Tag Archive | pensions

Can part-time employees claim back years when they were not eligible to belong to their employers’ pension scheme?

Side stepping the issues like a crab!

Back in 1986 when I worked in a school, I was part-time.  My hours depended on the number of children on roll that year so the hours varied from 17 to 25 per week. At that time I was not eligible to belong to the employers pension scheme because I was part-time.  However, since at the time most part-time workers were women, there was a time when this law was disputed on the grounds of indirect sex discrimination.

In 1991 the law was changed and people like me could enter the pension scheme, paying in 6% of their monthly salary.

I continued to work in the school until 1998, paying in to the scheme during those years.

In 2001 another law was passed allowing part-time workers to buy back the missing years, in my case five years worth. We had to put in a claim, which I did, but nothing has ever come of it. Every year I would write to the authority asking what was going on and how much it would cost me to buy back the missing years. I kept being put off.

Now I am retired but still waiting for my State Pension because the Government put it back by two years for people of my age. Here in England we always used to get our State Pension when we turned 60 (women) – 65 (men). Now they are bringing women in line with men and people of my year of birth, i.e. 1951 have to wait till they are 61 and 8 months to get the pension. Those women one year younger than me will have to wait another year and so on until women and men are treated the same. That is not my reason for writing this today though. The point is I want to get the part-time years buy back done so I can start having it and I feel that the Authority is holding back, giving excuses for not giving me the information.

The truth is probably that it is so long now that they would most likely owe me not the other way round because if I’d bought back the five years in 2001 when the law came in, and it had been invested, then by now it would be coming back to me with bells on!

After writing to the Authority every year since (I’ve been very patient), I am now losing my patience. I have written to my Member of Parliament, Kelvin Hopkins and he is using his influence to get the Authority, in this case Luton Borough Council, to speed up and get the calculation done so I can start receiving the benefit.

I’ll let you know how I get on. I’ve now got the bit between my teeth.

If you are affected by this issue, like I am, you can read more about the background here.