Student Loans: are you paying back the right amount?

Members who are paying back a student loan should check that the correct amounts are being deducted.  

 There is no indication that this is a widespread or systematic problem, but the possibility of error exists and could have significant financial consequences.   We have had some examples over the last year of members who have became aware that they were overpaying on their student loan, and so we thought it was useful to raise awareness of the issue.

 Refunds can be made where mistakes are made, but note that issues need raising with the Student Loan Company.   The University payroll team is instructed by HMRC (who get their information from SLC) of any changes to student loan repayment plans, and are not otherwise able to make any changes.

 First of all, check that you are liable to make repayments. There are tens of thousands of people who are known to have started repaying too early. Liability only starts in the April after you graduate or leave higher education. And you don’t need to repay unless your earnings have reached the necessary threshold in any tax year.   The current threshold for those who started University during or after 2012 (England/Wales) is £25,000.  It’s different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.   

 Secondly, check that repayments have been stopped or started as appropriate if your earnings dropped below the threshold in a month – although the earnings threshold is for a tax year, the calculation will be on a monthly basis.

 Thirdly, check that you are not still paying despite having paid off your loan.   Again, tens of thousands of people have ended up overpaying because of the way in which HMRC annually report earnings to the Student Loans Company – eventually this should be detected and notified to the affected individual, but let them know if you spot it yourself.

 Finally, check that you are paying according the correct repayment plan.  Plan 1 is for those who took out their loan before 1 September 2012.  Plan 2 is for those who took out their loan on or after that date.   Repayment rates are calculated differently for each plan, which is why it matters.

 If you want more information or need to check any details, see the Student Loans Company website:  http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk

 If you have overpaid and want to be refunded, call the Student Loan Company on 0300 100 0611.  You might need personal data such as national insurance number, payroll number and PAYE reference.

 Example of newspaper coverage of student loan overpayment, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/student-money/hmrc-blames-student-loans-company-mass-overpayments/

Dan J Bye

 

UNISON and The Open University workshops 2019

Please note that annual leave or flexitime would need to be used if you want to attend.  Not covered by facilities time.

To Apply

Please complete a application form which can be downloaded from our website at:-  http://www.unison-yorks.org.uk/education.html

Forward your completed application form to your branch for approval.

If you have any questions please contact Tanya Shearer on email: t.shearer@unison.co.uk or Tel: 0113 218 2330 (Please note that places are limited so this will be confirmed to applicants directly)

 Places are limited so please do let us know as a matter of urgency if you are not able to attend so that someone else can attend in your place.

 

YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE REGIONAL BLACK MEMBERS TRAINING

Recruitment and Retention

Saturday 15th  October 2016 – 10.00 pm to .4.00 pm

The training will aim to cover :-
Confidence in public speaking
The Race Protocol
Race awareness
Managing Stress/Relaxation Techniques

Venue:
UNISON (Regional Office)
Commerce House
Wade Lane
Leeds
LS2 8NJ

Lunch and Crèche’ will be provided. Please indicate if you have any dietary requirements. Crèche places must be booked in advance.

If any members wish to attend, please contact Joanne Ward unisonadministrator@shu.ac.uk for an application.

Deadline to register to attend the training is 10th October 2016.

Cost to Branch: £25.00

Travel expenses will be covered by the branch.

 

 

UNISON BACKS SCOTTISH HE REFORM BILL

Bill proposing to give unions a seat on all university courts dye to receive third reading in Scottish Parliament

UNISON has welcomed Scottish government proposals to give unions a seat on university courts, as part of its Higher Education Governance Bill, which will have its third reading in the Scottish Parliament today.

UNISON represent professional and support staff in universities across Scotland and believes the move will improve participation in decision-making, and ultimately improve the lives of students.

The move will help make sure “that Scottish higher education institutions are more inclusive, and will enable our members voices to be heard on campus,” says UNISON Scotland head of higher education Emma Phillips.

“UNISON members are key frontline staff and integral to providing the excellent student experience that Scottish institutions all aim to deliver.

“The fact that they will now play a part in running our universities will improve services for students.”

Scottish university chancellors have expressed fears that the bill would harm the autonomy of education institutions.

But, says Ms Phillips, “the key aim of the bill is to strengthen governance in the sector and enable universities to embrace greater transparency and openness, by having trade union representation on university courts.

“The reform means professional and support staff will be in a stronger position to improve student services.

“We believe that the Higher Education Governance Bill will empower staff and students and encouraging a partnership between staff, students and management of higher education institutions.”