Forum for former BBC staff
>> Pensions >> Levelling Option

Message started by Knocking On on Jun 22nd, 2011, 2:37pm

Title: Levelling Option
Post by Knocking On on Jun 22nd, 2011, 2:37pm


Has anyone opted for the "Levelling Option" and now see that they won't be getting the State Pension until a year after the "levelling" stops.

I wonder what the Scheme Administrators will do in this situation?

Just wondering what the concensus is here before I contact them, as I thought something would have been said by them before now.


Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by JohnW on Jun 24th, 2011, 10:22am

Yep, I opted for the 'levelling option' too - but wasn't aware of this "hole" that you've illuminated, until now that is.

I shall follow your findings - if you intend to make them known here, anyway - with considerable personal interest!!

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by Knocking On on Jun 24th, 2011, 3:04pm

Hi John,

I called the BBC Pension admin yesterday.

I was told that there are no plans to change the was confirmed (I didn't want to put the phone down with out making sure where I stood) that when I reach 65 the pension will decrease (by the amount quoted at the outset of the pension) my case over 3K pa until 75.

It was agreed that yes for the one year from 65 to 66 my annual  income WILL be reduced by 3K+ until I am 66 when the State Pension comes in....presuming of course the Govt doesn't move the goalposts again!!

I have 11+ years till this scenerio, so at least it gives time to accrue the 1 years reduction figure...I'd rather know now than on my 65th birthday!.

I think the next stop may be the BBC I'm sure this is something people should be aware is going to happen.


Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by JohnW on Jul 6th, 2011, 10:07am

I'm only wondering ... the year of my birth (1948) still has my official 'retirement' starting at 65, so I shouldn't suffer this 'hole'.
I wonder if yours differs because of that reason?

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by Knocking On on Aug 5th, 2011, 3:30pm

Yes you are you say it's due to your age, and it is to do with my age too..

I emailed the BBC PA a few weeks ago, flagging up this scenerio as i am sure anyone retiring under ill heath before 55 and taking the levelling option will need to be made aware of what will happen at 65.

I  have not heard from snail mail next.

Obviously rules are rules and luckily I have a number of years to prepare but I do think that this scenerio should be mentioned by BBC Pensions.

Likewise the BBC PA should approach BBC Pensions on this matter is it's in the interests of Pensioners and Pensioners to be.

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by Knocking On on Nov 13th, 2011, 10:57pm

Just an update...

I emailed the BBC PA in August and had a response. It stated that my "message had been forwarded to the Committee for their consideration".

As I have heard nothing further..despite enquiring if "Consideration" had been given,  on 8th of September.
I take it that it was "considered" and no response was required.

Not what I was expecting considering  the PA "Protects the interests of BBC Pensioners"

Maybe having your "level" retirement income dropped by over 3k isn't of interest?...albeit for a year.

I see however that BBC Pensons are withdrawing the Levelling Option in the future.

A response from the PA would not have gone a miss though.... :-/

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by JohnW on Nov 14th, 2011, 11:21am

Sorry to hear that you've not yet had a (satisfactory?) response from the BBC PA. I'm sure this topic would be of interest to other "future pensioners" besides yourself - unless the current staff have broadly given up the idea of getting a decent pension altogether.
Have you commented (on this lack of a considered response) to Cardiff?
[I know you'd spoken to them first, but they're surely going to be "in regular communication" with the PA! Or am I being overly optimistic there?!?!]
Perhaps "a letter" to Ariel/Prospero might be in order (whilst they're still being published!) to highlight the matter.

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by Knocking On on May 10th, 2012, 10:38pm

Another Update........

Just happened to peruse the "New Benefits" "new" handbook.

I see that the situation I find myself in has been fully addressed under the heading "Levelling Option".

It says that if once you have retired (taking the levelling option) and consequently find that your SP age has been increased, the levelling option uplift will continue until your SP becomes payable.

So now that the worry that I was going to have an income decrease at the age of 65 has subsided I take it that the Pension Service would tell me this nearer the time.

Having already realised what was going to happen at 65 I would have expected the pension service to have realised the same thing and written to confirm that the uplift will continue.....once the decision had been made!.

Anyhow at least I know now.

Title: Re: Levelling Option
Post by david en france on May 11th, 2012, 11:08am

There is still an unanswered question.......if you are on a levelling option you revert back to full pension at age 75 (I think,) so if you are going to be receiving levelling for a further two years until receipt of SP does this mean the age of a return to full pension entitlement  is also set back two years?   One thought I would put forward that for me levelling worked out quite well, it was all explained in advance, I wasn't taken by surprise by the drop in pension when I began receiving State Pension and wasn't out of pocket, either, but levelling enabled me to have a better fall-back position in the years when I needed it most when I was self employed following Birt's decision to "release" our department   (angry face here).

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