Some members have started receiving their additional commutation figures and discharge letters and as such we have obtained legal advice on the validity of the discharge letters and have been advised:
“To be clear, the only potential respondents to a further claim are GAD and the Home Office. The only relevant discharge relates to a possible claim against them. The request for a discharge against GAD and the Home Office is consistent with GAD guidance on settlements that I have seen. Naming the force or any pension fund is unnecessary, but harmless. The first point to make is that any form of discharge is not called for.
The Home Office is obliged to pay the additional commutation payment under the Police Pensions Regulations. GAD is obliged to pay any tax due, and to pay interest, following the Milne determination. If the Home Office refused to pay without a discharge it would be in breach of the Regulations; if GAD refused to pay without a discharge, the Ombudsman would force it to. That would take time however, and interest is only running at bank base rate. If the discharge letters are acceptable, there is no harm in signing them and getting earlier payment, even if the discharge is unnecessary.”
The advice also suggests that members should check the calculation made by the administrator and if not shown on the letter members should request that calculation so they can be satisfied that the amount due is correct before signing.