investment, compared with the ‘market’ (in other words average returns for that type of investment).
PENSION FUND RETURNS WM Local Authority Survey Financial years to 31 March 2013 GMPF
Year ended 31 March 2013
Local Authority Average
15 10 Duration (years)
*GMPF’s percentile rank within Local Authority funds
Extract from the accounts £ millions
OVERSEAS INDEX LINKED
UK INDEX LINKED
UK CORPORATE BONDS
OVERSEAS CORPORATE BONDS
UK GOV’T FIXED INTEREST
OVERSEAS GOV’T FIXED INTEREST
8.8 8.5 7.8
Contribution income Employees
Benefits paid Pensions
Net transfers (out) Administration costs Net position (withdrawal)
498 6 4 111
Returns on investments Investment income Investment costs Increase in value of assets
Net profit on investments
Net increase in Fund during year
Net assets at start of year Net assets at end of year
Pensions Grapevine 2014 17
A selection of our investments We invest in a broad selection of investment classes, including:
l Equities In other words stocks & shares in UK and overseas companies l Property Owning retail units, factory units etc, and renting them out to tenants l Private equity Backing business ventures such as new start ups or management buyouts Here are some examples...
From our equities portfolio... Invensys is a global technology company that works in partnership with a broad range of industrial and commercial customers to design and supply advanced technologies that optimise their operational performance and profitability. From oil refineries and power stations to mining companies and appliance manufacturers, Invensysâ€™ marketleading software, systems and control equipment enable its customers to monitor, control and automate their products and processes, thereby maximising safety, efficiency, reliability and ease of use.
Morrisons: It was back in 1899 that egg and butter merchant William Morrison opened a market stall in Bradford, and planted the acorn that grew into the 4th largest supermarket chain in the country today. Through its 500 plus UK stores, Morrisons has a strong focus on offering customers exceptional value, through initiatives such as its recent Payday Bonus promotion. Morrisons is proud of what makes them stand out from the crowd, such as in store butchers and fishmongers to prepare fresh food just how customers want it.
18 Pensions Grapevine 2014
From our private equity portfolio... Pizza Hut: GMPF has helped Rutland Partners acquire the share capital of Pizza Hut UK – one of the most iconic casual dining brands in the country. The move sees Rutland now operating Pizza Hut’s dine-in restaurants in the UK, under franchise from US owners Yum! The Pizza Hut brand needs no introduction – starting with just one restaurant in Islington in 1973, the operation now has 330 restaurants up and down the country, and to date Pizza Hut has sold an incredible 720 million pizzas.
From our property portfolio...
New acquisitions this year included a supermarket in Gerrards Cross let to Waitrose, and a large industrial unit in Luton let to a subsidiary of Express Newspapers.
Pensions Grapevine 2014 19
You can make a difference Grapevine reader Susan Stott got in touch to tell us about a charity she volunteers with called CALLplus. It’s a local charity which provides emotional support and practical help to people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Whilst CALLplus offers a varied range of services, much of their focus is on offering transport to hospital. But this is an area where they urgently need more volunteers with their own cars to drive patients and their carers to and from hospital. They do pay mileage allowance of 45p per mile. So perhaps this is something Grapevine readers might like to help with. Susan has had various volunteer roles with the Citizens Advice Bureau and with Cancer Research since retiring from work, and now in her role with CALLplus she manages the volunteers. Says Susan: “They are a wonderful team of men and women. Most of our volunteers are retired themselves but too young at heart to sit at home in carpet slippers!” She adds: “Being retired doesn’t mean that I would want to take life easy and I enjoy my work - it gives me immense satisfaction - perhaps others would like to come and join me? I can be contacted on 0161 212 4473.”
To find out more about CALLplus Readers are welcome to give Susan a call, or to visit the CALLplus website at: www.callplus.org.uk 20 Pensions Grapevine 2014
Don’t keep it a secret It can be tempting to think to yourself “My pension is my own business, and I’m not going to tell anyone else about it”. But remember, if you are claiming any sort of benefit, for example, housing benefit, you must tell them that you draw a pension from us, in case its value has to be taken into account. If you don’t do this, the authorities really will regard it as a form of fraud. Another form of potential fraud is where one of our members dies and whoever is looking after their affairs accidentally forgets to tell us, meaning we carry on paying the pension when we shouldn’t.
Of course, normally this is a genuine error and is easily put right. But you can do your bit by helping to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place by reminding whoever is going to look after your affairs that they need to let us know as soon as possible when you die. They can let us know simply by phoning 0161 301 7100. That way we can stop your pension before any wrong payments have been made, and of course put into place any new pensions which are due, such as a pension for a dependant. To pick up any overpayments, we take part in the National Fraud Initiative, which cross checks the records from pension schemes like ours with the Department for Work & Pensions’ database. This picks up cases of fraudulent claims which are then investigated further, sometimes in conjunction with the Police. We’ve also signed up for a service called Faraday Tracing Bureau, which runs a check each month against the General Register Office’s records. They then pass on to us the names of members who may have passed away without us being aware. We can then carry out further checks, including sending a Life Certificate, which asks the member to contact us if they are still alive. So if you get one of these from us, please don’t be offended... it really is in your interest to fill it in and send it back - otherwise we may stop your pension!
For more information about the National Fraud Initiative, and how Tameside takes part in it, please see: www.tameside.gov.uk/fraud
Pensions Grapevine 2014 21
Were you at last year’s Pensioners’ Forum? See if you can spot yourself in one of these photos...
Remember the Forum is every other year, so hopefully we’ll see you at our next Forum in October 2015.
More slimy slug suggestions Ian Hunter from Chorley wrote in with an amusing take on banishing troublesome slugs...
