We may not have a record of your pension if:

  • you worked for an employer outside of the Civil Service
  • you do not qualify for a Civil Service pension
  • your former employer has not sent us your pension details

Follow the steps to trace your pension.

Step 1 - confirm your pension was with the Civil Service

If you have a pension statement, payslip or evidence from HMRC showing you were a member of a Civil Service pension scheme, jump to step 3.

If you worked for another employer outside of the Civil Service, for example:

  • Post Office
  • Police
  • Social Services
  • Local Authority
  • NHS

you should contact the administrator of your former employer's pension scheme. You can use the free online pension tracing service to find their contact details.

Step 2 – confirm you are entitled to a Civil Service pension

You may or may not be entitled to a Civil Service pension depending on certain factors, for example:

  • the date you left service
  • length of qualifying service
  • your age when you left employment

The rules have changed over the years, so please use the information below to see if you qualify for a Civil Service pension.

To qualify for a Civil Service pension you must have:

  • had more than 10 year’s qualifying service when you left employment; and
  • been over the age of 50 when you left employment

If you do not meet both above criteria, you wouldn’t qualify for a Civil Service pension.

In this case, we won’t have any record of your pension.

To qualify for a Civil Service pension you must either:

  • have had more than 5 year’s qualifying service when you left employment
  • have been a woman who left employment on or after 6 April 1978 in the tax year in which she reached age 60

In this case, jump to step 3.

If you had less than 5 year’s qualifying service when you left employment, you will not be entitled to a pension. You should have received a payment from your employer when you left employment.

In this case, we won’t have any record of your pension.

To qualify for a Civil Service pension you must either:

  • have had more than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment
  • be a woman who resigned in the tax year in which you reached age 60 (regardless of the length of your qualifying service)
  • have rights to a personal pension that was transferred into their Civil Service pension (regardless of the length of the member’s qualifying service)
  • have a previous Civil Service pension that was preserved (regardless of the length of the member’s qualifying service)

In this case, jump to step 3.

If you had less than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment, you will not be entitled to a pension. You may have received a refund or chosen to transfer your benefits to another pension when you left employment.

In this case, we won’t have any record of your pension.

To qualify for a Civil Service pension you must have either:

  • had more than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment
  • have rights to a personal pension that was transferred into your Civil Service pension (regardless of the length of qualifying service), or
    have a previous Civil Service pension that was preserved (regardless of the length of qualifying service)

In this case, jump to step 3.

If you had less than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment, you will not be entitled to a pension. You may have received a refund or chosen to transfer your benefits to another pension when you left employment.

In this case, we won’t have any record of your pension.

To qualify for a Civil Service pension you must have either:

  • had more than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment
  • have rights to a personal pension that was transferred into your Civil Service pension (regardless of the length of qualifying service), or
    have a previous Civil Service pension that was preserved (regardless of the length of qualifying service)

In this case, jump to step 3.

If you had less than 2 year’s qualifying service when you left employment, you will not be entitled to a pension. You may have received a refund or chosen to transfer your benefits to another pension when you left employment.

Step 3 – if you qualify for a Civil Service Pension, contact us

If you know you have contributed to a Civil Service pension, contact us with the following details:

  • your full name (including any other names you have been known by)
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • your ex-employer’s name and when you were employed by them.

If we find your pension, we will contact you with further details.

If you worked for another employer outside of the Civil Service, for example:

  • Post Office
  • Police
  • Social Services
  • Local Authority
  • NHS

you can use the free online pension tracing service to find the contact details of the administrators of your former employer’s pension scheme.

If we contact you to tell me we couldn’t find your pension and you have followed steps 1 and 2 to confirm you qualify for a Civil Service pension, jump to step 4.

Step 4 – If you qualify for a Civil Service Pension but we can’t find your details

If you have followed steps 1 and 2 to confirm you qualify for a Civil Service pension and we have contacted you to tell you we can’t find your details, you can make a Subject Access Request (SAR) with HMRC to ask for a written record of your contracted out service.

Once you have done this, jump to step 5.

Members of the Civil Service Pension arrangements were contracted out of the state second pension scheme (S2P) between 1978 and 2016, which means you’ll have paid a lower rate of National Insurance contributions and won’t have built up entitlement to the additional state pension. HMRC have a record of this and you are entitled to see this using a Subject Access Request (SAR).

Step 5 – contact your former employer with your contacted out service

When you have received the written record of contracted out service from HMRC, forward this to your former employer and ask them to send your pension information to Civil Service Pensions.

Do not send the information directly to Civil Service Pensions.

You will need to send your former employer any information given to you by HMRC, as well as:

  • your full name (including any other names you have been known by)
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • your ex-employer’s name and when you were employed by them.

Once your former employer provides us with your pension information, we will contact you with your pension details.

Published:
30 November 2021
Last updated:
26 May 2022