Information

Police pension forecast estimates: FOI release

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


Information requested

1. From 1/2/2022 to date can you provide the number of Police Officer requests for pension forecast estimates?
2. From 1/2/2022 to date can you provide the number of Police Officer requests for pension forecast estimates that have been refused?
3. What are the general reasons for refusal?
4. There appears to be a current blanket refusal for pension forecast estimates, for example, Police Officers who were given future dates for estimates being available were re-informed via email in Mid march onward that all estimates were being refused.
In relation to this -
4.1 At what level, when and where was the decision made?
4.2 What was the justification for this decision?
4.3 What actions are being taken to rectify this failure of service?
4.4 How many complaints have been made regarding this failure of service?
4.5 How many referrals do you know have been made regarding this to the pension ombudsman?

Response

1. From 1/2/2022 to date can you provide the number of Police Officer requests for pension forecast estimates?
1215

2. From 1/2/2022 to date can you provide the number of Police Officer requests for pension forecast estimates that have been refused?
277

3. What are the general reasons for refusal?
We have developed an on-line calculator to allow customers to model changes arising from changes to the commutation factors. Disclosure Regulations dictate that customers are entitled to 1 estimate per 12 month period, and by providing an Annual Benefit Statement, we have fulfilled this obligation. We do however provide estimates for customers looking to retire within the next 12 months. Many requests were for periods outside of this timeframe or for customers too young to retire. Some customers were asking for several estimates within one request. We have received a spike in actual retirement applications and will always prioritise payments above estimates to ensure people get their pensions paid on time.

4. There appears to be a current blanket refusal for pension forecast estimates, for example, Police Officers who were given future dates for estimates being available were re-informed via email in Mid march onward that all estimates were being refused.

In relation to this –

4.1 At what level, when and where was the decision made?
It was not decided to adopt a blanket ban on estimates. We agreed an approach to direct customers to the on-line calculator in the first instance. This decision was made by the Chief Operating Officer on 11 March 2022.

4.2 What was the justification for this decision?
We recognised that with the significant increase in demand that customers would be waiting longer for information than we’d like, therefore updated the on-line calculators so customers could access information quicker. The emails were not designed to “refuse”, rather to signpost that the information could be received quicker on-line. We advised customers that if they still wanted the SPPA to provide an estimate that we would do so, although delays were to be expected.

4.3 What actions are being taken to rectify this failure of service?
We are aware that some of our customer advisors may have provided misleading information. We have decided to move the handling of calls and emails back into the core administration team to ensure consistency of messaging. We are also supplementing the resources in the team to ensure they are equipped to manage customer demand. We shall continue to provide on-line services to our customers as there has been significant demand by the Police Federation and Police Associations to ensure calculators are available for customers to obtain estimated information over and above the requirements dictated by the Disclosure Regulations.

4.4 How many complaints have been made regarding this failure of service?
26

4.5 How many referrals do you know have been made regarding this to the pension ombudsman?
None

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

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