Pensioner Trustee at University of St.Andrews - Bill Blyth [under constant review] Last update 01/05/2016

 

 

Having taken early retirement I thought I might develop this page to help others approaching retirement,

however anything included here is based on my personal experience and must not be taken as any form

of expert legal opinion or financial advice.

 

These observations are for support staff at St.Andrews University and if you are not employed there then

these arrangements may be different in your employers pension scheme.

 

Thought 1

 

Apply to go on a pre-retiral course via the Pensions office, so contact Lisa Harley to see if any courses are

planned and do this at least 3/4 years before your retiral date. The courses are run over in Dundee by the

Tayside Pre-Retirement Council and are normally held in the Mitchell Street Centre and run over two days

and transport can be made available at no cost to you.

 

Thought 2

 

The normal state retirement age for years has been 60 for females and 65 for males, but changes are in the

pipeline. If you are a male retiring early then you may have to wait a few years before receiving your state

pension, so working out a monthly budget is important. It is just as important even if you leave in receipt

of a state pension. I certainly quickly realised how much I had been spending at work, between travel and

lunches etc and how these savings impacted on my new monthly expenditure.

 

If retiring ago 60 or over you only pay tax on your pension, no National Insurance is deducted unless

you have not achieved the required number of qualifying years. You may take up gainful employment

or you may also qualify for a Job Seekers allowance whilst looking for work. If you have taken early

retirement through ill-health then apply to the DHSS for your benefits, which will continue up to

your official retirement date.

 

Thought 3

 

An example for pension purposes of say a salary of £20,000 and 40 years service gives a pension of

£10,000 per year and a tax free lump sum of £30,000. However new legislation now allows you to opt

for a bigger lump sum with a correspondingly lower yearly pension e.g. £30,000 might realise up to

£50,000 - but result in a lower yearly pension. You could seek advice from the pension office on other

figures less than the maximum, to see how this would impact on your monthly pension pot.

 

For someone with only 20 years service then the pension would be £5,000 per year and lump sum of

£15,000. The pension calculation is based on the last 365 days salary and not the annual salary, unless you

are retiring on 31st July in that year. Normally annual salary runs from 1st August to 31st July.

 

If you retire on 31st August then your first pension payment will be at the end of September. The pension

administrators will send to your home address a monthly pay slip, this has now changed to an A4 note,

the money will be paid into your nominated bank account on the 27th of the month. There is annual

increase in your pension, but to get the full benefit you have to have been retired for 12 months, if say

it was 6 months then you would only see an increase of 50%, but the following year you would get the

full 12 month increase.

 

If you take an early retirement option for whatever reason and when you are eligible to receive your State

pension, about 6 weeks before you this applies, the Tax Office will write asking for information from you.

In the case of a member taking early retirement you will receive a tax form asking about who pays

the pension; its amount and other personal details. Once the you have finalised these details you may

need to advise the payroll department of the of the Pension Administrator, currently A-on, but if unsure

what to do you can also seek advise from Lisa in the pensions office.

 

The inflationary increase in your university pension is effective from 1st April in line with the state

pension arrangements. The figure is the RPI for the previous September.Every pensioner receives in April each year a revised pension. In the current year 2015/16 the full increase was 2.5% ? Those who have not been a pensioner for a full year will only receive a proportion of any increase in the first year of pensionable income.

 

The pension increase on contributions prior to 1st April 2006 is inflation proofed up to 9% but pension

contributions which accrue from 1st April 2006 to retirement date will only be increased by 2.5%,

 

The current state retirement pension as of April 2016 is £119.30 per week with a personal allowance of £11,000. . If If you receive monies in excess of this, then the personal allowance will be lowered. There are Annual earning

limits currently £27,600* as well as life time allowances on pensions nowadays but for most of us in the

* This figure does increase

 

I had to opt for payment via bank account and unlike your salary it is not paid monthly [end of the

month] but every 4 weeks.

 

There are changes in 2016/17 and 2017/18 but there will no doubt be more details. The new pension fof those

retiring after 6th April, 2016 is to be £155 per week, but it is thought many will not achieve this. See the booklet in particularly page 23 about coping.

 

Thought 4

 

Give some thought to how best to deal with the lump sum you will receive, it will likely be the largest

amount of cash most of us will ever receive. You might want to but a new car; pay off a mortgage; have

work carried out on your home or perhaps go a holiday - one you will remember - or simply want to

invest some or all of your lump sum. Seek out an Independent Financial Advisor; use one who is a

FSA registered.

 

This site might help you: www.unbiased.co.uk

 

Thought 5

 

At age 60 you can also apply for your bus pass and cut down on the usage of your car, I know

a number of people over 60 who now use their pass to get to and from work, plus the other use of seeing

parts of Scotland. Some tour bus operators also give you a discount on their trips and there are

concessions in Fife to enable "Fife Card" holders to go to Edinburgh/Glasgow on low prices.

 

Thought 6

 

You might want to have access to email after retiral and to set up a provision at home, if so get in

touch with the helpdesk well before retiring, say 2/3 months as here is an option for you to retain your

university email address if you so wish. If granted the extension of this service is only for 6 years after

which you might not be able to continue using the service ?

 

Thought 7

 

The power of attorney is something more relevant now than ever before should something happen to you or

your partner then having put this in place will save a lot of problems later, so something else to give some

thought too.

 

Unite Retirement Members benefits for a cost of £26 per year.

 

A further useful link from, the Trades Union movement, can be found at: TUC Work Smart

 

This information is meant to be helpful and not misleading, but if you find issues or statements that are

incorrect, please advise and they will either be removed or amended, but as I said in the very first

paragraph, anything included here is based on personal experience and must not be taken as any form

of expert legal opinion or financial advice. Further contributions/information to this page would be most

welcome. I have included links to other website's but there may also be more that can be added, please

let me know.

 

Email unitetheunion@talktalk.net