Advice for retired members who have received letters about their pensions and requests for repayments.
Many retired and partially retired members have received letters from the Civil Service Pensions administration contractor headed “Civil Service Pension Benefits: change to your benefit entitlement.”
Some of these letters include a demand for immediate repayment of a claimed overpayment due to “further information from your employer that shows a decrease in your pensionable earnings.”
PCS understands that these letters have been issued as a consequence of a revision exercise which has not been subject to consultation with the trade unions. PCS has a number of concerns:
- Revision exercises should be subject to trade union consultation;
- It is not clear why wrong information may have been used in a significant number of award calculations;
- As the claimed overpayments have accumulated over a long time, substantial sums are being demanded in many cases;
- The letters seem to suggest incorrectly that repayment plans will be subject to some sort of means test by the pension administrator.
PCS’s advice to recipients of these letters is not to send any money or agree to a repayment plan at this stage. You should reply to the pension administrator via email@example.com acknowledging receipt of the letter and stating that you would like to know the amount of pensionable pay used in the recalculation, how the original pensionable pay figure can be shown to be incorrect, and when it was provided by the employer.
PCS will provide further advice after we have met with Civil Service Pensions.