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grapevine Your tax & P60 questions answered Want your pension in Peruvian Sol? We can help! Readers’ stories


Hello and welcome... Welcome to Pensions Grapevine, your yearly newsletter from GMPF. In this issue you will find the familiar mix of stories - reminders about issues such as tax and this year’s pensions increase, but also readers’ stories too. This time we had a bumper crop of letters to choose from, so do keep those great stories rolling in. Please can we ask you to check that you haven’t thrown away your P60 and payslip - if you’ve received this newsletter, you will have definitely received a P60 in the same envelope - so do please look out for it. Also, if you have any queries about your P60 and payslip, the notes on the facing page should answer some of your questions. We hope you enjoy this issue, All the best,

The Pensions Team

In this issue... Income tax news Page 4 - 5

Inflation Page 7

Busman's holiday Page 11 Spotlight on investments Page 14 - 15

Life cover Page 18 - 19

Greater Manchester Pension Fund is administered by Tameside MBC and is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme


Your P60 & payslip

In the same envelope as this Grapevine newsletter is your P60 and payslip - it’s an important document, so please don’t lose it. The top half of the document is your payslip for April, and shows details of your pension from us before deductions, and the amount of tax we have taken.Your April 2017 Payslip

(Before deductions) GROSS PENSION The bottom Name: half of the document is your P60 - yourYOUR summary of tax and pension Taxable this, for example if you for the year up to 5number: April 2017. You may need to present Pension make a claimNational for TaxInsurance Credits, so please make sure you keep it!


PAYE Ref. YOUR GROSS PENSION: This is your Tax Code before we take pension this month * anything off for tax. See page 4 for more about tax in general.



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P60 END OF YEAR If someone asks forCERTIFICATE your P60, you can tear it This certificate shows the total amount of pension for income tax  purposes off, keeping payslip for yourself. that wethe have paid to you inpart the year. It also gives details of the total income tax deducted by us (less any refunds).

Please keep this certificate in a safe place as you will need it if you have to fill in a tax return, make a claim for tax credits or to renew your claim. It also helps you3check that we are using the correct National Insurance number.



Refunds are shown with a minus sign (-). Figures shown here should be for your Tax Return if you get one. TOTAL PENSION/PAY FOR THE YEAR PAY TAX


£ Year Ending 5th April 2017 P60 Substitute (GMPF)

Look out for more information about

Income tax news - personal allowance up to £11,500 As you may know, personal allowance is the amount of money you can bring in, for example from a job, or from a pension, without paying income tax. The amount normally goes up each year, and the good news is, this year’s allowance has gone up from £11,000 a year to £11,500. See Rowena's example on the right:

Remember, no more age related allowances...

There used to be what were called age related allowances for people born before a certain date. But the Government has deliberately left these unchanged for the last few years, so that the ordinary personal allowance ‘caught them up’.

Other allowances

There are other allowances too, such as blind person’s allowance of £2,320 a year, and a personal savings allowance, which varies on which rate of tax you pay.

Rowena is 62, and isn’t drawing her State pension yet, but she is drawing a pension from GMPF of £8,000 a year. She also works part time in the garden centre in her village, and earns £4,500 from this. Total earnings: £12,500 Allowance: £11,500 Taxable income: £1,000 So she is only taxed on the £1,000 - in her case at 20%. So this means she would pay £200 in tax and that would be spread out across the year, so she would pay just under £17 a month in tax.

Speaking of tax rates...

To work out what rate of tax you pay, total up your income, and knock off any allowances. You pay tax on what's left at various rates - 20% on the first £33,500, 40% above that, and 45% for anything above £150,000. So this means anyone on the standard personal allowance of £11,500 would just pay tax at 20%, as long as their income was below £45,000. (Different rules apply in Scotland - please see opposite).

