Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions on pension schemes for civil and public services staff: FOI release

Published: 28 Jan 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
28 Jan 2020
Questions on pension schemes for civil and public services staff: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02621
Date received: 5 Dec 2019
Date responded: 27 Jan 2020
Information requested

Please answer each of the questions below in relation to each of the following six pension schemes: NHS; Teachers; Local Government; Firefighters; Police; Scottish Parliament

1. How many members opted out of the pension scheme in each of the following timeframes:

2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20

2. How many annual allowance charges were incurred by members in each of the following timeframes:

2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20 

3. How much did the scheme pay out under the 'scheme pays' mechanism for annual allowance charges in each of the following timeframes:

2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20 

4. Where applicable, how many members moved from paying full to reduced contribution rates in each of the following timeframes:

2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20 

Response

1. How many members opted out of the pension scheme in each of the following timeframes: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20

NHS, Teachers, Firefighters, Police and Scottish Parliament

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.  Currently members can have multiple records on our system and may, in some cases, only opt out of one employment. This makes the reporting of accurate figures a resource intensive activity as a large amount of manual intervention would be needed. Under Section 12 of FOISA, public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under Section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. Reducing the scope in this case would not result in a reduction of cost due to the manual work needed. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

Local Government

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because, whilst the SPPA is responsible for maintaining and updating the Local Government Pension Scheme’s regulations in line with policies determined by the Scottish Government and the UK Government, we do not administer the Scheme, so we do not hold information regarding scheme membership and refunds of contributions.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is administered by 11 local government administering authorities. You may wish to contact each authority directly as they may be able to provide you with the information you require. Contact details for the pension scheme administrators for each of the authorities is available under the “Allocation of the councils to the Local Government Funds” section at the following link: https://pensions.gov.scot/local-government/about-local-government-pensions/useful-links

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

2. How many annual allowance charges were incurred by members in each of the following timeframes: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20

How many Annual Allowance charges
were incurred by members of ...
2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 H1 2019/20
... the NHS pension scheme? 189 381 630 1364 ** **
... the Teachers’ pension scheme? 81 11 35 64 ** **
... the Local Government pension scheme? * * * * * *
... the Firefighters’ pension scheme? *** 23 44 72 ** **
... the Police pension scheme? *** 89 444 251 ** **
... the Scottish Parliament pension scheme? 0 1 2 2 ** **

Some of the figures are different to those released on a previous Freedom of Information request because members have up to four years after a tax year to amend their Scheme pays Situation.

* While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because, whilst the SPPA is responsible for maintaining and updating the Local Government Pension Scheme’s regulations in line with policies determined by the Scottish Government and the UK Government, we do not administer the Scheme, so we do not hold information regarding scheme membership and refunds of contributions.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is administered by 11 local government administering authorities. You may wish to contact each authority directly as they may be able to provide you with the information you require. Contact details for the pension scheme administrators for each of the authorities is available under the “Allocation of the councils to the Local Government Funds” section at the following link: https://pensions.gov.scot/local-government/about-local-government-pensions/useful-links

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

** Figures for 2018/19 and beyond not finalised as members have until 31 July 2020 as the mandatory deadline to apply for scheme pay.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

*** While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because we only have data from 1 April 2015, as this was when the SPPA took over formal administration of the Police and Firefighter Pension Schemes.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

3. How much did the scheme pay out under the 'scheme pays' mechanism for annual allowance charges in each of the following timeframes: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20

Under the ‘scheme pays’ mechanism for
annual allowance charges, 
how much did ...
2014/15 2015/06 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 H1 2019/20
... the NHS scheme pay out? £414,181.90 £155,352.09 £4,826,848.52 £8,579,796.47 ** **
... the Teachers scheme pay out? £174,439.97 £235,790.96 £281,383.60 £236,117.04 ** **
... the Local Government scheme pay out? * * * * * *
... the Firefighters’ scheme pay out? *** £22,466.26 £179,020.42 £94,557.93 ** **
... the Police scheme pay out? *** £250,825.77 £914,686.01 £1,096,308.02 ** **
... the Scottish Parliament scheme pay out? £0 £13,859 £43,565.59 £36,263.09 ** **

Some of the figures are different to those released on a previous Freedom of Information request because members have up to four years after a tax year to amend their Scheme pays Situation.

* While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because, whilst the SPPA is responsible for maintaining and updating the Local Government Pension Scheme’s regulations in line with policies determined by the Scottish Government and the UK Government, we do not administer the Scheme, so we do not hold information regarding scheme membership and refunds of contributions.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is administered by 11 local government administering authorities. You may wish to contact each authority directly as they may be able to provide you with the information you require. Contact details for the pension scheme administrators for each of the authorities is available under the “Allocation of the councils to the Local Government Funds” section at the following link: https://pensions.gov.scot/local-government/about-local-government-pensions/useful-links

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

** Figures for 2018/19 and beyond not finalised as members have until 31 July 2020 as the mandatory deadline to apply for scheme pay.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

***  While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because we only have data from 1 April 2015, as this was when the SPPA took over formal administration of the Police and Firefighter Pension Schemes.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

4. Where applicable, how many members moved from paying full to reduced contribution rates in each of the following timeframes: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, H1 2019/20

This regulation is not currently available for the NHS, Teachers, Firefighters’ Police and Scottish Parliament schemes. Flexibilities are currently under consideration for the NHS scheme.

The Temporary reduction in contributions option is available in the Local Government Pension Scheme only.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the SPPA does not have the information you have requested. This is because, whilst the SPPA is responsible for maintaining and updating the Local Government Pension Scheme’s regulations in line with policies determined by the Scottish Government and the UK Government, we do not administer the Scheme, so we do not hold information regarding scheme membership and refunds of contributions.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is administered by 11 local government administering authorities. You may wish to contact each authority directly as they may be able to provide you with the information you require. Contact details for the pension scheme administrators for each of the authorities is available under the “Allocation of the councils to the Local Government Funds” section at the following link: https://pensions.gov.scot/local-government/about-local-government-pensions/useful-links

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG