Date posted: 01/01/2009

Audience: This Notice will be of particular interest to:

  • All HR and Policy Managers particularly those who are members of the Pension Communication Network (PCN) or have been to an Employer Support Group (ESG)


  • To consider the proposals to combine the two existing employer groups; and
  • Review the attached Terms of Reference (TOR) for a new Employers’ Communication and Support Group (ECSG)

Timing: Immediate


You are invited to comment on the proposals to replace the current PCNs and ESGs with a single employer forum. The Terms of Reference for a new Employers’ Communication and Support Group (ECSG) are attached to this EPN. The ECSG is designed to combine the core elements of both groups to support employers in fulfilling their pension roles and responsibilities in providing an effective pension service to members. 


The Employer and Communications Branches in Civil Service Pensions Division (CSPD) run a series of support groups and networks for employers.

There are currently two separate groups which we propose to combine:

Pension Communication Network (PCN)

The PCN was introduced to support CSPD’s communication strategy, focussing on the role of employers in communicating pension information to scheme members. The aim being to build awareness and appreciation among scheme members of their pension provision. Employer Support Groups (ESGs) The ESGs support employers in understanding their roles and responsibilities in administering the CSP arrangements. The ESGs have particular emphasis on the employers’ role in delivering the CSP arrangement to the member.

Why create one group?

CSPD recognises that whilst the groups have a different focus there is often an overlap of topics. Now that we have established the importance of pensions communications with employers, and having taken account of employers’ views, we see an advantage in merging the two groups.

Why should I come along?

The CSP arrangements are an important part of the benefits package for all Civil Servants and employers make a significant financial contribution to provide pension benefits for their staff. These arrangements cover a wide range of benefits across a number of schemes. The ECSGs will support your understanding of policy, processes and communication issues that are integral to the role of the employer by providing training opportunities and workshops. They will provide an opportunity to network with others in a similar role to share best practice, and discuss pensions issues with representatives from CSPD.

How will the groups be run?

The proposed ECSGs will meet approximately every 6 months in spring and autumn. To support the relationship that needs to exist between ‘Sponsor’ departments and their Schedule 1 bodies (NDPBs), sponsors and their bodies will be invited to a meeting together. Independent and ‘direct’ delegation organisations will also be grouped together in a separate meeting.

The meetings will be held in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and other regional centres where there are sufficient numbers of attendees.

Who should attend?

The Terms of Reference which can be found at the end of this EPN set out the role that representatives and attendees should be able to fulfil. We will invite existing PCN and ESG representatives to attend the new groups.

If you have not previously attended a PCN or ESG or are new in your role, please let us know via the employer helpdesk as we would like all employers to participate in the new group.

Next steps

We welcome your views on the TOR and name of the new proposed group. If you have any comments on or suggestions for the new group please contact us via the

Other employer events

Finally, a reminder about the next two CSP run events for employers:

Accounting Officer Certificate (AOC) Workshops

CSPD is running a series of workshops in January and February to support employers in understanding and completing the AOC and checklist. Invites have been sent for these events; if you have not yet responded and wish to attend please contact

Pensions Conference for Employers

On 21 April we will be holding a Pensions Conference in central London. Invites will be sent in February to existing PCN and ESG representatives. If you have not previously attended a PCN or ESG or are new in your role and would like to attend the Pensions Conference please let us know via the employer helpdesk.


Enquiries about content, distribution or to receive in a different format
01256 846414
Employer Helpdesk
Civil Service Pensions
Grosvenor House
Basing View
RG21 4HG


1 January 2009
Last updated:
24 April 2023