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TPS suspect incorrect contribution information.

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by pauljoecoe, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    So this is a new one on me.

    My wife got around to applying for her pension yesterday. We have been deferred for 3 years due to working abroad. Been back in the UK since August and not working. I suddenly realised it would make sense for her to apply sooner rather than later as she will not be taxed this year.

    Anyway - message arrived from TPS today questioning her contributions for a period in 1998. The only reason they questioned is that she had been working part time for several years and in the middle of it all she was full time for 2 months. In fact this was correct. She had been doing various supply and part time and then got offered a maternity cover for half a term.

    However, TPS wanted to confirm this - contacted the Local authority who said they had no records!!!
    Luckily my wife has all the pay slips. She now needs to sort it out with the council which is easier said than done in these Covid times. Meanwhile pension is on hold.

    Seems mad when it actually is correct!

    Moral of the story - always keep your pay slips.
  2. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    This sort of thing comes up every now and then, and I’m always left with the same question.

    Surely, when your employer takes money from your salary, they have a legal responsibility to pass that on to where it should go.

    If the taxman came and asked if you could prove you paid your income tax in 1998, that you needed to provide evidence, and that if you couldn’t you’d have to pay your tax again, there’d be uproar.

    Why would they not gave records from 1998? It’s not that long ago. If they threw them away, surely that’s their decision and their responsibility.

    As far as I can tell, and I stand to be corrected, nowhere in the process of signing up to the pension does it tell you it’s your responsibility to keep your own records.
  3. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    I've not looked at the legal cases, and there have been a few, where teachers have lost their pensions due to such errors but the result has been that teachers do indeed have to prove they paid.

    I suppose it's akin to Argos where you pay up front and then take your receipt along to where you collect it. If you lose the receipt they won't give you the goods. The onus is on you to prove you have paid for what you want to collect.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Good advice which every teacher needs to be aware of.
    Treacle3 and border_walker like this.
  5. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    There is something else, too.

    During the years approaching leaving teaching, I checked TPS regularly.

    At one point my past service history changed, incorrectly. I’m sure schools provide new data monthly, but I can’t imagine they update old data. TPS we’re doing something wrong.
  6. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    What happened to the money?

    If the school takes it off you and doesn’t pass it on, surely that’s theft.

    If they pass it on, but fail to send accurate records, surely that’s neglect.

    I know the cash goes to central government coffers, but don’t they keep records?
  7. frodo_magic

    frodo_magic Established commenter

    Pensions should be part of every trainee's training. A couple of hours, to cover keeping payslips / photos of every payslip, how the pension works, how to buy extra extra. Nothing controversial, just basic advice to protect teachers.
    brook123lyn likes this.
  8. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    Actually the schools may be updating. My issue wasn't limited to my service it affected every member of staff who was employed at the time so as they corrected my service they had to correct every member of staff's records - and that would include a number who had already retired and were already drawing their pensions!

    Luckily the problem I had was that the salary level was incorrect for 3 days so the effect, if any, on anyone's pension would have been minimal - and that change would have given them a better pension if it did have any effect.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  9. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    I agree, there is a responsibility there but the onus remains on the teacher to prove it.

    My advice, unqualified advice as ever, is to keep/retrieve as much evidence from the school as possible to confirm both your employment and the deduction of pension payments just in case you need to enlist the support of a legal team.

    If the school refuse to help, and I would hope to find that possibility very remote, then I believe (IANAL) that you would have a case to hold them liable for the financial loss you would/have suffered. However, this again puts the onus on you to prove the case.

    In exactly the same vein, if someone breaks into your house and steals your car the case is against the thief but they do not have to prove their innocence.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  10. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    The annoying thing is that on this occasion the info is there and is correct. It;s the TPS being very careful and checking something because they think t looks odd. The problem is the local authority that can't confirm it is correct. TPS will not accept our proof. Its our responsibility to chase the local authority and that is a real pain as you can imagine.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It isn't theft!

    If in this case the school/LA at the time reported a period of full time working and paid contributions to TPS based on full time working I'd definitely challenge TPS's right to refuse to accept it it's correct unless you can prove it. How exactly you challenge it I don't know.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  12. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    If I pay someone an amount every month - let’s say a mortgage advisor who I’ve arranged to sort my mortgage, and for some reason I pay through them, but they don’t pay it on, that’s what? Fraud? Embezzlement? That falls under the umbrella of ‘theft’, surely (certainly in layman’s terms).

    At the very least, unlawful deduction of earnings, I’d have thought.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    None of those things, not a crime at all unless the mortgage advisor intended to steal your money. (I can't see how your mortgage advisor could be making a deduction from pay.)

    Incompetence, negligence, could be, but that's a civil claim to get your money back and compensation, not a crime someone can be prosecuted for.

    Anyway AIUI the money OP had deducted by their employer in 1998 was paid to TPS. That isn't the issue here.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
    PeterQuint likes this.
  14. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    Exactly. Actually the more I think about it the more annoyed I become. There isn't an issue and someone at TPS has decided there could be based on an unusual record (well not that unusual I would have thought - my wife just went through a period of supply/part time/cover contracts after having time out for a child)

    The trouble is it is very difficult to argue with them. And they always state it is the teachers responsibility to chase up the employers in cases of incorrect records (which in this case are not incorrect!) They won't even accept copies of payslips from that period.
  15. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    I'd be tempted to send them a letter that I usually reserve as my advice for the last resort that would tell them very clearly that the record is correct and that if any prevarication on their part leads to you suffering a financial loss you will hold them responsible.
  16. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    A quick question. Do they pay it to TPS?

    Does it go to them, or a government department like the IR?

    If it goes to them, then if TPS have received it, surely they must have a record of that.

    I don’t know. Is it really the case that TPS get a suitcase full of money from a school every month, and details of who it’s for, how much they earned, etc., but don’t even bother seeing if the sums add up?

    Does that really happen?
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I have no idea what the money transfer process is. Sorry!
    PeterQuint likes this.
  18. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    There is no money! It all goes into the government coffers. Present day government coffers pay present day teachers pensions. The TPS just keep a record of how much teachers are working/earning each month. That information is used to calculate your pension when the time comes. (At least that's how I understand it works)
  19. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    There is no money! It all goes into the government coffers. Present day government coffers pay present day teachers pensions. The TPS just keep a record of how much teachers are working/earning each month. That information is used to calculate your pension when the time comes. (At least that's how I understand it works)

    Before I retired I discovered my last school had not informed the TPS about a period of 9 months. They had taken the money from my salary but just hadn't told the TPS. It was a simple job for HR to update the TPS record online. Where did that money go? Who knows?

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