How to read your tax code

Your tax code may just look like a random assortment of letters and numbers, but in fact it is a 'magic number' which tells organisations like us how much tax to take, based on HMRC’s rules. But do you know how to read your tax code? 4

The most common tax codes are formed of several numbers and a letter, for example 117L or K497. If your code is a number followed by a letter, you can calculate the total amount of income you can earn in a year before paying tax by multiplying the number by ten. And by the way, the letter just indicates whether there are any adjustments to this figure. For example L means you get the basic personal allowance.

going to press the Scottish parliament were debating possible further changes. Please contact HMRC to find out more.

Get online with HMRC Did you know HMRC have now got an online system called a Personal tax account. This allows you to set up an HMRC acount where you can do things like see what tax code you’re on, and how your tax is calculated. This is especially useful if you have various sources of income. You can even allow a family member or friend to manage your tax affairs on your behalf. To find out more or to sign up, go to and search for personal tax account.

Remember, if you live in Scotland or spend most of your time in Scotland as defined by HMRC, you will be paying Scottish tax (or SRIT). If this applies to you, your tax code will have an S in front of it. By the way the 20%/40%/45% bands are slightly different in Scotland and at the time of


Answer: It’s shown on the P60 we have sent you, and any time it changes, HMRC will send you a notice of coding. Or even better, sign up for HMRC's online service as shown above.

Answer: Certainly don’t tell us at GMPF as we can’t alter it on your say so! If it’s wrong please tell HMRC - you can find their contact 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 5

The appliance of science Here’s a great story from John Cope from Bolton which proves a little humour can go a long way!

Read e storyr’s

A few years ago, we had our tumble drier stolen from our rear porch. I reported it to the police, who gave me a crime number so I could make a claim on my home insurance. I sent in a claim to the insurance company, giving details of the make and so on. A few days later, I got a letter from them saying that the description was inadequate, and requesting more details. So I wrote back as follows: "It was a rectangular box approx 18” x 18” x 2’ made from white enamelled metal. It had a door at the front, which allowed you to put wet clothes into the cylindrical drum inside, which rotated with warm air, to dry the clothes". As a final flourish I added: "It was powered by what we in Lancashire call electricity!" About a week later, I got a letter back from the insurance company, thanking me for sending further details and for giving them a laugh. It must have done the trick, as they enclosed a cheque for £100. At the end of their letter was a PS.... "Here in Yorkshire we also have electricity! Thank you!"

Working again?

If you get another job with any employer who offers membership of the LGPS then you must tell us - whether or not you join the Scheme again. In some cases, working for this type of employer will affect your pension.


What’s in your shopping basket? As you may know, one of the great features of your LGPS pension is that it has a built in measure to make sure it goes up in line with prices. That’s important as it means that as prices go up, you can still afford to buy the same things. The Government’s preferred measure of inflation is the consumer prices index (or CPI). The change in prices is recorded each September, and this then sets the rate of CPI that applies from the following April. When inflation was measured last September it was recorded at 1% - so you’ll be pleased to hear you will be getting an increase this time around. But nothing in life is simple, and most pensioners don’t just get the straight 1% from us added to their pension this month. Here’s why...

 

The full increase doesn’t apply until May. That’s because the pensions increase actually happens several days into April - this year on the 10th. So remember, you won’t get all the increase you’re due until May.

And the final category is people who retired part way through the year. So someone who retired in September 2016 will get roughly half the 1% increase, as they have retired roughly half way through the financial year.

Some members have something called a GMP (or guaranteed minimum pension) - generally these are people who paid into the scheme before 6 April 1997 and who have now reached State pension age. The GMP is simply a minimum amount the pension from us has to reach, but confusingly, some or all of the pensions increase applying to the GMP is paid as part of the State pension.

Did you know? You would need a rather bigger basket than this to hold the 700 items, whose prices are measured across 140 shopping locations, and online. The basket also changes to reflect shopping trends. So out this year go rewritable DVDs but in go coffee pods and microwave rice! 7

So good I saw it twice

Beverley Fielding wrote in to tell us about a fascinating friendship on a trip to bonnie Scotland... "Don’t worry” I told her “I walk with a stick, so we can take the trip at our own pace, and we’ll make plenty of time to sit and chat”.

