We understand that the Ministry of Defence has stopped issuing pensions forecasts. This has been done because all available staff have been moved to prepare the letters of advice to those who might be vulnerable to an Annual Allowance charge because of increase in their pensions value (it is essential that these letters should be issued to meet the tax return deadline.) In other words the MoD are moving staff to deal with one crisis only to create another, which shows how under resourced they are.
This is a disturbing development. All those serving are promised one free pensions forecast each year, and this important service is now not available – this can only cause worry and frustration for serving personnel who have a right to understand their pension expectations. It is difficult for the Ministry of Defence to say that they have the interests of the Armed Forces at heart when they are denying them this important service. We have made all of this clear to the MoD and will continue to do so.
In the Pension Society we will do what we can to fill this gap. Any of our members requiring a forecast should get in touch with us, but it would be very helpful if before doing so they could complete their own assessment on the online calculator – this should be the first port of call and may well answer their questions. But of course it does not talk back, and if members require further advice or explanation then of course as ever we are here to help.