FAQs: Pension Savings Statement (PSS)

When will I receive my 2020 PSS?

We’ll be issuing statements to members from mid-June to 6 October 2020. However, we plan to distribute as close to 100% of the statements as possible by 31 August 2020.

Our 2020 PSS distribution schedule shows you when you can expect to receive your statement.

I expected to receive my 2020 PSS, but did not receive one. Can I request one?

Statements are being sent out from mid-June to 6 October 2020. However, we plan to distribute as close to 100% of the statements as possible by 31 August 2020.

If I you haven’t received one by 6 October 2020, please send an email to: pss@mycsp.co.uk   

Please note, to ensure that we have sufficient information to process your request, please provide three of the following as well as details of your query:

  • Your Name
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your Member Number

Can you help me calculate if I have a tax charge?

Tax is your individual responsibility and we cannot complete or assist you with any tax liability calculations. We recommend that you seek an independent financial adviser if you are concerned about how tax may affect your pension benefits or attend a pension tax awareness session which your employer can arrange for you.

How do I calculate whether I have any tax to pay?

I have received a PSS in previous years but did not get one this year?

You will only receive a PSS if you have;

  • exceeded the Annual Allowance
  • earn over £100,000, or
  • have requested one before 5 April 2020.

Therefore you will not automatically receive one each year. If you require your Pension Input Amounts, we can provide these on request.

What should I do if I want to find out more about the information in my PSS?

The Pension Savings Statement Guide provides information about your PSS and what actions you may need to take after receiving it.

You may also wish to take part in a training session. Your employer will be able to provide you with more information about these sessions.

What will I need to do after receiving my PSS?

You will need to calculate if you have an Annual Allowance tax charge to pay.

  • For information on how to calculate, declare and pay a tax charge, see the government 'Tax on your private pension contributions' page.
  • You will need to review your PSS (alongside any pension savings statement(s) you may have received from any other pension providers).
  • Contributions to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme (CSAVC) and benefits in the partnership pension scheme are not included in your PSS. You will need to ask your chosen provider(s) for a statement of these benefits. This is so that you can take account of your Pension Input Amount within your CSAVCs, alongside your Civil Service defined benefit Pension Input Amount when calculating if you have a tax charge to pay.
  • Tax is your individual responsibility and we cannot complete or assist you with any tax liability calculations. We recommend that you contact an independent financial adviser if you are concerned about how tax may affect your pension benefits. If you have any queries about your tax charge, please contact your tax office.

Pension tax awareness sessions

Pension tax awareness sessions are available to members who receive a PSS. You should contact your employer directly if you would like to attend a session.

Tax awareness sessions are designed to help you improve your understanding of pension tax legislation.

In line with previous years, Civil Service employers are required to fund these sessions. Non-Civil Service employers are not obliged to provide these sessions, but are encouraged to do so.

You are eligible to attend a member tax awareness session if:

  • you have received a PSS; and, or
  • you have calculated that you have an Annual Allowance tax charge to pay.

Why does my Pension Input Amount vary each year?

Your pension benefits are calculated using your pensionable earnings. As such these can change from year to year.

Your Pension Input Amount from one year to another can vary depending on the percentage rise in your pensionable earnings, the inflation applied to the opening value of your Pension Input Amount calculation, the length of your reckonable service and your membership type.

Where can I find more Information?

I have used the figures on my Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) and do not agree with your figures?

The pension figures on your ABS are an illustration of your accrued benefits as at the statement date (31 March 2020). The pensionable earnings used to calculate the annual pension is based on your actual salary and allowances in payment on the statement date and any bonuses received in the last 12 month period.

The pension figures used to calculate your Pension Input Amount shown on your PSS are the pensionable earnings calculated in accordance with the scheme rules, if you were to retire on that day. Therefore the pension figures on your ABS and those used for the PSS are not the same.

If I have been contacted about deferred carve out, do I need to do anything?

If you originally incurred a tax charge in the years detailed on your 2019 PSS, you should recalculate your tax charge. You will need to re-open and amend your relevant self-assessment return to notify HMRC of the change.

If you did not incur a tax charge, there is no further action for you to take.

How do I use the HMRC calculator?

You can use the following calculator to assess whether you have any unused Annual Allowance available. You should input the figures provided on your statement: 

www.tax.service.gov.uk/pension-annual-allowance-calculator

If you breached in tax year 2019/20 you will need to input the 2019/20 and previous three tax years as provided on your statement.

I have completed my Scheme Pays form incorrectly, can I change it?

We can change your Scheme Pays debit. We require you to complete the Scheme Pays quote request form indicating the tax year the correction is for, ensuring you tick the ‘Is your request to amend a previous Scheme Pays?’ box and confirm the revised tax charge in the relevant box.

How much added pension can I purchase?

We cannot advise how much added pension could be purchased without breaching the Annual Allowance as this would be financial advice. Any added pension purchased in the year increases your Pension Input Amount. The increase is 16 times the pension purchased plus any lump sum purchased, e.g. purchasing £1,000 added pension per annum would increase your Pension Input Amount by £16,000 (16 x £1,000). It is not the amount contributed but the actual pension purchased.