I had always wanted to visit Iona (a tiny island in the Inner Hebrides off the Isle of Mull in Scotland). But I didn’t fancy driving all that way, so I decided the safest option would be to go on a coach tour. It took hours for the coach to reach our hotel in Oban on the Scottish mainland, but it was worth it to be visiting this beautiful part of the world.

It turned out that she had led a fascinating life, particularly living and working in London during the war, and I couldn’t get enough of her anecdotes. The day of our trip to Iona arrived. The coach took us on the ferry over to Mull, then we made our own way as foot passengers on a smaller ferry from Mull to Iona. The driver had stressed to everyone the importance of being back on Mull in time to get on the coach for the return sea crossing to Oban and our hotel. “You don’t want to miss your evening meal” he joked!

Over the next two days I got to know some of my fellow passengers quite well, including an 84 year old lady who walked with the aid of a wheeled frame and occasionally needed a whiff of oxygen from her mobile supply. She too wanted to visit Iona but was worried about holding the group up, as they marched off into the distance.

Having spent a lovely day on Iona, we arrived back at the dock extra early for the passenger ferry back to Mull, so that we could find a nice spot below decks, to sit undisturbed.

r’s Reade story 8

“If there are any delays with the return journey, it certainly won’t be our fault!” we said to ourselves.

although the coach driver was looking very worried. Apparently we had been seen getting on the ferry on Iona, and when we hadn’t got off at the other end, the passengers had assumed the old lady had become ill, (or even worse)! I don’t think there was anything in the coach driver’s manual to cover that sort of a situation!

As soon as we heard the ferry dock, we made our way up on deck, to be met by the ferry staff who looked rather surprised to see us. Apparently we had been so deep in conversation we had missed the docking on Mull, and travelled back to Iona again! We then had an agonising fifteen minute wait for the return trip to Mull, worrying that the coach driver would set off without us.

Although everything was OK in the end and we did get back in time for dinner, you could have cut the atmosphere on board the coach with a knife, as a group of anxious hungry people sat worrying about missing their meal! Anyway it all adds to life’s rich tapestry I suppose…..

When we finally got off, I hurried on ahead, as best I could, with my partner in crime bringing up the rear. Fortunately the coach was still there,

KNOW YOUR Don’t forget, we pay GMPF pensions on three different dates... The first traditional banking day of the month for... l Anyone who was already on pension with GMPF before January 2012 and l Probation pensioners where this is the same as or close to their old paydate.

The 16th of the month for...

l Probation pensioners where this is the same as or close to their old paydate.

The last traditional banking day of the month for... l Anyone whose first pension payment with GMPF was January 2012 or later, and l Probation pensioners where this is the same as or close to their old paydate. Our website now includes a full payday calendar spanning the whole year. This shows how it works if your traditional payday falls on a bank holiday or a weekend. Please visit 9

How often will you send me a payslip?

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, since this is the first month that includes, in full, the new rate of pensions increase if there has been one. Apart from that we only send you a payslip when your monthly pension changes by ÂŁ5 or more after deductions.

Want your pension in Peruvian Sol (or any other currency?) If you're one of our many pensioners who live outside the UK, here's a quick reminder that you can have your pension paid to you in your local currency. We still have hundreds of people who live overseas, but who have their pension paid to a UK bank account, then have to transfer it themselves. So if this applies to you, why not let us take the strain! We use Western Union to pay overseas pensions, and our pensioners tell us they prefer it because there is no transaction charge, their extensive payment network means pensions are normally only a day or so after the normal UK paydate, and best of all, they offer preferential exchange rates. 10


Reader ’s story Two retired bus drivers, Doug Watts and Ray White, have been in touch to tell us about the Oldham Retired Passenger Transport Staff group, which organises local reunions several times a year, and also an annual outing.

After much hard work, by 2011 the annual trips were in full swing too, that year with a trip to Cleveleys, and the following year to Chester. From their current home (Wetherspoons Up Steps) the group has planned this year’s activities including reunions in April, September and December, and an annual trip in July – location yet to be decided! The next meeting will be 6 April 2017 from 7pm at The Up Steps.

