EPN610 - Public service pension schemes consultation: changes to the transitional arrangements to the 2015 schemes

Audience

  • Pension leads
  • HR managers
  • Internal communications managers

Summary

Actions

  • Promote the consultation within your organisation to ensure pension scheme members are:

1. Made aware that the consultation is taking place at an early stage

2. Know how to participate

3. Clear on whether they are in-scope for the changes being consulted on

4. Reminded regularly of the consultation and the closing date so they don’t miss the opportunity to participate

5. If employers have unions, please let them know the consultation is taking place

  • Campaign materials have been shared with internal communications colleagues and HR Directors for cascade to their Pension Leads and agencies.

Timing

  • The consultation starts 16 July 2020 and ends on 11 October 2020.

Detail

1) The pension scheme changes are being developed to remove the discrimination found in the new 2015 pension schemes and will be applied to all the main public service pensions, including the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

2) Scheme members do not need to submit a claim in order to receive these changes, the government will do this automatically. 

3) The pension scheme changes are complex and will take time to develop. The government is aware that simply putting everyone back into the old schemes would not be in the best interest of some members who may be better off in the new 2015 schemes. 

4) The consultation sets out how the government is considering:

a) Addressing previous discrimination by giving in-scope members a choice of which set of pension scheme benefits they would like to receive for the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022, those under their old scheme or the new scheme. The consultation asks the respondents to consider when the choice should be made and

b) Ensuring equal treatment going forward by moving all   members into the same scheme from 1 April 2022. For the Civil Service Pension Scheme, this means all members who are in active service after this date will earn pension benefits in alpha, irrespective of their age or service start date.

5) All responses to the consultation must be submitted directly to HM Treasury as outlined in the consultation document. Unfortunately any responses received by Civil Service Pensions will be returned to the responder.

2016 Scheme Valuation

6) The government was undertaking valuations of public service pensions including assessing the cost of schemes against the ‘cost cap’, which could have resulted in changes to employee contributions or benefits.

7) In January 2019, the government announced a pause to the cost control mechanism in public service pension schemes, due to uncertainty about benefit entitlements arising from the McCloud judgment.

8) Alongside the consultation, HM Treasury has also announced that the cost cap pause will be lifted and has confirmed the next steps, the details are available via this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901141/Update_on_the_Cost_Control_Element_of_the_2016_Valuations.pdf

9) Civil Service Pensions will implement the new directions provided by HM Treasury and will provide a further update as soon as possible. Contacts:

10) If you have any queries about the Public Consultation, please contact: cspsemployerenquiries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk   

Contacts

If you have any queries about the Public Consultation, please contact: cspsemployerenquiries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs, or would like to receive them in a different format, please contact Sarj.wheelwright@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms in the Employer section of the Civil Service Pensions website.

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

Members can find information about their pension by visiting the member's section.

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