What period does my PSS refer to?

Your PSS covers the period 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020.

Why is my Pension Input Amount zero?

As the inflation applied to the opening balance of your pension at 6 April 2019 is higher than the growth in your pension benefits during the Pension Input Period, your Pension Input Amount is zero.

I have recently claimed other benefits, have I triggered the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA)?

This will depend upon whether your money purchase Pension Input Amounts exceeds the MPAA in the tax year concerned. We only administer the Civil Service defined benefit schemes and so cannot assist you with this. Further information on MPAA rules can be found here:

www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/pensions-tax-manual/ptm056510

Triggering the MPAA rules may reduce your available Annual Allowance for non-money purchase benefits by £4,000. The standard Annual Allowance is currently £40,000 and so your personal Annual Allowance for non-money purchase benefit arrangements may reduce to £36,000.

If I ask you to update the figures in my pension record, will I receive an updated PSS?

Yes. We will work with you (and if necessary your employer) to ensure that your PSS is as accurate as possible and produce a revised PSS as quickly as possible.

Is there any additional support I can get on Pension tax?

Pension tax awareness sessions are available to members who receive a PSS.

Members should contact their employer directly if they would like to attend a session. These sessions are designed to help members improve their understanding of pension tax legislation.

All members are eligible to attend a pension tax awareness session if they have received a Pension Savings Statement.

What is deferred carve out?

If you were previously in nuvos and have moved into alpha, your nuvos benefits will be treated as ‘deferred carve out’. This applies because your nuvos pension was deferred for the whole of the Pension Input Period. You therefore have no Pension Input Amount for your nuvos benefits.

If you are affected by this, you will have recently been contacted due to a change in the scheme’s interpretation of Annual Allowance legislation.

The below link provides further information about deferred member ‘carve-out’.

www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/pensions-tax-manual/ptm053910

What is Annual Allowance?

It is the maximum value of the growth in your pension savings each year that can benefit from tax relief.

The Annual Allowance applies to your entire pension savings with UK registered pension schemes. So, if you have any other pension savings apart from your Civil Service pension, you must also consider these to determine if you have a tax charge to pay.

I think I have a tax charge to pay - what do I need to do now?

First, you must declare to HM Revenue & Customs if you have a tax charge to pay by completing a self-assessment tax return. You can pay a tax charge either:

  1. directly to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC); or
  2. using ‘Scheme Pays’ (see below for further information regarding Scheme Pays).

You will need to notify HM Revenue & Customs by 31 January 2021 if you have a tax charge to pay, regardless of how you intend to pay it. This is done via Self-Assessment. If you are registering for Self-Assessment for the first time, you can find further guidance and timescales on the Register for and file your Self-Assessment tax return page on the GOV.UK website.  

Note: Unused Annual Allowance from the previous three Pension Input Periods can be used to offset against a tax charge, if your pension savings exceed the Annual Allowance. This is called ‘carry forward’

Previous Pension Input Amounts for your Civil Service pension benefits are shown on your PSS.

What is Scheme Pays?

If you have exceeded the Annual Allowance and a tax charge is due, you can ask the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) to pay the charge on your behalf in exchange for a reduction in your benefits.

There are two types of Scheme Pays: Mandatory and Voluntary.

Mandatory Scheme Pays can be used if all three of these apply to you:

  • your pension input amount within a single Civil Service Pension Scheme is in excess of £40,000; and

  • the tax charge resulting from the excess within that scheme is over £2,000; and

  • your Scheme Pays deduction is applied to the benefits within that scheme only.

Members with a tapered (reduced) Annual Allowance must have a Pension Input Amount in excess of £40,000 in one particular scheme (for example alpha or classic) to use Mandatory Scheme Pays for part of their tax charge.

Voluntary Scheme Pays can be used if you do not meet the Mandatory Scheme Pays criteria but you still wish to pay your tax charge using Scheme Pays.

For both Mandatory and Voluntary Scheme Pays, HMRC should be notified of your intention to pay using Scheme Pays by 31 January 2021.

What is tapered Annual Allowance and does this affect my benefits?

HMRC introduced a change in the 2016/17 tax year to reduce the Annual Allowance of higher earners. This is referred to as the tapered Annual Allowance.

Tapered Annual Allowance can significantly reduce an individual's Annual Allowance for the higher earners.

If you are affected by the tapered Annual Allowance, you will need to calculate your reduced Annual Allowance yourself or seek advice from an independent financial advisor.

How do I update my personal details shown on my PSS?

You’ll need to contact your employer's HR department or Shared Service provider who will update your pension record. Your personal details provided in your PSS include:

  • date of birth;
  • National Insurance number;
  • salary; and
  • address (unless you’re a secure member as we don’t hold your address).

Why is my Pension Input Amount higher than my salary or contributions made?

As the Civil Service Pension Scheme is a Defined Benefit scheme, the Pension Input Amount is the value of the growth of benefits over the Pension Input Period (6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020). It is not based on your own and/or your employers contributions to the scheme.