In 2016 the club celebrated the 65th anniversary of its annual staff outing, with the first trip being run from the Oldham Passenger Transport club in Walshaw St in 1951 (as pictured above). The tradition survived the various transport reorganisations, such as SELNEC, Greater Manchester Transport, and finally First Group, until the original OPT Club sadly closed its doors in 2007.

The club has over 200 members, some living all round the UK. To find out more, all members old and new are welcome to get in touch with either of the organisers shown below:

But not wanting to let the tradition die, a group of dedicated individuals got together and started arranging their own reunions.

l Barry Ainsworth 07966249331 l Doug Watts 07762098836


It's your pension, so why not sign up for My pension

How to get started

Have you signed up for My pension yet? It's our free online service that let's you see a simplified version of your pension records, and do various other things too. With Mypension you can... 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 previous payslips l Check and print your P60 (proof of income).

If you want to use the online service, you will need to register. To do this simply go to our website at On the homepage simply click on the Mypension link on the right hand side which looks like this:


This will then guide you through the whole process.


How times have changed! Many thanks to reader Robert Graham from Bury for sending in this old newspaper advert. He thought it might give us a chuckle, given that the Grapevine prize is a 'high tech' Biro! Hard to believe isn't it, that back in the late 40s this 'new fangled gadget' cost 55 shillings to buy, and 5 shillings to service and refill! By the way, 55 shillings is £2.75 in 'new money', but if we allow for inflation from the era when the ad ran, that's the equivalent of around £100 in today's money. Walk into any high street discount store today and you can pick up a pack ’s r e d a of eight ballpens for the Re y r princely sum of one sto pound!

Forum update For some time now we have put on a forum event for GMPF pensioners, most recently every two years at Lancashire cricket club. We also regularly run pension roadshows aimed at our employee members, helping them to understand their pension and plan for retirement. We have received lots of feedback about both these types of events from those attending and some suggestions about other things we could do. So, we are currently taking the opportunity to take stock, reflect on suggestions made and consider what we can do to best meet all our members' needs going forward. We’ll let you know how we get on... 13

Spotlight on investments You can view our 2016 annual report & accounts, which is published digitally on our website, but we have included a brief summary of some of our investments here... As your pension fund's investments become more and more diverse, we thought you might like to hear about some of our mainstream investments and also some of the new up and coming areas we are involved in. Some of the areas we invest in are: Equities: in other words stocks & shares in UK and overseas companies Private equity: helping businesses raise funds for things like management buyouts Property: everything from Government buildings in Whitehall to high street shops Infrastructure: investing in things like wind farms and even trains!

Here are some examples... Equities: Novo Nordisk This global healthcare company, is a leader in the treatment of diabetes and other serious chronic conditions such as haemophilia. The company goes back over 90 years, to two separate companies Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium and Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium - who were the first in the world to produce the revolutionary new drug insulin. As fierce rivals, the companies became the best in their field, and eventually merged in 1989 to create Novo Nordisk.


Infrastructure: formation of GLIL We have formed a joint venture called GLIL with London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) to invest directly in infrastructure, for example this wind farm in Scotland. The success of GLIL has attracted other partners, and now Merseyside, West Yorkshire and Lancashire pension funds have all joined the pool. Private equity: Winterbotham Darby Through our private equity partner EQUISTONE, GMPF has invested in Winterbotham Darby, the UK market leader in the supply of chorizo, salami, pâté, olives, and other continental foods to UK supermarket chains. The business operates on a zero to landfill basis, and has won numerous awards including The Grocer Food & Drink Awards Own Label winner, 2014.

Summary figures By the way, an Annual Report is just a snapshot at one point in time, and reported the Fund's value in March 2016 at just over £17 billion. But things have moved on, and at the time of Grapevine going to press, your fund had grown to around £20 billion! Get the full report here: 15

Shout it from the This article is a reminder that you may have to declare that you receive a pension from us to certain organisations. There are also times when someone dies, and we wrongly carry on paying their pension. So read on to find out who needs to know what...

