FAQs

When will I receive my compensation payment?

We are unable to process your award until the scheme administrator has received your completed Declaration Forms.

Once the scheme administrator has received your completed forms we will aim to pay your compensation within three weeks of your last day of service.

Please note: timescales can vary and will be agreed with employers when they launch their Exit scheme. For more information contact your employer.

The ‘What to Expect...’ guide to Exits, tells you how the Exit process works and how long things can expect to take. Click here to view the ‘What to Expect...’ guides.

How is my service calculated?

Your compensation payment will be based on your current reckonable service (service with previous Civil Service employers will count if there has been no break in service).

Decimal years and days will be used to work out your compensation,
eg, 11 years  200 days = 11 + (200/365) = 11.5479 years.

Current service does not include:

  • any added years or added pension that you are buying in the Civil Service Pensions arrangements.
  • any pension benefits that you have transferred into the Civil Service Pensions arrangements from a previous job.
  • any earlier periods of pensionable service, built up in the Civil Service Pensions arrangements before starting your current job, if the break in service is 28 days or more.

Is my service calculated differently if I work part-time?

If you work part time, your service will be based on the actual hours you work and your full-time equivalent pay. There are limits to the maximum benefits that part-time workers can receive so that they do not receive disproportionately more than full-time workers.

Do I still need to complete and return the declaration form if I decide not to leave employment?

Yes, you will need to select the option stating that you do not wish to accept the compensation offer and return this to your employer so that they are aware you do not wish to proceed with the exit. If your exit is compulsory you will not have this option on your declaration form.

Will I have to pay tax on the compensation payment?

Under current tax law, the first £30,000 of a compensation payment will be tax-free. Normal tax rules will apply to payments in excess of this. The £30,000 limit includes any previous compensation payments you may have received under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

I have been employed for less than two years. What will happen to the payments I have made into my pension?

You have the choice of taking a refund of your contributions, less tax and other deductions, or transferring your pension to another eligible pension scheme. If you have less than three months’ service, your employer automatically refunds your contributions - you cannot transfer your pension.

Will I have to repay my compensation payment if I return to work?

If you are re-employed in an organisation covered by the Civil Service pension and compensation arrangements within 28 days of leaving your current employer, your compensation will be cancelled and your service will be treated as continuous.

You will have to repay the full compensation amount. This will also apply if your compensation was used to buy out a reduction in your pension.

If you are re-employed in an organisation covered by the Civil Service pensions and compensation arrangements outside the 28 day period, but within the lesser of:

a) six months, and

b) the notional period of the compensation payment.

You will have to pay back the compensation payment pro-rata. The repayment would be reduced if your new employment is at a lower salary level than before. In all cases, if you have taken your pension on leaving, it may be subject to abatement on re-employment.

How much compensation will I receive?

Your employer will have access to a calculator that you can use to estimate how much compensation you might be eligible to receive. The calculator cannot take into account all the possible variables but will give you an estimate.

I am employed by another Civil Service department: can I still apply to leave?

No. If you have dual employment you are unable to apply to receive a compensation payment unless you are leaving all employers covered by the Civil Service pensions and compensation arrangements.

Who should I contact if I need advice on what I should do with my pension?

The scheme administrator, MyCSP can help you understand the options available to you regarding your pension, but cannot offer advice. If you need financial advice, you may wish to speak to an independent financial adviser before you make your choice.

You can find a local advisor on the Financial Conduct Authority website: www.fca.org.uk.

Why do I have a premium deduction applied to a WPS refund?

If you have entitlement to a Widow(er)’s Pension Scheme refund, this will show on your pension statement. You may have noticed a line indicating a deduction for a premium payment being applied to the refund. The premium deduction is for the provision to provide a Post Retirement Widow(er)’s Pension in the event that you either marry or remarry during your retirement.

Why is there no alpha reckonable service showing on my statement?

alpha pension entitlement is not based on reckonable service; it is based on a percentage of the pensionable earnings you have received. If you want to know your reckonable service for compensation purposes you will need to use either of the below options that apply to you;

  • Dual membership -. You will need to manually calculate your service since you joined alpha and add this to the value shown on your PCSPS statement to confirm your total reckonable service for compensation purposes.
  • alpha only - If you only have membership in the alpha pension scheme you will need to manually calculate your service since you joined alpha to confirm your reckonable service for compensation purposes.

Why do the figures on my Annual Benefit Statement differ from my quotation?

The pension values shown on your CSCS quotation do not include any Pensions Increase to be applied if you are currently under Normal Pension Age. Any Annual Benefit Statement you have received will have included Pensions Increase where applicable so the values will differ from your CSCS quotation.

If I opt to have early access to my pension, will I be affected by the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) rules?

It is very unlikely you will be affected by the GMP test. This is because in the vast majority of cases a civil service pension generally provides a pension above the guaranteed (GMP) level.

Once you have made your pension choices, in the unlikely event the GMP rules apply to you, MyCSP will advise you and will give you the option to re-visit your choices.

As of 6 April 2016 the Civil Service Pensions arrangements are no longer contracted out of the additional part of the State Pension. This is due to the introduction of a new single-tier State Pension scheme for people who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

HM Treasury will be addressing the implications of changes resulting from the introduction of the new State Pension for members of public service pension schemes who have a GMP. For more information on the changes affecting GMP please see here

Alpha benefits shown on your quotation will contain all pension earned and projected to be earned up until your last day of service. The projected pension earned should only change if you have a change of circumstance between the date your quotation was produced and your last day of service. These changes could be the opening or cessation of an allowance payment and/or an increase or decrease in your pensionable earnings.