Date posted: 01/10/2006
Audience: HR Managers who deal with pension issues
- To note scheme changes
- To issue the enclosed Office Notice inserting your APAC contact details where indicated
Timing: The office notice should be issued as soon as possible Scheme amendments
- Amendments to the PCSPS, CSCS and CSAVCS have been laid before Parliament and came into effect from 26 July 2006. Detailed guidance has been issued to APACs but the main issues for you are outlined below.
Opting back into the pension scheme
- A member who has opted out of classic may now opt back in at any age whilst eligible to be an active member. Previously classic members could not opt back in once they were 55. Members of premium and classic plus have always been able to opt back in at any age.
- Members of premium, classic or classic plus may, subject to certain conditions, transfer pension benefits into and out of the pension scheme. The time limits that apply to these transfer arrangements have been relaxed.
- Active members of premium, classic or classic plus may transfer in benefits from another occupational pension scheme at any age. Previously members had to apply before their 59th birthday. Members may now apply for a transfer in at any time up to when they start the administrative process of claiming their pension. However, the transfer must be completed before the member leaves pensionable service (and in all cases before their pension comes into payment).
‘Club’ and non-occupational pension schemes
- The additional time limits that apply to transfers in under the Public Sector Transfer Club (the Club), or from a nonoccupational pension scheme (e.g. a personal pension scheme), have not changed. In both circumstances, the member must apply for the transfer within 12 months of becoming eligible to join premium, classic or classic plus. Additionally, a member cannot take a Club transfer if they are above the pension age of the sending scheme.
- Members (other than active, pensioner or pension credit members) are permitted to transfer out their premium, classic or classic plus benefits at any age provided they have not started the administrative process of claiming their pension. Previously members would generally have had to apply for the transfer out before their 59th birthday.
- The additional time limits that apply to transfers out under the Club have also not changed. Members must apply for a Club transfer out within 12 months of becoming eligible to join their new Club scheme, and before reaching the premium, classic or classic plus pension age (currently 60 for most members).
Civil Service Compensation Scheme
Pre-Fresh Start prison officers
- A Pre-Fresh Start prison officer who is either dismissed on the grounds of inefficiency or who leaves on early retirement with less than 5 years service (this could happen if the member had a break in service) will no longer have their compensation payment tapered if they are between 52 and 55.
Areas Where Consideration Is Being Given To Future Changes
- Consideration is being given to possible changes in the following areas:
- the purchase of added pension for members aged 60 or over;
- simplification of the eligibility criteria for joining PCSPS;
- purchase of added years from a lump sum on early retirement; and
- the requirement for completion of a ill health declaration for new members and exclusion from the ill health retirement provisions of the scheme We will provide you with further details as soon as we can.
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Civil Service Pensions