Declaring your pension

First off, here's a reminder that if you claim any sort of benefit, such as 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 may treat it as a form of fraud.

Have the conversation

It's not easy talking about what will happen after you've gone - especially with your loved ones - but it's something we should all do. So please do take time to have that difficult conversation, and make sure that someone will take care of your affairs when that day comes. It's important that whoever is looking after your affairs knows how to contact us to tell us you have died. The quickest way of doing this is by going to our website: clicking on Online Forms, and clicking Letting us know someone has died.


Once they do this, it means we can stop your pension to avoid any overpayment, and also put into place any new pensions, such as a pension for a husband, wife or partner who is entitled to one.



So what happens if we don't find out in time that one of our pensioners has died? In most cases this is due to a simple error, such as someone not knowing about the pension and can simply be put right. But in other cases it is a deliberate attempt to defraud us. Whatever the reason, there are several steps that we take to pick up such cases, as outlined below...

 Data sharing

We take part in something called the National Fraud Initiative. This cross checks the records from pension schemes, the DWP and so on, increasing the chances of all the parties finding out when someone has died.

If fraud is suspected, the case is then investigated further, often involving the Police. For more information about the National Fraud Initiative, and how Tameside takes part in it, please see: uk/fraud

 Faraday Tracing Bureau We use Faraday to run a monthly check 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 informed.

 Tell us once

We take part in the Tell us Once initiative. This means when someone registers a death, they can ask to have the details passed on to the DWP, and other council departments including ourselves at GMPF.

 Is there anybody there?

We may sometimes send you something called a life certificate. If you get one, do please fill it in and send it straight back, so we know all is well, and we can carry on paying your pension uninterrupted. Also, please see the article over the page about lump sums which are sometimes paid out when one of our pensioners dies. 17

Have you got it covered? Here is a quick reminder about the times we will pay a one off lump sum when one of our pensioners dies – and that’s in addition to any pension.

When do we pay a lump sum?

To do this simply fill in a nomination form, available from our website or our helpline.

It all depends how long ago you left the Scheme, and how long you have been drawing your pension from us. So first off, read the section below to see if there could be a lump sum when you die:

We don’t have to follow your nomination - in fact whether you have made a nomination or not, we must consider other people such as relatives and dependents, and allow time to hear any challenges. But it certainly helps if you have filled a nomination form in, and you can even add notes, for example explaining why you have included or excluded certain people. By the way, you can use the nomination form to ask us to pay any lump sum to your estate - but it won't happen automatically if you don't nominate.

If you left before 1 April 2008 l 5 times the value of your yearly pension less the pension already paid If you left between 1 April 2008 – 31 March 2014 l 10 times the value of your yearly pension less the pension already paid If you left on or after 1 April 2014 l 10 times the value of your yearly pension less the pension already paid and any lump sum taken by giving up pension.

If you don't nominate We will still pay a lump sum if one is due - please see our website for more.

Over 75?

Let us know your wishes

Generally there will be no lump sum when you die, no matter how short a time you have been on pension.

You can nominate who you want any lump sum to go to – friends, family – even your favourite charity.


More than one membership? Things get a little tricky if you have more than one membership - for example you are drawing a pension, but also pay into the LGPS because you work for an LGPS employer. In that case there would only be one lump sum if you died (based on whichever membership paid out the most).

How to find out more Here are some links to further information and the nomination form: More about life cover in general: Factsheet & nomination form: Lump sum payment discretions.pdf guidelines:

New home? Don't forget to let us know! Please do remember to let us know if you move 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. 19

This is important, because if we get undelivered mail sent back to us, we will assume you are no longer around and will stop your pension!

Changing bank or building society? Remember, if you change bank accounts, your own bank won't tell us so please make sure you do! There are three easy ways of doing this...

Go to, click on the bank change form link, fill it in, sign it, and then post it to us,

 Send us a signed letter,  Or call into our offices in person.

By the way, the last thing you want is us trying to make a payment to your old bank account, which may have already been closed. So please allow enough time for us to change your records... to do this we need the new details three weeks before your payday.

