Since 2015 there have been two important developments which directly affect civil service pensions. In 2018 the first scheme valuation confirmed the PCS view that the future cost of the scheme had been exaggerated for political reasons. Soon after the government lost its case at the Court of Appeal which found unlawful age discrimination in the way the 2015 changes were introduced.

Since then PCS has campaigned for the implementation of the 2% reduction in employee contribution rates recommended by the scheme board but the government has announced that it is treating the cost of the remedy arising from the court case, referred to as the McCloud judgement, as employee cost. PCS believes that this could effectively cancel the cut to the employee contribution and may decide, along with other unions, to take further legal action.

The important points to note are:

  • The employee contribution rates for 2021 remain unchanged
  • From 1 April 2022 for all scheme members, including those given protection in 2015, future service will only build up pension benefits on Alpha terms
  • If you are already in the Alpha scheme you may be able to choose at the point of retirement whether Alpha or legacy terms apply to your pension during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022
  • If you joined the scheme after 31 March 2012 you are not affected by the remedy and your pension options will not change
  • For past service prior to 2015 the original terms including the normal pension age remain protected and many scheme members will continue to have a combination of benefits when they retire
  • The changes can only be implemented when a new Public Service Pensions Act passes into law and this is not expected until early 2022.

Further information is available on the Civil Service Pension Scheme website.