Gardening hints & tips
Cut the bottom off plastic water bottles and place them around strategic spots in the garden, and fill them with cheap lager, beer or cider. The slugs and snails will come in droves, (although perhaps these are only males, I can’t tell ). I find John Smiths particularly attractive to them. A word of warning though. You may find the raucous singing at night time and the constant ringing of the doorbell to ask if they can use the toilet somewhat disturbing but, hey, no gain no pain eh?
22 Pensions Grapevine 2014
Kendals story opens the floodgates! Mr Hulstone’s funny story in our last issue about a calamitous visit to Kendals, prompted Netta Stout to write in with her own funny story about the very same shop! She says… I recently went shopping in Kendals in Manchester with a friend, and while we were looking around the ground floor, we bumped into another friend of mine, so we all stopped for a chat. After a few minutes, I excused myself and left them talking while I went to the ladies two floors up (you know how it is when you get to a certain age!) I couldn’t find anywhere to put my handbag while I washed my hands, so I put it into the sink next to the one I was using. Having finished I proceeded back down to meet my friends, and put my bag on the floor, while we continued to chat. After about 15 minutes, we said our goodbyes, and as I bent down to pick up my bag, I was horrified to find that it was standing in a large puddle! Don’t worry.... it wasn’t what you might think! It seems that the tap in the sink next to mine had been running the whole time my handbag was in the sink, and it had filled with water! Try explaining that to not only my bemused friends, but also to all the people in the ground floor restaurant, right next to where we were standing! Believe me, there were many open mouths!
Pensions Grapevine 2014 23
Win this smart GMPF document bag... For the last few issues, we’ve been offering GMPF brollies as a prize, and we thought it was time for a change, so we’ve got hold of these smart little document bags. To ‘bag’ one, simply enter our Winter Olympic themed prize quiz below, or send us a story we can use, as shown opposite...
Name the stadium which was the venue for the opening & closing ceremonies at Sochi.
How often do the Winter Olympics take place?
What are the stones used in the curling event normally made from?
Who is the ‘skip’ of the curling team which won bronze at Sochi?
What snowboarding event at Sochi involved competitors impressing the judges with tricks on a course of man-made obstacles?
In which event do competitors lie on their backs on a tiny sled with their feet stretched out in front of them and race down an icy track?
Who won gold for Great Britain at Sochi?
Quiz closing d at 30th J e u ne 2014.
Now email your answers, together with your name & daytime phone number to email@example.com. Please mark the subject GVQUIZ. Alternatively, fill in the slip below & post to GMPF Communications, Concord Suite, Manchester Rd, Droylsden, M43 6SF.
4 Name & daytime phone no. 24 Pensions Pension Power Grapevine December 2014 2006
Write in & win!
The other easy way of getting your hands on one of our exclusive document bags is to send in a story we can use in Grapevine. If we can fit it in next year’s issue, we’ll get in touch with you early next year, and send you your prize with our thanks. What we’re looking for ...
We’re looking for anything you think Grapevine readers might like - here are some examples:
Gardening hints & tips Anecdotes from your work days
Tasty rec i
Please contact Malcolm or Simon by letter or email: Communications Team, Pensions Office, Concord Suite, Manchester Rd, Droylsden, Tameside, M43 6SF. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pensions Grapevine 2014 25
Joe hits a new high note Joe Cunningham wrote in to tell us how having retired as a building surveyor at Bolton’s Housing Project Services in October 2000, he now fills his time singing with Bolton’s Cottontown Chorus. The chorus consists of 60 men of all ages and from all walks of life. The chorus has performed at venues in both America and Europe and last year performed in Leeuwenhorst in Holland. Last May they took the crown at the National Chorus Championships in Bournemouth, and created an all time record by becoming British Champions for the fifth time in succession. This success entitles them to compete in the World Championships in Las Vegas later this year... “What an opportunity in my 80th year!” says Joe... “Flights and hotels are already booked - I can’t wait!” Good luck to Joe and his merry band, and if you want to see a clip of them singing, just search Google for BABS Cottontown Chorus. (In case you’re wondering, BABS stands for British Association of Barbershop Singers). Or to find out more about the group please visit their website at www.cottontownchorus.co.uk And Joe says he would love to hear from any of his old workmates here’s his email address: email@example.com
26 Pensions Grapevine 2014
New bank account? These days it’s easier than ever before to switch to a new bank. But if you do, please make sure you tell us you want your pension paying into a different bank account as your bank or building society won’t do!
How to let us know...
to www.gmpf.org.uk, click Goon the bank change form link, fill it in, and then post it to us, Send us a signed letter, Or call into our offices in person.
Don’t miss the boat!
Please let us have any bank changes by the 15th of the month, so we can make the change in time for the following payday. If you don’t tell us in time, we may try and make a payment to your old bank account which has already been closed. If this happens, your old bank will return the payment to us, and we will forward it to your new account.
If you live abroad you will need a different bank change form - please go to the Retiring Abroad page on our website and select your country from the list to download the correct form.
On the move? Please remember to let us know if you’re moving house, or if this newsletter didn’t come to the right address. You can do this by phone, email, post or in person at our offices. If we keep getting undelivered mail sent back to us, we may assume you are ‘no longer around’ and stop your pension!
Pensions Grapevine 2014 27
Can we help you? Here are the ways you can find out more or get in touch with us. If you do contact us, please quote your National Insurance number. Please let us know if you move house or if this didnâ€™t come to the right address... Visit our website to find out more or to contact us by email:
Or call our friendly helpline on:
0161 301 7100
Or call in at our offices:
GMPF, Concord Suite, Manchester Rd, Droylsden, M43 6SF.
Issue 19 of the Pensions Grapevine publication for retired GMPF members.