Why did you decide to change the AVC provider?
Cabinet Office, as Scheme Manager, undertook a review of the Defined Contribution (DC) schemes, including the AVC, as we wanted to ensure they remained suitable. The schemes were last reviewed in 2002 and the pensions market has changed significantly since then.
Following the review it was agreed that procurement would be undertaken to appoint a single provider for the DC schemes to:
- Ensure suitable investment options were available for members.
- Reduce charges paid by members.
- Increase access to flexible benefit options directly from the pension scheme.
- Simplify the administration requirements for employers.
- Simplify the governance requirements for Civil Service Pensions.
Why did you select Legal & General as the new provider?
The Scheme Manager completed a procurement exercise in conjunction with Aon Hewitt Ltd, a specialist pensions consultancy firm.
The exercise scored bidders on the following key categories:
- Value for members including the level of annual management charges for the investment funds.
- Investment options including the quality and range of funds available.
- Quality of member communications including the quality of the helpline, website and annual benefit statements.
- Quality of administration and data security.
Legal and General scored well in all categories and was identified by
the Scheme Manager as the preferred provider. The selection of Legal & General was confirmed following the completion of a member consultation exercise.
How did you consult with members?
A member consultation was opened on 25th September 2017 closed on 25th October 2017. The consultation document and the response are available here:
Can I keep paying into my AVC with my existing provider?
If you have been advised that your contributions are being redirected to Legal & General then you won’t be able to continue to make AVC contributions to your existing provider.
Some Equitable Life members have been excluded from the transition project as they have with-profits policies with guarantees or hold protected life cover under their plan. If you hold either of these then you will be allowed to continue to make contributions to Equitable Life.
What will happen to my existing pension pot?
We will write to you in October 2018 to advise you of our proposal to transfer your existing pension pot unless you have with-profits investments with Scottish Widows or Standard Life.
If you hold these with-profit investments it means that you benefit from guarantees on your fund value, which are not available with Legal & General. We therefore won’t be moving your existing pension pot.
Some Equitable Life members have been excluded from the transition project as they have with-profits policies with guarantees or hold protected life cover under their plan. If you hold either of these then you will not be contacted about transferring your pension pot.
Will I be able to opt-out of the proposal to transfer my existing pension pot to Legal & General?
Yes you will be able to opt-out of the transfer. Details will be included in the letter we will send to you in October 2018.
My letter says my with-profits funds benefits from a guarantee, how do I find out more about this?
Please contact your current provider for further details.
I want to stop making contributions to my plan, how do I do this?
If you leave pensionable service or opt-out of your main pension scheme (classic, classic plus, premium, nuvos, alpha) then your contributions will stop automatically.
If you wish to stop making contributions and are not leaving service or opting-out then please complete the ‘Contribution Change Request Form’ and return it to your payroll department.
The form can be found by clicking here
I have left service why have I received this letter?
We have to contact a large number of members so the data for the letters was taken a number of weeks before the letters were issued. If you have left service then there aren’t contributions to be redirected however the note in the letter about your existing pension pot will apply to you.
I have stopped contributing to my AVC but plan to start again next year, why have you written to me?
We have to contact a large number of members so the data for the letters was taken a number of weeks before the letters were issued. If you stopped making contributions then there aren’t contributions to be redirected however the note in the letter about your existing pension pot will apply to you.
If you start making contributions again next year then the contributions will be directed to Legal & General.
I can’t remember who my provider is, how do I find out?
You may have a plan with Equitable Life or Scottish Widows or Standard Life.
You will have been sent an annual statement recently and this will show the name and contact details of your provider.
I don’t understand what this means for me, who can I talk to?
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has agreed to provide support to members who have a query about the transition of their CSAVC to Legal & General. TPAS provides free information and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your pensions and retirement plans. TPAS is an independent organisation that is grant-aided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They can be contacted on 0800 011 3797 or via their website https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk
Alternatively you may wish to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser about your pension plans and whether your investments remain suitable for your needs. See the Financial Conduct Authority site for tips on finding an adviser: www.fca.org.uk.
Will you pay for me to take financial advice?
No we will not pay for you to take financial advice.
I don’t agree with the move to Legal & General, how can I complain?
Please email your comments to:
Alternatively you may write to:
Civil Service Pensions – DC Transition Project