Our thanks to the Derbyshire branch of NARPO for bringing our attention to a pension issue that may affect a number of officers – and therefore Derbyshire Benevolent Trust members – who were paying into a pension during 1972 or 1990.
We are posting the information below on behalf of NARPO.
Were you a serving officer in 1972 or 1990?
If so, you will have been given the opportunity to uprate your widow or widower pension.
We have recently been made aware of an issue in relation to the inadequate retention of important pension records around the election made by officers in 1972 when an option was given to uprate their widows’ pension entitlement from a third to a half.
The issue initially arose when a NARPO member died but had told his wife to make sure she received the half–rate pension as he had decided to uprate.
The Pension Authority could find no records relating to the officer’s pension in 1972 and, as a result, decided it would only pay the widow’s pension at the rate of a third. The officer in question had transferred from another force and it would appear that his pension record was not transferred with him. The widow was adamant but nevertheless the Pension Authority refused to uprate the pension despite there being no record whatsoever covering his previous service.
Owing to the widow’s persistence and with assistance from our local NARPO branch, the widow managed to find her late husband’s records in a separate location. That file contained a form signed by her husband in 1973 showing that he had elected to increase the widow pension entitlement through reduction in his own pension.
In correspondence with the force concerned, it has confirmed that, in the absence of any records being found from 1972, it would automatically pay the widow’s pension at the rate of a third.
This record keeping issue could also affect those female officers serving in 1990 when an opportunity was given for them to ‘buy back’ previous service so that it attracted a half rate widower’s pension. This should be recorded on their pension records. Make sure your loved one receives the pension to which they are entitled.
You are advised to contact your pension administrator to make sure they still have a record of your election.