System Problems

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    I was at a meeting last week attended by Jim Boyd, a Senior Manager at The Pension Service (TPS). He gave some interesting information I thought I would pass on.

    Firstly, there is a fault in their system which means that if they do two changes on the same day the ETD report we receive will only show the first change! This has been made worse by the uprating being put onto their system. As a result they are doing a scan, on 28.2.04, of all cases since October, to make sure authorities have all the information (this may involve 3 or 4 AIF figures, with breakdown, on the same report). The results of this scan will be sent to authorities a couple of days later, in a separate file. Details of how this file is formatted should arrive before the file itself. As the problem has not been fixed a further scan will then be done on 12.4.04, and then monthly.

    Secondly, regarding private/works pensions. In most cases they do not know both when and by how much a pension will increase. As a result they have decided to uprate all private pensions, where both pieces of info are not known (i.e. the majority) from April, by a set percentage. The new AIF figures will then be sent to authorities! If the pensioner then comes to the authority to say it has not gone up, or not by that amount, we will have to take the info (see A4/2004) and pass it to TPS to amend.

    Thirdly, the long standing problem of their system not being able to identify any claimant delay in a delayed notification of a change in circumstance. This has not been fixed, but they are now looking at a clerical work around to be able to tell authorities of how much of the delay was down to the claimant. Presumably we will then have to change how we deal with these changes, and not just amend from the Monday after we were notified by TPS!

    Hope that has cheered you all up. If any of this is unclear my e-mail address is

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