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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with more than 30 years experience
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Went to Tribunal as I did not declare wifes NHS Pension during

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Went to Tribunal as I did not declare wife's NHS Pension during 2004 - 2008 as I was not aware it would be deemed as drawn and lost our appeal on a point of law. As soon as we realised we wrote declaring the above to the Pension Service at Preston giving her National Insurance number in November and December 2008 and received no reply. In August 2012 the Pension Service wrote us claiming the full amount of overpaid credit back.

My question is during 2004-2008 we were on Pension Credit and in 2012 when my husband drew his private pension we were put on Pension Saver Credit. Can the Pension Service take this into consideration now when working out how much we have to pay back each week and why was the delay factor of taking until 2012 to claim not taken into consideration in our favour?

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If i understand your question correctly, you claimed pension credit for some years when you were not entitled to it as a result of undeclared NHS pension. You now receive Seaver Credit and you wish to know if this credit can be taken into account in assessing the rate at which you should pay back the overpayment.

The answer must be yes because it is part of your income. I am not sure how the delay in reclaiming can be taken into account. You have presumably had the money and have been able to delay paying in back - so you have had a benefit by the delay. Unfortunately I do not think the far that there has been a delay can be used to reduce the repayment. It is no doubt worth raisin the issue and trying to get the best deal possible but there is no time bar on reclaiming these monies.
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience: Solicitor with more than 30 years experience
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pension Credit which we were on during 2004-2008 meant we would have paid the money back owed at a lower rate if the Pension Service had claimed it when I wrote them in 2008. As they did not respond until 2012, by this time my husband had now drawn his private pension which took us on to Pension Saver Credit, we now have to pay it back at the higher rate. We, therefore, feel we are quite entitled to pay it back at the lower rate - do you agree.


Finally, does "appeal is dismissed" means we have lost our case as we thought, because The Pension Service have recently written us saying our "appeal was heard and allowed". Also who is the "Decision Maker", as they are considering appealing to the Upper Tribunal against the first tier Tribunals decision? And when they get the statement of reasons, they will write us again to let us know whether an appeal to the Upper Tribunal will go ahead.

Thanks. The rate of reimbursement is an administrative not a legal issue really - they could ask for it all back immediately. If you had had to repay in 2008 then you would have been paying for 6 years already. The rate of repayment if you have to repay must depend upon your ability to pay at the time.

I cannot really comment on the inconsistency in the appeal decision without seeing the documents. The judges in the Upper Tribunal are high court judges so you can be confident you will get a proper and fair decision if they appeal but presumably if you won then there is no repayment to be made?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The paperwork from the court is headed FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL and sub-headed DECISION NOTICE:


1. The appeal is dismissed.


Does this mean we have lost and have to pay, or have we won?


Secondly you did not say who is the "Decision Maker" is it The Pension Service, the Court, or us - please answer both questions.



In what context is the Decision Maker used?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Letter from The Pension Service says:


We have now been told that your appeal was heard and allowed on 31 January 2014.


The law provides that any party to an appeal can apply for leave to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against a first tier tribunal's decision, if they consider that decision to be wrong in law. This is also explained in the notes you will have received with the first tier tribunal's decision.


I am writing to tell you that the Decision Maker is considering this course of action. As a first step in this process we have requested a statement of reasons from the Tribunal Service.


We will not put the tribunal's decision in place pending a possible appeal to the Upper Tribunal. When we get the statement of reasons, we will write to you again to let you know whether an appeal to the Upper Tribunal will go ahead.


(As far as we are concerned we thought we had lost the appeal and, therefore, are not appealing to the Upper Tribunal - who is right?)

Hi that is clear enough it is the decision maker referred ot is clearly at the pension service.

If the decision form the tribunal is that you r appeal is dismissed then clearly you have lost and the pension service seem to be confused. I assume the decision notice explains the decision.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help, you can understand why we have been so confused not understanding all the technicalities and legal terms made it hard for us to grasp whether we had won or lost, especially after receiving the Pension Service's letter.

Yes I can certainly understand and it seems the pensions service is confusing the issues as well.

I hope you get this sorted out satisfactorily