Pay/Pension Clawback by Paymaster

Discussion in 'Armed Forces Pension Scheme' started by Englishspringer, Jun 19, 2004.

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  1. Been on FTRS since 1999 during which time, as I have signed new contracts, my reg pension has been abated to the point where I receive almost no pension and also have about £5 per day stopped from my pay.

    Now I am aware of the arguement that as my pension was earned in a different employmnt the MOD shouldn't touch it, however, I do not see why I should earn more than my peers.

    I have now just been hit with a threatening letter from Paymaster saying that APC have Fcked up by not stopping my pay correctly during my FTRS service and want several thousand pounds paid back. I believe they calculated this wrongly and told them so and have asked for them to explain how they came to their payback figure. I am aware of a person who was asked to pay Paymaster more than £50K!

    If I refuse to pay the asked for sum until they prove the figures, can they stop my pay without my consent? If I refuse to pay until they prove the figures, are they likely to take me to court? Can I resign and claim constructive dismissal?
  2. Well, its just like going to the real RHQ, no-one seems willing to open their mouths and give advice (and Fck Off doesn't count!).

    Thanks a bunch.
  3. Dont take this as gospel but i belive they have to show the sums before they can touch any pay. Also if the mistake was theirs then you are entitled to have a payment plan brokered to suit yourself and not them.

    ie 50p a week sounds good.

    At the end of the day if they stop or take any pay from yourself without your consent then you are entitled to redress the situation under tribunial. Most good work law solicitors will make monkeys out of your RAO.
  4. I would also check any paperwork you may have concerning your FTRS service. If they put the details in writing at the start then you should be able to make them stick to those figures.

    Your best bet is to take legal advice from an employment law specialist and bear in mind that the RAO et al are most likely clueless in this area. There is also no guarantee that the current pay regs are aligned with current employment law - particularly for FTRS where so few soldiers are affected.

    I believe that a tribunal would consider asking for money without providing the details of the calculations unreasonable, and also that if as a result of that error they stop paying you then that would be grounds for unfair dismissal. No pay = no work being a fairly basic principle. If you actually have been overpaid then the repayments must be agreed with you as they are responsible for the error. But you need an expert to advise you.

    Get everything in writing - writing back to confirm what was said in telephone calls etc is a good idea, insist on seeing the details and don't let some fool in out of his depth push you into paying back money you don't owe.
  5. Oooh - hurtful.

    Glad I don't do pay!
  6. I would suggest speaking to your RAO, or failing that one of your pay bods who knows what he's doing. You can object to paying the money back, providing (as you seem to have) received it in good faith. As long as you can say, hand on heart, that you were not aware that you were being overpaid, you MAY be able to convince the powers that be to let you keep the money you were overpaid before you received your nasty letter. Ask to see the MAPD chapter 3 (I think). good luck !!
  7. Shame the MAPD does not really exist anymore. Try the ever so helpful and easy to follow PAM !! 8O
  8. Thanks for all the most welcome advice. The main problem seems to be that on my contracts, the amounts I was to be stopped were included, my pay and pension was abated, but Paymaster now says it wasn't abated on the correct date. I would be fairly happy to pay this sum, once they prove it, at a monthly amount of my choice.
    However they seem to have looked at the amount I was abated on my last contract and applied this abatement to when I started FTRS! During this time I was promoted and all my contracted abatements were correctly stopped from my pay.
    They now seem upset as I sent them a letter complaining about the threatening letter they sent me and have advised me that if I have a complaint, follow the MOD system.
    Again, thanks for the advice. Anything positive comes of this, I will inform the site!
  9. I'm pretty sure and deducation and subsequent repayments are done automatically by Glasgow now. They can only take back 4 days pay, I think......
  10. They can only take back a maximum of 4 days gross pay per month, so it might take a long time to pay back to them.

    May even have to extend your contract to get the money back off of you !! :roll:
  11. The option to object to the repayment using the grounds that the payments were received in good faith was removed around 3 - 4 years ago. As you have already been advised the best thing to do is to get all the contracts you signed on starting FTRS and anything you have signed subsequently together and seek professional (civilian) advice. APC should be able to tell you exactly what you are being asked to refund and why as well as point out the bit of paper that you (probably unknowingly) signed. Should you not be able to get this speak to the RAO personally (the Officer not the Office) who should get things moving if he/she is worth his/her salt - failing that CO's interview might get the ball rolling.

    Good Luck
  12. Off topic mate, but absolutley first class log in name...

    Quality, not heard for years, and am sat here giggling like a big girl
  13. Be careful here - whatever the Army may or may not have put in their regs it does not and cannot affect your rights and obligations under civvy employment law. Do not assume that what the Army do is automatically legal. It should be but the law in this area is complex and changes often, and the MoD doesn't exactly have a reputation for keeping on top of changes in legislation (eg pregnant servicewomen).

    So get some decent advice. I'd also recommend that before you do you read up on the subject on the web so you understand the jargon and basic cioncepts. For instance:

    "Overpayment of wages
    Can employers recover overpaid wages?

    Under the common law principles, which a civil court would consider, this depends upon whether the overpayment is due to a mistake of law or a mistake of fact. However, it should be noted that an employment tribunal has no power to consider an application which relates to the recovery of an overpayment of wages under the protection of wages provisions (see below: unlawful deductions from wages).
    What is a 'mistake of law'?

    It is classed as a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of a policy and in these circumstances wages cannot be recovered.
    What is a 'mistake of fact'?

    It is seen for example as a clerical error, an accounting error, or a computer error. The employer is prevented from recovering the overpayment if the following conditions apply:

    * the employer has led the employee to believe that he or she is entitled to treat the money as their own

    * the employee has changed their position to the money, ie spent it

    * the overpayment was not caused primarily by the fault of the employee."

    So there you go - clear as mud.
  14. Overpayment from source and subsequent recovery is fraught with misnomers and half-truths.

    A sound knowledge of Employment Law is the fulcrum on which the argument is based between you and the army, which as an emanation of the state may be subject to higher regulation in these matters than a "civilian" company.

    The Financial Services Act 1991 provide that money may be recovered by the source if it was overpaid.

    The Employment Rights Act (not sure of the date, but I think it is section 14) provides that a company may recover those sums that are overpaid.

    Mistakes of Fact will ususally be established by a jury and Mistakes of Law by a judge - The Point - You will have to go to an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

    Email the Citizens Advice Bureau for specific advice (free).
    Email the Parliametary Ombusman for advice on actions against the army.
  15. One more thing - an employment tribunal is designed to be easier and more approachable than a normal court. The panel consists of three people, only one of whom is a lawyer in the conventional sense. You do not necessarily need to pay a lawyer to represent you, that depends on how clear cut you feel the case to be and how happy you are to represent yourself. In theory at least the presence of a lawyer appearing for the other side will not disadvantage you if you do not bring one along.

    Also bear in mind that recent changes allow the tribunal to penalise nuisance applicants - this may be used by the Army to scare you into not proceeding by intimating that you may end up out of pocket by proceeding with a case. However, as long as you're obviously not taking the p@ss this won't apply to you.