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Departmental Pensions

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to advise staff of pension options available to them in relation to added years or additional voluntary contributions. (253272)

The Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) asks new and re-employed civil servants to complete a pension questionnaire which enables them to be sent details of the pensions options available to them on joining the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). On the basis of their reply, information is subsequently provided to them on added years and additional voluntary contributions.

For existing staff, information is available on the Ministry of Justice’s intranet site. This site also directs staff to the Civil Service Pensions website and provides contact details for Capita Hartshead who are the Ministry of Justice’s Authorised Pensions Administration Centre (APAC), both of which can also provide information about these options to interested staff. NOMS staff have access to the Ministry of Justice intranet and can phone the Home Office Pension Service (NOMS APAC) help desk for advice and are also provided with details of the Civil Service Pensions website address when they join.

The purchase of added years was replaced by added pension from 1 March 2008 and this change was given prominent publicity in June 2007 and again in February 2008.

From time to time, relevant pension-related information is published on the Ministry of Justice’s intranet and brought to the attention of employees.

Information on the 36 probation boards and six probation trusts has not been included, as their members of staff are not employees of the Ministry of Justice. Probation staff are generally eligible for membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme.