Our previous article about implementing the European Court of Justice ruling gave you an overview of our interim approach to calculating any increases due and provided some illustrative examples of what it might mean in practice for members.
We’d like to share with you the latest on where we are with implementing increases for affected members.
What we’re planning to do
We’re continuing to work on our methodology for calculating increases for PPF pensioners and will publish this as soon as we can. We’ll then confirm our approach for FAS pensioners, followed by those members who are not yet retired. These methodology statements will include how we’ll handle any missing data, and future inflation and mortality assumptions. This will remain an interim approach until new legislation comes into force, or there are further rulings by the courts.
We believe that the vast majority of members receive considerably more than 50% of the value of their original scheme benefits. Our approach is to prioritise those affected most, first. This means we will tackle members in this order:
• Those who are impacted by the long service cap
• Those that are impacted by the cap
• Everyone else
We’ve already written to those PPF and FAS members who are subject to the long service cap and who we think are affected by the ruling asking them to supply certain information to us. Although we hold information to calculate PPF benefits and FAS assistance under the existing legislation, we do not have all information about members’ original scheme benefits. This means we are likely to need further information to be able to apply the 50% principle in individual cases. We are in the process of collating all the relevant information from various sources. Once we have this we can start to recreate scheme benefits so the comparison against compensation/assistance can be undertaken and increases paid where appropriate. We hope to start making payments in the New Year, and expect to conclude by the end of April 2019 providing we have the necessary information to allow us to do this.
Once we have concluded this group we’ll start to look at both PPF and FAS capped members, learning any lessons from the previous phase. We will try and obtain data from sources such as the previous scheme administrators, and only write to members if it is absolutely necessary. This group of members is likely to be more complex administratively to handle so will take longer to finalise. We currently expect to conclude this phase in the summer of 2019. We are also looking on a case by case at members who are approaching retirement and are likely to be capped, to see if an adjustment is necessary.
When we have dealt with these groups of members we will consider how best to handle the remaining members. We will publish more on this in due course.
We continue to talk to trustees about how they should calculate and apply any increase to affected members of schemes in assessment.
Find out more
If you are a member of the PPF or FAS, or if your scheme is in assessment, you can find out what information we need from you in our statement on implementing the European Court of Justice ruling.