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TPS Troubles...Next steps?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by red_hot_chili_frog, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. red_hot_chili_frog

    red_hot_chili_frog New commenter

    I started my first teaching post, as an NQT, in July 2010. I chose to opt out of the TPS initially as I was only 22, and had several expensive things to pay for (moving into new flat, driving lessons/car etc.) I completed the necessary paperwork, sent it to the relevant people and thought nothing of it. In April this year, I managed to get a new teaching role and decided to opt back into the scheme, as I felt able to afford the contributions.
    However, in April, I was notified by my LA that my original opt out paperwork never reached them, and that I hadn't been paying pension contributions due to a 'general admin' error on their part (I am aware that the TPS is something that you are automatically entered into, so not sure how that error occured!) Logic dictates that if I was in any way concerned about being in the TPS, I may well have noticed that I hadn't paid any contributions and would have queried this at some point in the last 2 years...
    As a result, I apparently owe the TPS contributions dating back to July 2010-and they promptly took £271 from my pay last month-no prior warning as to the exact amount, no consultation as to whether I could afford it, and no information as to how much I owe in total-nothing! Unfortunately, I personally do not have a copy of the original opt out form I completed, and it is not on my file at school.
    It may will be the case that I will never be able to prove my choice to opt out of the TPS if the paperwork has indeed been lost (LA have already confirmed with the TPS that they have not got any record of me opting out). But how can I find out what I owe them and organise a repayment schedule that suits me? The LA claimed that Capita would write to me and provide an invoice, but I haven't heard from them at all! Is there any other outside agency that may help me sort this out? And has anyone else had previous experience of this? I simply cannot afford to a) have such considerable deductions taken from my pay and b) not know what my monthly pay is going to be from now, so any advice will be gratefully received!
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Arguably a backdated contribution from July 2010 of £271 doesn't seen very much - so yes, I would certainly check where they got that figure from, and that as you were reigstered at the time, the employer contributions were paid into your pension also. Despite the financial shock of this, it may actually be to your advantage to have joined the penion scheme from July 2010 rather than April 2012 - This is not my area of expertise but there have been siginificant changes to the benefits and you may find yourself on better pension terms as a result on enlisting on 'old' terms rather than 'new' ones.
    You can use the pay calcualtor on www.tesfaq.co.uk which will give you a close indictor of what your monthly salary will be after deductions such as pension to aid budgeting from now on.

    I would give capita a ring to make enquiries on the phone rather than waiting for paperwork by post.
  3. red_hot_chili_frog

    red_hot_chili_frog New commenter

    I doubt it is the entire backdated contribution from 2010-I'm guessing that they've calculated the total arrears, and now will deduct this sum from my pay until the arrears are paid off. I have already used the pay calculator and cannot work out where £271 has come from, unless it is now arrears + 'normal' contribution.Needless to say, I cannot afford this every month! I'm not too fussed about being in the 'old' or 'new' TPS-my concern is that I am suffering due to the mistakes of other people, and not being given adequate information regarding my situation-how can it be acceptable, for any reason, to deduct that much from someone's pay (I'm on M2, currently) without due consultation?!
    Definitely will ring Capita-would be interesting to hear if they are helpful over the phone, seeing as I've had no prior dealings with them!
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    To me it looks like they have doubled your pension contribution (which should be around 135.89)...
  5. red_hot_chili_frog

    red_hot_chili_frog New commenter

    Yes, I can see that now. I guess I have to find out if they intend to do that until I've paid back the 'arrears' (I wish I could get some evidence of my opt out, I remember filling it in!)- if so, they're going to have change the repayment because I cannot afford this [​IMG] Do you think it would be possible for them to lower the repayments, or would it just be a standard calculation they won't be prepared to change?
  6. red_hot_chili_frog

    red_hot_chili_frog New commenter

    Update: Phoned TPS, I felt really sorry for the woman on the end of the phone, she clearly didn't know how to help me-she referred me onto Serco. Finally managed to speak to a very helpful man at Serco, who was very sympathetic and interestingly, has been put in charge of processing many cases like mine over the past few years. He was very patient in explaining the whys and wherefores of the situation, agreed that the lack of communication so far has been unacceptable (mainly due to the TPS not doing their bit) and I should be able to put a case together to the DfE for a retrospective opt out to cover my whole NQT year and up until this April (even without the original paperwork, cases have been successful due to the number of 'errors' that have been made). He also accepted that 'double' contributions should not have been deducted in May, so until my case has been reviewed, that will be repaid in full, hopefully by the end of this month.
    So, yes, it involved more than a considerable amount of input from me due to the lack of communication between the LA, Serco and Capita, but I got there in the end-thank you for those of you who took the time to read and respond, it was much appreciated and did help me get my thoughts together. I hope this thread might be useful for anyone in a similar situation (from talking to the man from Serco, it sounds like there may be a few others!)
  7. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    A discussion with your Union at the Regional level not your school rep might have ben helpful before you started paying the double pension payments.You should have been informed about this ,before the new payments were taken out. We assume they may be charging you interest also on your arrears ?
    The Union could have discussed your repayments issue with the Local Authority.If you are not in a Union,then they will not take you on just to sort out this problem.
    You should note that the Local authority(Salaries Department) are taking the pension payments out of your salary.Please speak to them and demand the paper work,which will have been processed by them
    The LA will also have to paying in their back pension contributions into the scheme.
    A polite suggestion,that in future,photo-copy important documents and send via recorded delivery.[​IMG]
  8. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    I note your reply at 15.33pm.
    It would appear that Serco deal with your salary not a Local Authority. Everything I said still stands,but Serco are at fault.
    I will not make a comment on a private company handling the salaries of a school.[​IMG]

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