Background information relating to our Pension Arrears issue
NSSO / ETB Developments
A working group has been established and is working through areas which have been identified by ETBs, ETBI and NSSO as needing improvements. To date the following has been completed:
- NSSO have confirmed they will notify ETBs of the death of their ETB Pensioners so S&C benefits can be instructed to NSSO
- NSSO have provided a contact person for ETBs to contact with urgent queries which need addressing
- New Pension Instruction forms were issued to ETBs in April 2022.
- NSSO have issued 1100 pension declaration forms to their Pensioners aged over 80 in two batches.
- Sub group have drafted Activities & Responsibilities document which is currently under review with NSSO. Will issue to ETBs once NSSO revert on same.
- DoE are drafting a Pensions Overpayment Policy which can be used in Athlone and
- NSSO in line with DPER guidelines and other policies.
- NSSO have processed majority of pension increases for October 2020 and are working with ETBs to ensuring all Oct 2020 increases have been applied.
- ESBS facilitated a workshop with ETBs on 25/05/2022 to provide resources to assist with the instruction of Pensioner Increases by ETBs and the implementation of increases by NSSO of the July and October 2021 and February 2022 increases. ETBs are to issue instructions to NSSO by 30/09/2022 and NSSO to action all instructions by 31/12/2022.
- NSSO have updated their system configurations and are cleansing ETB Pensioner Data on their system as instructions are received to ensure the implementation of Pensioner increases will be a smoother process going forward and individual instructions will not need to be submitted by ETBs for all pensioners. There will continue to be a small cohort of pensioners in ETBs which may need to be instructed individually if their pensions are based on averaged/personal scales / allowances.
- NSSO are continuing to implement all ETB pensioner increases and cleanse data as increases are applied. They are working overtime to do this and processing 700/800 each pay period. ETBs have returned the majority of increases with some awaiting direction on legacy scales in order to calculate increases due. NSSO updating ESBS after each pay period as to the numbers processed in the pay period.
- NSSO will be able to update their scales and allowances and apply increases due as per building momentum to pensioners on standard scales and allowances. ESBS will work with them in relation to this piece to ensure the correct sequencing. ETBs to send instructions in relation to increases due on personal/legacy scales and allowances.
- ETBs to work with NSSO in relation to the instruction of revised lump sums as a result of building momentum also.
It has been suggested that the ESBS – Education Shared Business Service – will not be ‘up and running’ until mid-2023. When it is fully operational, it will have responsibility for our pension calculations in the future.
One major cause of the current delay has been the arrears due since October 1st 2020 to the post-March 2012 retirees, as the Building Momentum increases are applied sequentially on post-2020 pensions. There has been no mention, as yet, of the recalculation of lump sums for the same group (Retirees from March 1st 2012 – October 2020). Indications from several ETBs are that the Building Momentum arrears from Oct 1st 2021 will be paid to ETB retirees sometime in January 2023, and that the subsequent increases –
February 2nd 2022 and October 1st 2022 will follow during the first Quarter of 2023.
The values of these increases are outlined here.