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.

A sprout is for life, not just for Christmas! Ron Barnes from Tyldesley has written in with this quick and easy recipe for sprouts. He says it can be served as a delicious accompaniment to any main meal - and he even claims it will convert sprout haters into sprout lovers! Sounds too good to be true...

Take a dozen or so sprouts, and remove any tough or dirty outer leaves then finely shred. Heat approx 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a wok or frying pan, then add the sprouts and some crushed garlic. Cook for approx 2-3 minutes, stirring and turning the mixture the whole time. 20

Rea d stor er’s y

Petrol heads wanted!

Sorry, Top Gear isn't auditioning for new presenters, but if you like driving and have your own car, you could be just the person to give a local charity a helping hand... The charity in question is called Transport for Sick Children, and we found out about it from Grapevine reader Beverley Hoyle.

Here are some FAQs to help you decide whether you could give a helping hand...

The charity relies on an incredible team of volunteers who give up their time and use their own cars to take accompanied children to hospital and clinic appointments.

It is up to you - some of the drivers volunteer their services every day, others a few times a week or just a few times a month.

How much time do I have to give up?

Do they cover petrol costs?

This invaluable service makes sure that the children and their carers arrive for their appointment in a suitable frame of mind, rather than feeling frazzled having waited in the wind and rain for three buses, one of which was late! And in some cases conditions such as brittle bone disease mean that children simply cannot travel safely by public transport.

Yes, you would be reimbursed your petrol costs but of course you would give your time for free.

How do I find out more or apply to become a volunteer driver?

Simply phone 0161 443 4122 or email And finally here is what one child's mother says:

When Oliver was born I had to take him to hospital in Liverpool by train, and it was incredibly difficult. Then my health visitor introduced me to Transport for Sick Children and I haven’t looked back since. I can’t thank the volunteers enough for what they do and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Adele Litchfield. 21

Win a limited edition GMPF pen Stories you can send in...

Remember there are two ways of winning one of our lovely limited edition GMPF pens. One is to send us an item we can print in Grapevine - just like John Cope, Beverley Fielding, Robert Graham and others did! Or if you haven't got anything to send in, why not have a go at our prize quiz opposite... By the way, this is far more than just a 'biro', it's also a tiny torch (handy if you drop your keys at night!) and a stylus, for use with iPads, smart phones and so on.

Please send us anything you think other Grapevine readers might like to hear about, such a hobbies, recipes, funny stories Please from your send your stories time in by email or post to work the address opposite, whatever and please include you like. your NAME, PENSION We look NUMBER and a forward to DAYTIME PHONE hearing from NUMBER. you.

Good luck Ged Goodbye and good luck to Ged Dale, whose friendly face you will have seen in these pages for many years, most recently as Assistant Executive Director of Pensions Administration. Having started his career in pensions back in 1978, as a Pensions Officer in the then called Superannuation section of GMC’s County Hall, he's at long last decided to hang up his pensions hat and retire. He told us: "I’ll miss many things about GMPF - not least of which my colleagues - but I certainly won’t miss the increasingly complicated Regulations surrounding pensions, or my daily commute!" 22

Prize quiz Q1

Q2 Q3




On the front cover is a famous Peruvian landmark. What's it called?

Which two Scottish Isles did reader Beverley Fielding visit?

& If a tax code has the letter S in front of it, what does this denote?

How much does your pension have to change by for us to send you a payslip in an ordinary month? What is the original purchase price of the Biro in the old newspaper advertisement?

What is the current value of GMPF according to the article?

Your name: Pension number: Daytime phone: Please send your Grapevine story ideas or your quiz entries by post or email to:

Malcolm Tyrer, GMPF Communications, Guardsman Tony Downes House, 5 Manchester Rd, Droylsden, M43 6SF. 23

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Pensions Grapevine 2017  

Issue 22 of the Pensions Grapevine publication for retired GMPF members.

Pensions Grapevine 2017  

Issue 22 of the Pensions Grapevine publication for retired GMPF members.