What does this mean for me?
This means members who did not return a signed request to Civil Service Pensions before 6 April 2015 cannot transfer out their benefits to a Defined Contribution scheme unless they meet one of the limited categories where transfers are permissible (short-service transfers, for example).
Transfers from unfunded public service pension schemes to defined contribution arrangements are no longer allowed from 6 April 2015, following Government changes announced at Budget 2014.
The rule changes mean that members who have not completed and returned an instruction to transfer their Northern Ireland Civil Service pension to a defined contribution pension scheme before 6 April 2015 will not be able to do so.
There are two stages to transferring benefits out of the Northern Ireland Civil Service pension schemes:
- a member must request a statement of entitlement of the amount of the cash equivalent of the member’s benefits under the scheme (the amount of their transfer value)
- after receiving the transfer value quote a member has to apply in writing for the transfer value to be used in one of the ways permitted by the legislation
Please note: the pension scheme has a statutory obligation to provide a statement of the transfer value within three months of a request being made (which period can be extended to six months where a statement cannot be provided within three months for reasons beyond the scheme’s control). Whilst we are endeavouring to process requests for statements of amounts of transfer values as quickly as possible we are not required, and may not be able to, process them more quickly than the legislation requires.