POA Circulars

53 | 22.05.2012

Pension update

In 2002 and 2007 the Government introduced new schemes to the Principle Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) namely Premium and Nuvos.  To support these new schemes Explanatory Pensions Notices (EPNs) were introduced setting out which elements of pay and allowances were subject to pension contributions.  At the time of these changes local recruitment was in place and unfortunately adequate checks and balances were not in place. As a result some members have been placed in the wrong scheme whilst others have not been paying the correct level of pension contributions.

In 2010 following a number of complaints from members, NOMS instructed the Shared Service Centre (SSC) to investigate all elements of pay and pensionable pay and this investigation has now been concluded.  As a result of the findings of the investigation a significant number of staff have now been contacted and advised that there is a problem with their pension contributions. 

Members of the NEC met with representatives of NOMS and the SSC on the 11th May 2012 to discuss this issue.  At the meeting the POA were advised that following the investigation it had been established that problems existed in the following areas :-

•    Specialist allowance
•    Typing proficiency
•    Night duty
•    NHS pensionable allowances
•    Uniform pensionable pay, and
•    Mis-matched schemes

At the meeting the POA were advised that all members have now been contacted and corrective action has been taken to ensure all contributions in respect of pensionable pay are now correct and taken at source.

In respect of members who have been incorrectly placed in a scheme, again corrective action has been taken and all members will be placed in the correct scheme without any detriment.

Currently, there are a number of issues which are outstanding and negotiations are ongoing to seek a resolution.  The first relates to the repayment of outstanding contributions for all members from October 2002.  The POA have set out our position in that the liability which stands at about £2.6 million lies firmly with NOMS and not individuals for contribution arrears.  The second relates to members who have overpaid contributions and again we have made it perfectly clear to NOMS that this money should be repaid to individuals as soon as practicable.

Currently we are awaiting a reply to a number of questions on this matter and a decision on the two issues identified in this circular.  Once we have concluded negotiations if we have not reached a satisfactory resolution we will place the matter for an Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) and if necessary a complaint of maladministration will be made to the Ombudsman.

The Executive urge all affected members to be patient and await the outcome of these negotiations.  Further information will be promulgated in due course.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary