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PJ Online | PJ Letters: Pensions

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7204 p903-905
29 June 2002

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  Prescription charges
  Community pharmacy
  Product identification
  Medication errors
  CPD
  Pensions
  The Council
  The Profession


Letters to the Editor

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Pensions

A call for annual statements

From Mrs M. E. M. Martin, MRPharmS

I would like to advise pharmacists that if they are in a Government job, eg, as a hospital pharmacist, and have to take a pay reduction for going down a grade, they should make sure their existing pension is preserved at the higher rate. A second pension is then started at the lower grade. This is much better than getting the "best of the last three years".

One can in any case lose out if one returns to work at the lower grade. I went down a grade in 1978 when I got married but though I left in 1979, the best of my last three years was not considered. After quite a fight, and also thanks to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society library which found archived salaries for me, I have got a rise of over 20 per cent in my hospital pension.

I am trying to fight for annual statements before retirement age, on leaving the National Health Service and on changes in grading. I found that the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists was not interested because I have not been a member since 1979.

I am sure I cannot be the only one who has had to go down a grade to work part time. Even men may choose to go down a grade before retirement "getting too old for the stress and unpaid overtime" or having to look after elderly parents. In my fight I discovered several other mistakes in my pension calculation:

  • Saying I had received the best of the last three years when I had not
  • No London weighting
  • No maternity leave
  • Wrong length of service (although this was corrected)

Annual statements on leaving would prevent many of these errors. If private pension schemes can give annual statements, why not the Government.

Margaret Martin
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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