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Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter, Dundee, Perth and Angus.
Please note that this is not definitive information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be outdated or inaccurate.

Issue 33 October 2010

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Local Authority Retirement Pension - changes in Annual Pension Increases for 2011

A letter from one of our Montrose members was passed on to me enquiring if I could supply any information on the above. While I am not an authority on the subject, I did a bit research on the internet and came up with where he (or any of our members) could assess this information.

So on the basis that this will affect us all here's will you will hopefully find out what's going on should you want to keep track of it? Google 'DWP' and this will take you to the 'Department of Works and Pensions'. Search that site by typing in 'pension's increases' and this will take you to all the relevant information and fact sheets; some of which has been updated quite recently.

I shall also enquire at Scottish Committee for any information they might be able to supply us with, and if this is the case, I'll update the information through the newsletters. Hope this is of some help to our Montrose member.

See UNISON UK statement at http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/pages_view.asp?did=11565

See UNISON Scotland Pensions Briefings at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/pensions/index.html

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Age Scotland:

Much of the data concerning matters which affect us is gleaned from Age UK (formerly Help the Aged and Age Concern). With all the changes that are being put in place I thought it worthwhile to tell you that they have a website called Age Scotland. Which will perhaps give more relevant information as to what is happening to us north of the border? Contact Age Scotland by telephone: 0845 1259732 Contact Age Scotland's website at: www.ageconcernandhelptheagedscotland.org.uk

It might be that you would indeed have to call Age UK for some enquiries, but I feel that with all the changes that are taking place, specific information from Age Scotland might be the best first port of call for any enquiries/problems that you may encounter concerning pension/ tax and income/ etc.)

One of the MANY servicesprovided is: Challenge Benefit Decisions. This can be accessed through the website and provides the means to look through and print factsheets if you think you are being paid the incorrect benefits, or are unhappy with any changes that are being made to your pension; etc. I know some of you do not have access to the internet, but you could enlist help from one of the members of your friends or family if you wanted to use this service, or of course telephone for assistance.

Age Scotland also has a helpline which includes: East Region: Edinburgh; West Lothian; Midlothian; East Lothian; Dundee; Angus; Perth & Kinross; Fife; Stirling; Falkirk; Clackmannanshire.

This Scottish Helpline is for Older People; helps older people; and those who care for or work with older people; to find an answer, fast. Whatever your questions, about community care, tax, pensions, benefits or any other issue, just talk to SHOP. We have a trained team of paid staff and volunteers who specialise in answering enquiries from or about older people.

Staff are here and ready to help from 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday. From the 10th of August 2010, the Scottish Helpline for Older People will be open until 7pm on Tuesdays. It is hoped these extended hours will enable more people to make contact, particularly carers and others who are at work during the helplines normal business hours. Call on 0845 125 9732 (local call rates apply) Text phone: 0845 226 5851 e-mail: shopenquiries@agescotland.org.uk


(Apologies to AGE UK for any misquotes: Mae Stewart)