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Departmental Pensions

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to advise staff of pension options available to them in relation to added years or additional voluntary contributions. (253265)

Members of the principal civil service pension scheme receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of their pension on retirement if they continue in service to scheme pension age. The benefit statement prompts the member to consider boosting their pension and provides details of the civil service pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including options for making additional voluntary contributions and a calculator to work out costs for added pension (previously added years).

New entrants are informed of pension options in the employment offer and are provided with a pension information pack.

Cabinet Office provides leaflets that explain added pension and additional voluntary contributions for members. The information is also available in scheme booklets. These are available on the civil service pensions website or on request from the member’s pension administrator.

The departmental staff handbook also lists pension publications available on the civil service pensions website and provides contact details for the Department’s pension provider where further pension advice can be obtained.

The Department’s pension provider has a dedicated helpline option for staff wishing to seek advice on topping up pensions and an additional leaflet they issue on request.

From time to time the Department places news items relating to different aspects of the civil service pension scheme on the intranet. In June 2007 and November 2007 news items were made announcing the launch of the new added pension scheme from 1 March 2008.