Deputy Secretary

I have some bad news to impart to P.N.P.F. members and beneficiaries, in that Richard Wiscombe has decided that his career path does not lie with the P.N.P.F. and has taken another job in London. Richard will be leaving the Secretariat in March and the search for his replacement has begun in earnest. Not an auspicious start for 2008!

Alternate Trustees

The Association of Participating Bodies has recently appointed Stephen Bracewell, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, as an Alternate Trustee Director.

Benefit Statements 2007

We are currently in the process of obtaining and confirming year end earnings for active members and should be in a position to send out benefit statements by the end of February.

2008 Pension Increases and Calendars

Just before Christmas all pensioners and widows were sent letters confirming the percentage increase they would be receiving from 1 January 2008, as well as a calendar for the year. If you have not received yours please let us know at the Secretariat and we will put another in the post.

Triennial Valuation

Those of you who follow this sort of thing will know that the Fund is due a triennial valuation as at 31 December 2007. This means that 2008 will be a busy year for the Trustees as well as the Secretariat as this will be the first valuation prepared under the requirements of The Pensions Act 2004.

Not only will the Trustees need to learn a whole new set of pensions jargon, they will also have to set the assumptions to be used in the calculations. (with advice from the actuary) There is no doubt the whole process will be time consuming and drawn out. So do not hold your breath as the final results may be a long time coming.
Fund’s Solicitor

Many of you will know that Andrew White has been the Fund’s solicitor since the mid 70s and has seen out many a trustee, well now it is his turn and Andrew retired at the end of 2007. We will now be looked after by another senior partner at Mayer Brown, Philippa James.


The Government has announced the rates of State Retirement pension which will apply from 7 April 2008. These are:

£ pw Increase
Basic State Pension
Married woman’s basic on husband’s National Insurance


Age 80 addition


The Pensions Bill was introduced to Parliament on 5 December 2007. The Bill builds on the improvements to the state pension system contained in the 2007 Pensions Act. The Bill proposes;

• Automatic enrolment in a workplace qualifying scheme from 2012.
• Introducing a new Person Accounts scheme designed for those employers who do not currently offer pension schemes.
• An increased role for The Pensions Regulator as the compliance body that will ensure employers meet their new obligations.
• Further simplification to the additional state benefits
• Measures to ease the burden of regulations on employers.


After years of naked protests to show they were “stripped” of their pensions, the Pensions Action Group’s hard fought battle for better compensation appears to have paid off. The Pensions secretary, Peter Hain, has offered a package that will increase the Financial Assistance Scheme payments to the value of 90% of the lost pension bringing it in line with the Pensions Protection Fund levels.
In addition more than 11,000 wind up victims whose employers remain solvent now qualify for FAS help. In total some 140,000 people should benefit from the government change of heart.


A recent survey by Alliance Trust has produced some interesting statistics in respect of the British adult population’s retirement planning. 43% of U.K. adults expect property to be their main source of income in retirement. Belief that a company pension scheme will fund retirement has fallen to 36%. 18% of the population are hoping for an inheritance or windfall to fund their retirement and a further 19% expect to rely on their partner or spouse.


Did you know that the Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Speaker qualify for a full pension after just one day in office? It amounts to an annuity equal to half their salary irrespective of how long they have served.

MPs on the other hand do not get such a rapid accrual of their pension rights. They have to build it up in chunks of 1/40th of salary over a number of years.

Even then it is nothing as undignified as the rest of us who pay into a scheme for 40 odd years hoping that there well be a pension at the end of it.

Who says politicians have no understanding of pensions?

Debbie Marten

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