Alpha, the new civil service pension scheme is being introduced on 1 April, 2015 and the Cabinet Office has now asked all departments to publicise details.
PCS has consistently campaigned against the government’s attacks on public sector pensions epitomised by our 'Hands off our Pensions' campaign.
PCS, along with Unite and POA, did not reach agreement with the Cabinet Office on the introduction of this new scheme, primarily because of cost to employees in terms of increased contributions and increases to the scheme pension age. These are detrimental changes at a time when members have been suffering pay cuts. For most members, the pension age in Alpha is linked to the new state pension age, due to be 67 by 2026 which we continue to oppose.
As a result of members’ continued support for our pension campaign and taking action, we have managed, in the negotiations on the details of the scheme, to achieve the following concessions:
- Securing protections for members closer to pensionable age. They will stay in their current scheme until they retire.
- Improving the accrual rate for the new career average scheme - the rate at which your pension builds over time.
- From 2015 part-time workers will only pay pension contributions on their actual earning not as now based on their full-time equivalent salary.
It is very important that you understand what the new pension scheme means for you. Read the PCS pension page which summarises the main changes.
A web-based pensions calculator will be available shortly and watch out for more information in the next edition of PCS People magazine.
If branches wish to hold meetings on the new pension scheme they should contact their group office to arrange for speakers.
Details of the new scheme can also be found on a new civil service pensions scheme website.