What are adjustments?
Your Benefit Statement might include a note on adjustments. These adjustments have been made as a result of an historic administrative problem, which resulted in delays processing some members’ contributions.
The delays happened when we received incomplete or missing payroll data – such as a missing date of birth or National Insurance number. This data got stuck in our system and couldn’t move forward to the next stage to be verified and invested.
We have carried out a detailed analysis of all members’ accounts and for anyone affected by delays processing pension contributions, we have adjusted their funds to place them in the position they would have been in had their units been purchased in a timely manner.
This applies to both net investment losses and investment gains. As a result, on your Benefit Statement, you may see an adjustment that might be a refund or a debit.
Frequently asked questions
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about adjustments.
How did you calculate the adjustment to my contributions?
All contributions received have been examined to identify any investment date above 22 days after the date which the contribution should have been invested. This is following receipt of data and payment of contribution from your employer.
Normally, your contributions and those of your employer are used to buy units which are then invested. Where a delay occurred, the actual allocation of units has been changed to the unit allocation that would have otherwise been made if the investment had taken place within the 22-day period. The adjustment on your statement reflects the refund or debit that we have applied to your account.
How could there be a debit if there has been a delay?
Whilst you are saving for retirement, we invest your contributions into the Diversified Growth Fund and as you approach retirement, into the Retirement Countdown Fund.
Each fund is divided into units of equal value which are valued weekly. The weekly price of each unit changes depending on the value of the investments within each fund. Over the long term, the price of each unit is expected to increase but over the short term the price can go up or down depending on the value of its investments. When unit prices go down, each contribution buys more units which should be to your benefit over the longer term. Conversely, when unit prices go up, fewer units can be bought with each contribution. Therefore, there could be a debit or refund.
I disagree with the among being refunded or debited, what should I do?
If you think we have got something wrong, please let us know. We will do our best to put things right. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can formalise your complaint via our Internal Dispute Resolution Process that provides a step-by-step escalation process involving the Trustees and The Pension Ombudsman.
Find out more about our complaints process.
How many contributions were adjusted?
Currently, we are unable to provide details about how many contributions were adjusted. However, we have checked all affected accounts and brought them up to date.
Can I get a break down of my adjustments?
Currently, we are unable to provide a detailed breakdown of adjustments. However, we have checked all affected account and brought them up to date.
Why have you made an adjustment to the charges I’ve paid?
We have carried out a detailed analysis of all members’ accounts to examine if the correct amount of money was taken for monthly member administration charges. If the charges haven’t been applied correctly, we have made an adjustment to put this right.
How did you calculate the adjustment to the charges I’ve paid?
To assess if the correct amount was deducted from your account to cover monthly administration charges up to and including March 2018, we have checked for each month from your first contribution:
- Whether you were an active or deferred member
- For months you were active whether your employer agreed to pay the charge
- For months you were active whether you earned under or over £18,000 per annum (and therefore whether our lower or higher earner charge applied).
We have also ensured that you have only been charged once, regardless of how many employments you had in the Scheme (with the same or different employers).
If the amount deducted was more than the charge due, the adjustment on your statement therefore reflects the refund we have applied to your account. If you had multiple employments the refund was applied to your account with the largest fund value.
If the amount deducted was more than the charge due, the adjustment reflects the debit we have applied to units from your account. If you have had multiple employments, we may have debited other accounts if there weren’t enough of these units in one account.
Why have you taken more charges or refunded charges?
In some cases, monthly administrative charges may not have been applied correctly. For example:
- We may not have applied the charges at the right time – not charging when you joined the Scheme
- We may need to refund members who have more than one Scheme with the same employer.
Why is growth less than the charges?
Contributions are invested in funds which are designed to deliver a good return over the medium to long-term. Investments can go up or down in value, particularly over the short-term, in a way that is similar to how the stock market can go up or down. Because of this, there may be times, when charges are higher than the growth of your fund – but as the fund increases in value, the changes of this happening will reduce.