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EPN456 - Notification of State Pension changes and Cessation of Contracting Out - Supporting Communications for 2016 Annual Benefit Statements – Scheme Year Planner

Audience:

  • Pension Leads and HR Managers
  • Payroll Managers
  • Internal Communications Managers

Action:

For information and to;

  •  Familiarise yourselves with the 2016 Annual Benefit Statement materials online and the Year Planner
  • Promote the 2016 Annual Benefit Statement webpages in your internal communiations and advise members to visit the pages to help answer questions on their statements
  • Use the materials to help inform your internal communications. 

Timing:

  • Immediate

Detail

State Pension Changes - Cessation of Contracting Out

As required by the Disclosure of Information Regulations, the Scheme Manager (Cabinet Office) will be writing to all active members by 5 July to formally disclose the change to the contracted out status of the Pension schemes following the changes to the State Pension system, which came into effect from the 6 April 2016. The change means that employment covered by these pension arrangements is no longer contracted out of the State Pension as this facility no longer exists.

There is no action to take relating to the pension scheme; however you should have made the necessary changes to your payroll from 6 April to ensure that National Insurance rate and contributions are correct for employees who are members of PCSPS or alpha.

The letter explains:

  • The changes to the State Pension and resulting changes to members’ National Insurance contributions.
  • Annual Benefit Statement distribution plans for 2016.
  • Comments on the service provided by the scheme administrator.

Members will be advised to go to the following places for further information about the new State Pension changes: www.gov.uk/new-state-pension / www.gov.uk/contracted-out

For information about National Insurance contribution rates, members can go to the HM Revenue & Customs website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

A dedicated phone line 0300 123 6668 will be available from 02/06/2016 between the times 8am-6pm to help direct members to the appropriate information regarding his change.

An example of the letter that will be sent out to members can be found at annex 1 of this EPN.

Supporting Communications for 2016 Annual Benefit Statements

You were notified in EPN455 that the distribution of alpha Annual Benefit Statements will begin in June 2016. The statements must be issued by 31 August to comply with the Public Service Pension Act 2013.  

This year, you’ll be able to find out all you need to know about 2016 statements on the new, dedicated Annual Benefit Statement pages on the Civil Service website http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/annual-benefit-statements-2016/ where you’ll find links to the following:

  • Information about the changes to this year’s statement.
  • A distribution schedule to let you know when your members would expect your statement and also the delivery method.
  • Scheme specific, step-by-step guides – these will be available by 23 May.
  • A set of frequently asked questions.

Members should be advised to visit the Annual Benefit Statement pages in the first instance, in order to answer any queries they may have on their 2016 statement. This will reduce the volume of members contacting employers and the Scheme Administrator.   

Employer Year Planner

We have now published the 2016 Year Planner. This can be found on the Employer Webpage - www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/media/181432/csp-a-year-in-the-life-planner-v10.pdf.

The Year Planner is a working document that sets out some of the key events (linked to the pension scheme) that will take place during 2016. This will help you and your colleagues to plan any pension related activities in relation to the Civil Service Pensions year ahead.

From Training events, and Employer Engagement activity, to highlighting when there’s peak CSCS exit volumes and the expected production dates for this year’s Annual Benefit Statement.

Please note: It's recommended that you check the online version of this planner before making any plans. As this is a living document and we will update this as and when changes take place (for example, in reaction to a legislative change, or sudden high demand for CSCS) so you’ll have access to the most up to date information.

Please do not forward this EPN to employees.

Contacts

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website.

This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members.

If members have a question about their pension they can find information on this website or by contacting MyCSP.