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wolf63 | 15:20 Thu 01st Oct 2015 | Business & Finance
15 Answers
I haven't been paying much attention to the new pension changes. I am not sure what effect they will have on me, so I thought that I would ask here.

I was awarded medical retirement from the civil service and from Oct 2004 I have been in receipt of my occupational pension at 31/40ths of my final income.

I get ESA every two weeks as I am in the Support Group.

I also have an Income Protection income that will be payable until my 60th birthday - 2023.

Apart from stashing money into my piggy banks is there anything else you kind people would advise?



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You could get yourself a state pension forecast from the Longbenton, Newcastle people.
You will not get this pension until 67, of course.
But I'm not sure what happens for you between 60 and 67, in terms of any top-up over civil service pension.
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I believe that it vanishes. I can't complain as I have done well out of it. I have worked and then paid conts from starting work at 16 so my conts records should be fine - I will check at some point.

I don't want to deprive myself of anything so that I can stash away savings - I am not at all sure that I will live to a great age.

As you know, you will need 35 qualifying years for the full new state pension. But you will have been contracted out as a member of civil service scheme. This reduces your end state pension. What I don't know is what credit you get in terms of qualifying years since 2004.
You will be entitled to a State Pension when you are 67...get a State Pension forecast here ::::

This is easy-peasy, and will take about 10 days. The eventual amount you will get in 2030 will be different, as new pension rules could be brought in by future Governments, and/or you could start working again and therefore start paying National Insurance Contributions again.

I am unsure what exactly what will happen to your Civil Service pension, but it should be payable for the rest of your life.

I can't help you regarding the ESA I'm afraid.

Question Author
Thanks for the link Mikey. I will have a look see next time my brain kick-starts itself.

I notice that I have said that my Civil Service pension was 31/40ths, it was actually 31/80ths. Pity!!

>>> "and/or you could start working again and therefore start paying National Insurance Contributions again"

what a terrifying thought. My brain is mangled due to a combination of Manic Depression and Lithium. I am living in Zombie-land.

I think that the moggies were sent to make life even more perplexing. :-) They are snoozing somewhere waking up every so often to have a noisy brawl and then off for a cat nap.

One wonders if you understood my second post. You didn't refer to it.

I can tell you what happens to your civil service pension - it keeps going for life. You've evidently been given an early pension based on years contributed as at 2004 and your final salary as at that date.

What I was encouraging you to investigate is whether you are getting any qualifying years credit for the years since 2004. It may be in your interests to find this out, because although you have at least 31 years of NI years from your civil service employment, and you may well think that is going to give you 31/35ths of the basic State Pension at age 67, you won't get the proportion as indicated, without earning more full year credits. This is because you were contracted out of the state pension scheme, by virtue of being in the civil service scheme.
State and civil service are not the same thing.

As Mikey suggests, start by getting the forecast, which will be based on what the NI people know about your history and future.

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Dogsbody, I assumed that the credits paid from ny ESA from 2004 would be enough once it was added to the period that I worked. It was DWP that I worked for so I am a little embarrassed by my current lack of knowledge on the subject.

Thanks for taking the time to help me. I apologise in not answering you earlier - I am far too easily side-tracked.

I am surprised to see that the contributions have to be 35 years for a full state pension. When I got mine last year it was 30 years, although I did have 43 years. Only part of my working life was contracted out so my pension is higher than that of someone who has spent all his working life 'contracted out'. I believe that the additional earnings pension, which gives me an extra £25 p.w. on top of the full basic pension, is to be abolished in favour of a flat figure for all. I am one of those who will not benefit from this change, but neither will I lose.
If you have your medical retirement calculations still to hand, was there any service enhancement applied?

That is to say (though not my business to ask) did you actually have 31 years' reckonable service because that "does not compute" with your age. 31 years at 2004 would have meant you starting at age 10!?

I think that pensions for early retirement on medical grounds ARE enhanced. I retired from teaching at 47 but my pension was paid as though I were 55. The 31/80 does not necessarily mean 31 years' actual service. The state pension is calculated purely on the number of contributions or credits you have.
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Hypo - no I worked from Sept 1980 to October 2003, it took them a year to process my retirement. Off Pension was 24 years and 33 day with a 6 2/3 enhancement.

I know that I should understand it all but I don't.

Jackdaw, the system seems to be changing continually and we can but hope that it will always be for the better.

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Off Pension should be Occ Pension - fekkin' predictive text.

Jackdaw. Yes, it will be 35 years shortly, and the OP would be impacted by that change.
Hyp. You are correct that I did not check the physical age calculation and as the OP has now confirmed enhanced years occurred at medical discharge.
Wolf, you may well be right that ESA entitlement is also giving you appropriate credit for NI qualification years until you cease to be able to receive it (60?), but it is worth checking by asking for the pension forecast.
ESA does give IN credit, my wife used to get it.
That sorts that, then. Thanks Eddie.

It seems that you will have in excess of 35 qualifying years. However the 'rules' by which the Pensions Agency reduce the full amount of basic State Pension entitlement because of part of one's NI record contains a contracted out period are still being invented.
Either way it will no doubt have been made clear as well as subjected to other rule changes before the time comes.

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