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Departmental Pensions

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to ensure that Northern Ireland-based civil servants in his Department who are entitled to take up added years or additional voluntary contributions are aware of how to apply. (207728)

Circulars are issued to existing staff by our pension providers whenever new information becomes available. Staff were informed in November 2007 of the withdrawal of the facility to top up pension benefits by buying added years of pensionable service from 1 March 2008, and provided with details on the introduction of added pension from the same date.

Existing staff have been advised that information about the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, including information on additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) is available on the following websites:

www.civilservicepensions-ni.gov.uk

for Northern Ireland Civil Servants and

www.civilservicepensions.co.uk

for Home Civil Servants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are taken to ensure that at the commencement of employment in his Department staff are informed of the benefits of additional voluntary schemes. (207729)

All new entrants are provided with a pension pack at the commencement of their employment which includes information on additional voluntary contributions and refers them to the information contained on the following websites:

www.civilservicepensions-ni.gov.uk

for Northern Ireland Civil Servants and

www.civilservicepensions.co.uk

for Home Civil Servants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what percentage of his Department’s staff in the salary ranges of (a) up to £15,000 per annum, (b) between £15,001 and £30,000 per annum, (c) between £30,001 and £50,000 per annum and (d) over £50,000 per annum participated in additional voluntary contributions schemes in the most recent period for which figures are available. (207730)

In 2007-08, 3.1 per cent. of the Department participated in additional voluntary contributions schemes, the numbers of which are broken down as follows:

(a) Up to £15,000: 6 staff;

(b) £15,001 to £30,000: 25 staff;

(c) £30,001 to £50,000: 23 staff;

(d) Over £50,000: 6 staff.