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Missing Pension Payments

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by lyge, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. lyge

    lyge New commenter

    Has anyone any experience of getting a reluctant school to update their (paid) pension contributions?

    Having recently checked my pension online I noticed that I only have 6 years of service on there when I am in my 15th year of teaching. I have always been in employment, always paid into the pension scheme and apart from one year I have always worked in the same school.

    When I looked at my employment history on the teacher's pension site, I could see that there was a gap of six years between 2007 and 2013 where nothing has been recorded. During this time I was a full time HOD so I know that I will have paid a significant amount of pension each month. Unfortunately, I don't have payslips from that long ago to see exactly what I paid. When I consider that my salary was around 45,000 at that time though, I've worked out that I have a lot of money missing! 6 years worth of monthly payments!

    I wasn't worried though. I still work at the school in question so I popped down to HR to ask them to update it. HR manager confirmed that I wasn't the only teacher who needed updating from this time and that it was just a phone call she needed to make.

    That was in February. Nine months have now passed for this 'quick phonecall' and since then I have been into the office again and was told by the HR manager that she was still working on it. Worryingly, she only confirms this in conversation. I have sent 5 reminder emails that have all been totally ignored. I'm not even the demanding money, my last email simply asked for an update.

    As HR seem to be ignoring me, I emailed the Head briefly, just explaining that I had a pension issue and did she have 5 minutes. I did add 'as I seem to be getting nowhere with HR' and I copied her into the trail of unanswered emails that I had sent.

    The head sent me a curt reply stating that she would first need to speak to the HR manager and she would get back to me. That was a few days ago.

    I'm now worried that this is a bigger issue than I thought. They can't refuse to pay it, can they? The money has been taken from my wage - where would it have gone?
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    Does all sound a bit odd, almost like they are trying to cover their backs
  3. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    You may need to gather evidence if you can, I'd suggest:
    1) If you cannot find any of your payslips from the period then get your bank statements for that period showing the deposits from the school. A copy of your contract would be useful too.
    2) Contact colleagues from that time to see if they have the same issue (and may be willing to share their payslips with you)
    3) Keep track, and evidence, of any expenses you incur.
    4) Hopefully you were in a union at the time so get them involved.
    5) If that gets you nowhere, push the union to write a formal letter and ask them to advise you if you will be able to seek recompense for any financial consequences that you have had to endure.
  4. lyge

    lyge New commenter

    Thank you,

    Yes, I was in a union at the time and still am. I was hoping it wouldn't get to this, but I will not hesitate to get them involved if the headteacher doesn't clear the matter up.

    I've also sent an email to my local council (who provided my payslips during this time). I'm hoping that they still have some information as to what was recorded on my payslips.

    My other issue is that the school recently became an academy. I'm hoping that this doesn't mean that they can cut all links to the school that once was.

    I actually can't believe that this could even be an issue. It seems like theft or some kind of fraud to me!
  5. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    It's most likely to be an oversight...both mine and my wife's histories had problems, nothing serious it was just a mistake with the salary amounts for a short period - nothing like as long as yours - but it can take time to rectify. As you've got a record of the period before and after the time in question I think it's most likely that someone hasn't put a tick in the right box somewhere. Before anything gets too serious it may be worth getting a confirmation from the school that you were employed, paid and that your pension record SHOULD reflect what you think it should for that specific period of time.

    So whilst you cannot address this problem directly with TPS (they'll direct you back to the school), you could write to the school asking for the information and give them the impression that you need it to chase it up with TPS yourself - that way you'll have some evidence if it comes to that.
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    If the local council provided your payslips at that time they would have been operating your payroll. That makes me more confident that your pension contributions will have gone through to TPS. My opinion is that the LA will be the ones who need to provide the evidence to TPS. Schools destroy financial and HR records after seven years, this is why it’s so important to keep payslips or at least P60s. Try contacting the LA and your union if it isn’t sorted quickly.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Do P60s show pension contributions? I though they just showed taxable pay, which means that contributions would not be included.
  8. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I needed my payslips from over 30 years ago to evidence a few months' worth of contributions. Squirrel mentality very helpful!
    Piranha likes this.
  9. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    I had a similar issue (my contributions weren’t missing – they were just for the wrong amount). Like you, my school is now an academy, but was an LA school when the issues occurred. I just got in touch with the LA’s payroll department and they sorted it.

    I was able to quote exact amounts because I still had my payslips. This is another example of ‘throw out old financial records’ being poor advice. Keep anything financial forever. With most stuff being online now, it doesn’t even take up any physical space. Related article.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    But save it to your own device and backup media. Don't rely on documents that are only kept 'in the cloud' or on someone else's servers. They can disappear, close down, go bust, or your access be blocked.
  11. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Yes. When I said ‘online’, I should have put ‘electronic’.
  12. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Did you ever solve this?
    I have a similar problem and the school is not answering me.

    Do you have any advice? I am convinced that I need to hire an Employment solicitor. I do not want to mess up with my pension.
  13. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    You do need to contact whoever administers your school's payroll (your LA or Capita??) and ask them to contact TPS with a record of your contributions. I had the same issues: three years' contributions missing which took about three or four months to be credited to my TPS account.
  14. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    But what can you do if the school does not respond you and does not do it?
  15. AnotherDayTowardsRetirement

    AnotherDayTowardsRetirement Occasional commenter

    Take legal advice. As a last resort sue the school for any financial loses caused by inaccurate pension records. A legal letter may hurriedly focus the employer’s resolve to correct any errors and/or shortcomings.
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If several people are affected, a gentle approach by their union(s) might be a good plan at this stage. Followed, if necessary, by a less gentle one.

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