An occupational pension is a major part of every member’s employment rights and are the major source of retirement income for many. They are a significant part of collective provisions, negotiated within a framework of rules rights and obligations. They are also a reflection of how a trade union seeks to work to protect and promote the interests of its members.
Members will often ask branch and group representatives for information and although it is not expected that union representatives have detailed knowledge of every aspect of their pension scheme members are entitled to receive advice from their union as to who to contact for advice in individual cases.
Individual case work
Usually it will be possible for members queries to be dealt with by the branch and generally they can be resolved most quickly at a local or departmental level. Branches should take up the problems first with the employer or the employers of pension administrator (their pension service centre - PSC) who have a responsibility to provide information and answers including detailed figures and explanations of calculations.
The employer (or their PSC) will have leaflets or booklets explaining aspects of their pension schemes which they should provide on request to scheme members. If your PCS branch needs advice on progressing the inquiry it should initially contact its PCS bargaining centre or regional office who will be familiar with any employer specific procedures or agreements.
If the PCS bargaining centre cannot deal with it either because it is complex or because it has wider implications the appropriate PCS full time official should refer it to the appropriate PCS HQ pensions officer who has responsibility for maintaining and managing case work in that department.
As was stated earlier, however, there is a considerable amount of resource which should be easily available either from your own departmental pensions branch or via the appropriate website.
Commerical sector members
If you work in the commercial sector contact your employer for information about your pension.