Further to our previous circulars concerning incorrect pension contributions, we are now able to bring you an update.
The issue was first identified by our Gatwick Branch, who noticed that SDA payments for some people were not being treated as pensionable and so appropriate contributions weren’t being deducted. While this left more money in pay packets, it also underfunded pension pots. The Department have now investigated exhaustively and found the issue is wider than originally thought. SDA and SDA premium payments are the highest value allowance concerned but there are others, including Temporary Cover Allowance. However it’s important to be clear that you are not necessarily affected simply because you receive a particular allowance. This also depends on which pension scheme people are in and when they moved onto that scheme. Different people will be affected in different degrees. The permutations are complex and there is simply no ‘one size fits all’ summary of impact we can give.
These issues have arisen due to IT processing errors which were not promptly identified – however having launched thorough investigations through SSC and MyCSP, the Department are confident that they have now got to the root of these issues. As our previous circulars have made more than clear we have pressed concern on this strongly, reflecting our disappointment to the Department both that such issues were ever permitted to arise and that these have taken an extended period to address.
However the situation does also have to be resolved and recent engagement from the Department has been substantially more productive.
Firstly pension contributions need to be taken at the correct rate so that people pay for and accrue the correct entitlements. The Department will now be writing to those impacted early next week, advising them of changes to pension deductions which will take effect from end of January pay. We advise members to examine the individual detail in their letters closely and to contact Mark.Gribbin@theisu.co.uk with any concerns. If you do not receive a letter, then you are not affected.
Secondly there is acknowledgement that those affected have been underpaying pension contributions through no fault of their own for some time. The period in question will vary depending on individual circumstances and therefore so too will the amount of any underpayment. That data is not yet fully available, to the level of detail we would wish to see. We will therefore discuss the position concern17ing underpayments when that information is available and, as you would expect, press for the most beneficial arrangements for members. We anticipate those discussions will not now take place until 2018.
The NEC will discuss this matter further at our meeting next week and will issue update in due course.
The one area where there has been over-payment of pension contribution is in respect of the Cutter Allowance – arrangement for refund of those over-payments are in hand and should be received with January salary.
As many of you will now be aware the 10 to 1 E Gates trial has now ended and the arrangement where one officer monitors 10 e-Gates simultaneously is to be rolled out across the country for ports with 10 gates or more.
Concerns have been raised over the physical and mental impact of members monitoring 10 screens at once for extended periods of time. If you have experienced any issues with the extended Monitoring Officer role – or indeed with E-Gate operation more generally – please send any feedback to Clare.Rampton@theisu.co.uk
ISU National Chair