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EPN530 - Lifetime Allowance letters and one-to-one pension tax sessions for members

Audience

  • HR managers
  • Internal communications managers
  • Pension leads 

Summary

To support members in understanding their Lifetime Allowance (LTA) and to consider potential implications, we will be writing to members whose Civil Service Pension benefits were close to or had exceeded the LTA as at 31 March 2017.  

Actions

  • To note the date that we will be issuing LTA letters to members.
  • To note that alongside LTA letters, we will also be issuing a Pension Savings Statement (PSS) to any member who did not receive one as part of the 2017 Annual Statement exercise.
  • To note that Civil Service employers must provide employees who have received an LTA letter with an opportunity to attend a one-to-one pension tax session and that it will be at a cost to you. 
  • To note the information about arranging one-to-one pension tax sessions and where you can find further information. 
  • To note that the Scheme Administrator will provide you with Management Information (MI) to identify which of your employees will receive an LTA letter.
  • To note the support that has been made available to members who receive an LTA letter.   

Timing

  • Immediate 

Detail 

1. Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is the limit on the amount of pension benefits an individual can take from all of their registered pension arrangements before they incur a tax charge. If a member exceeds the LTA, they may incur a tax charge when they take their benefits at retirement. You can find more information about LTA here.

2. To enable members to consider their position regarding their LTA and to seek further advice, by 14 February 2018 we will have written to all members whose Civil Service Pension benefits - excluding any contributions they have made to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions (CSAVC) scheme - exceeded 90% of the LTA as at 31 March 2017.

3. We will send LTA letters directly to members’ home addresses. However, in some instances and for security reasons, we will send LTA letters to members’ office addresses. Annex A of this EPN contains a copy of the member LTA letter for information. 

4. Annex B of this EPN contains a list of employers whose members will receive a LTA letter. If your organisation is not on this list, it is confirmation of your ‘nil return’.

5. If your organisation appears on the list in Annex B, the Scheme Administrator will provide your organisation’s pension lead with Management Information (MI) to identify which of your employees will receive a LTA letter. The Scheme Administrator will issue MI by 14 February 2018 to the contact we used for Annual Benefit and Pension Savings Statements in 2017.

6. If members need to investigate their protection options, you should direct them to the supporting information using the link provided in Section 12 of this EPN. You must also ensure that if members need to request the value of their Civil Service Pension benefits, they must approach the Scheme Administrator directly by emailing LTA@mycsp.co.uk.

7. Please note: the Scheme Administrator cannot discuss a member’s tax information with you, without the member’s express permission.

One-to-one pension tax sessions for members

8. Civil Service employers must make one-to-one pension tax sessions available for any employee who receives an LTA letter. Civil Service employers are required to arrange these sessions themselves, at their own cost. One-to-one pension tax sessions can take place at your premises, or through an open session. For more information about the cost of one-to-one tax sessions, and how to book them please refer to EPN511 or contact taxsupport@mycsp.co.uk .

9. If you have already provided an employee with a one-to-one pension tax session following their receipt of a 2017 Pension Savings Statement (PSS), you are not required to provide them with another one.

10. To assist members during their one-to-one pension tax sessions, the Scheme Administrator will issue Pension Savings Statements (PSS) to members at the same time as their LTA letters. This will only be for members who did not automatically receive a PSS during the 2017 Annual Statement exercise.

11. If Members no longer have the PSS that was issued to them in 2017, they can request a duplicate copy by emailing: LTA@mycsp.co.uk.

Support for members

12. Upon receiving an LTA letter, some members may have a query about their Civil Service Pension benefits. If so, members should be signposted to the dedicated web pages here or advised to contact the Scheme Administrator either by:

Member surname A to G     Tel: 01903 760317
Member surname H to O     Tel: 01903 835742
Member surname P to Z      Tel: 01903 876946

13. Members must direct their individual pension tax queries to either HMRC or a registered financial adviser. Neither the Scheme Manager nor the Scheme Administrator can respond to individual tax queries.

14. Members can find more information about LTA on the GOV.UK website here

Contacts

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs or you need to receive them in a different format contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of the Employers’ Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk under ‘Employers’.

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 at:

http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/