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Olihar

Employer claiming you didn’t work required number of shifts 4 years ago

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I’m 57 so have been entitled to take early retirement since I was 55 under LA rules

They couldn’t force me to be re engaged on a different contract if I chose not to be, so therefore I opted for early retirement.

Its much cheaper for them to let me go and employ someone on a new contract as I’m paid more than the other workers ( length of service, different terms and conditions etc). I also believe that I’m a thorn in their side as not backwards in fighting my corner or escalating issues

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14 minutes ago, Manxman in exile said:

 I'm a bit surprised, like Bazza I think is, that your employer has agreed to early retirement in these circumstances.


.....

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never known of anyone being allowed to take early retirement while they're on notice.

 


Absolutely.

My concern is that there is either something unusual (“want to get rid, this is the easiest way”) or a fundamental mis-understanding here

 

Check your pension entitlement forecast with the scheme administrator BEFORE it passes the end date, as HB has advised.

 

I wouldn’t want you to find it is “Ohh, your employment ended 1 second before your early retirement got calculated. With both that and it being early (non-medical) retirement: you now get a pittance”, and find this when it is too late to unwind the issue.

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So are you still worried about them stopping your pension? That was one of your main queries at the beginning.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Olihar said:

I’m 57 so have been entitled to take early retirement since I was 55 under LA rules

They couldn’t force me to be re engaged on a different contract if I chose not to be, so therefore I opted for early retirement.

Its much cheaper for them to let me go and employ someone on a new contract as I’m paid more than the other workers ( length of service, different terms and conditions etc). *1

 

 

 

 

I also believe that I’m a thorn in their side as not backwards in fighting my corner or escalating issues *2


*1 It is actually much cheaper for them to give you notice, offer you a new contract that you decline than to make you redundant.

You may find they aren’t that bothered about the early retirement if it doesn’t impact them, only the scheme administrators.

 

*2. I’d wondered if this was a factor for them (see my previous posts)

 

This still leaves you needing to get clarity from the scheme admin (if it is a final salary scheme, and they are claiming you were overpaid : what is the impact?)

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I suspect the employer simply wants rid off the OP.  That's fair enough.  (I and a few colleagues were "bought off" with early retirement on good terms).

 

The OP needs to satisfy themselves that all this (1) won't prevent early retirement from going through and (2) that any resolution to this problem doesn't have any retrospective effect on their salary, reducing their lump sum and pension.  I don't actually see how it could, but that's what would concern me.

 

OP must discuss this with their pension administrator.

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I’ll definitely be speaking to my pension administrators on Monday

The issue about them stating I was overpaid from 4 years ago has been/ is ongoing.

My assumption is that as they’ve not managed to sort it out to date they would have to seek recompense via the legal route if they chose, as I won’t be employed so they couldn’t claw back from my salary.

They also know that I won’t hesitate to go down the legal route myself if I feel necessary, and surely they would have to tell me if they were going to claim money back? 

 

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An employee on notice, waiting to take early retirement, and who has perhaps been overpaid £7k in salary.

 

It's an interesting thing to consider for the LA's Director of Finance.  Unless the overpayment (if there's actually been one - no one seems to be certain yet) was entirely their fault and very embarrassing, I'd definitely be expecting them to take action to recover it.  In fact the LA probably has a duty to do so if there has been an overpayment.

 

I simply don't know if they could attempt some off-set against your pension.  If they tried to sue you, they might win, they might not.

 

For £7k I'm sure they try to recover an overpayment.

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I'm not sure if the £7k overpayment has been confirmed in terms of calculations.

 

My contact says that an overpayment like that can possibly be reclaimed from the tax-free cash paid when the pension is taken.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Such a provision makes sense.  I suspect it would be quite common.

 

It then comes down to determining whether or not there's been an overpayment...

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my pension scheme had no such terms, the pension was a company/organisation scheme but the employer had no right to ask for anything from it if you owed them money when you retired.

Accounting law doesnt allow it so HB's scheme is probably unusual if  that is allowed rather than suggested as a way of avoiding bother.

 

so you need to read up on the scheme rules. MoD and NhS schemes are the worst to make sense of, followed by LG and teachers pensions

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How did the call go today, Olihar?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I'd be interested to know as well.

 

Just to say also, whether or not a scheme allows pension benefits to be reduced or not is going to depend on the terms of the scheme - not "accountancy law".  (I'm certain when I retired the then NHS scheme did allow for a reduction in certain circumstances - usually some sort of fraud so I don't know if it would extend to an overpayment - assuming there's been one.  I'd expect all public sector schemes to have a similar provision).

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If the person A owed money to person B and person C owes money to person A there is no law that allows person B to ask person C for the money directly.

Now as for as an occupational pension goes the pension co will be obliged to correct any error in the contributions and pension accrued by way of a direct payment but that is not ther same as an employer overpaying someone  as a result of that person not working the number of contracted hours and then demanding that the money come out of the lump sum.

I have searched the PO database and can find no example of a pension trust being ordered to hand over a bean in similar circumstances.

It may be they try and adjust the final salary to reflect the shorter working hours but this can be challenged f the result is a reduced pension as the pension contributions of a defined scheme will generate a set benefit based on the contributions, which themselves will be based on actual pay.

This wont stop the employer chasing the money but limit how they do it

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38 minutes ago, ericsbrother said:

...

I have searched the PO database and can find no example of a pension trust being ordered to hand over a bean in similar circumstances.

...

 

What about this then - in principle?   "Where an Employing Authority has suffered a financial loss, NHS Pensions may reimburse them directly by offsetting the member’s NHS pension benefits once these have been claimed."

 

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/reduction-or-forfeiture-nhs-pension-scheme-benefits-and-using-02-exit-code

 

I couldn't say whether something similar might apply to the OP's pension or not (not least because the employer hasn't yet established that there's been an overpayment).  It's also true that this reduction/forfeiture provision is primarily directed at cases of fraud, but it would appear also to cover losses due to negligence or omission - which could conceivably cover some overpayment situations. And I would expect most public sector schemes to incorporate a similar provision.  I think it's a bold statement to make to say that this could never happen.  (I think you are assuming that the employer and the pension provider are always entirely different entities, which I don't think is that clear cut in the public sector.  It also comes down to what the T&Cs of the scheme say).

 

Without more detail from the OP though, it's all speculation.  I think they'd be very unlucky if some sort of off-set could be applied in these circumstances, but I suspect it could be possible in principle.

 

I'd want to know what the scheme administrators say.

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47 minutes ago, Manxman in exile said:

 

It's also true that this reduction/forfeiture provision is primarily directed at cases of fraud, but it would appear also to cover losses due to negligence or omission - which could conceivably cover some overpayment situations. 

 

 

The NHS link also appears to say there has to be a criminal conviction and/or an order of the court directing pension forfeiture. It doesn't look to me, from that link, that the employer can simply take money from the pension on their own say-so.

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Aye, it refers to court orders to recover such losses when there isnt one it needs the consent of the person.

I dotn see any mileage in the employer using this kind of thing as a blunt instrument. and as I said, I cant find a similar case where an employee/pensioner has been forced to pay back monies by way of seizure of the lump sum or reduction of pension without a suitable order.

There are of course examples af people having thei9r pensions seized  after the event via a court claim, Harold Shipman being one of them but he was dead by then so had little to say on the subject himself

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