Your pension, together with your pay, forms part of your total benefits package. You must contribute a percentage of your pay towards the cost of providing benefits for your widow, widower or surviving civil partner after your death (the Widow(er)s’ Pension Scheme – WPS). In addition you will pay a percentage of your pensionable earnings, towards your personal benefits and your employer will also make a contribution. See the Civil Service Pensions website for current contribution rates. Your employer takes your contributions from your pay before working out the tax, so you will automatically receive full income tax relief. This is subject to HMRC limits.
Your contributions are mandatory and apply to all members regardless of marital status. It is not possible to opt out of this arrangement unless you opt out of the scheme entirely. However, if you are single when you retire, you may be entitled to a refund of some or all of your WPS contributions. Appendix A gives more information about WPS refunds.
If you are eligible for a refund, of some or all of your WPS contributions, this will only include the contributions you have paid at the rate of 1.5%. From 1 April 2012, you may have been paying additional contributions above this rate. These, additional contributions are not refunded as part of a WPS contribution refund.
If you complete 45 years’ service, you will continue to pay the WPS contribution at a rate of 1.5%.
However, you will no longer have to pay the additional contributions above 1.5%.