Public Service Pensions are being reformed. The main changes are the replacement of final salary pension schemes with Career Average Revaluated Earnings (CARE) pension schemes, and the linking of normal pension age to state pension age for these schemes.


A new NICS pension scheme is scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2015.

This page is designed to keep NICS pension scheme members informed on proposals for the reformed NICS pension schemes. It will be updated as developments progress.

Consultation on draft Public Service Pensions (Valuations and Employer Cost Cap) Directions and Public Service Pensions (Employer Cost Cap) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014

Sections 11 and 12 of the Public Service Pensions Act 2014 (‘the Act’) confer powers on the Department of Finance to make directions specifying how valuations will be carried out and how the employer cost cap will be set.

Section 12 of the Act also confers powers on the department to make regulations specifying the margins within which the costs of the scheme must remain, and the target cost to which the scheme cost must return if it moves beyond these margins.

The Act requires the department to consult with representatives of public service employees on the draft directions and regulations to be made under these powers. We are seeking views from Trade Union Side and other stakeholders on the extent to which the data, methodology and assumptions proposed in these draft directions meet the over-riding objectives and principles set out in paragraphs 11 and 12.

Please find attached below:

Reform of NICS pension arrangements 2015 - questions and answers

Consultation on proposed changes to defined contribution arrangements with effect from 1st April 2015

This consultation sets out the Department of Finance and Personnel’s proposed changes to the defined contribution arrangements with effect from April 2015, alongside the wider public service pension scheme changes. The changes to the partnership pension account arrangements include:

  • increases to employer pension contribution rates
  • introduction of mandatory employee contribution rate 
  • the expansion of those eligible to join Partnership; and changes to the Partnership Pension Account Ill-Health and Death Benefit Schemes

The department also intends to amend the rules of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions Scheme. The consultation period ends at 5pm on 23 January 2015.

Departmental response to the Consultation on proposed changes to Defined Contribution arrangements with effect from 01 April 2015

The consultation period on proposed changes to the Defined Contribution arrangements began on 26 November 2014 and members were notified with two Employee Pension Notices: 

  • EPN 35/2014 was issued on 26 November 2014
  • and a reminder EPN 02/2015 which was issued on 20 January 2015

The consultation period ended on 23 January 2015. The Minister for the Department of Finance and Personnel has now agreed the Department’s response to the consultation. Civil Service Pensions issued an Employees Pension Notice on 23 March 2015 to notify staff of the Department of Finance and Personnel’s response to the consultation. A copy can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Consultation on regulations for the new 2015 pension scheme

This consultation sets out the Department of Finance and Personnel’s proposals for the detailed scheme design, including employee contribution rates for the new Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (Northern Ireland). It is intended that this new scheme will be introduced with effect from 1 April 2015.

Response to the regulations consultation

Civil Service Pensions issued an Employees Pension Notice on 9 June 2014 to notify staff of the launch of the Department of Finance and Personnel consultation on the regulations for the new 2015 pension scheme. The consultation period ended on 1 August 2014. The Minister for the Department of Finance and Personnel has now agreed the Department’s response to the consultation.

Pension Reform - Employee Pension Notices

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