Pensioners Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is entitled to Pensions Increase (PI)?

When an increase is due, it is usually paid to anyone aged 55 or over, or under 55 when they’ve qualified for an ill-health retirement, widow’s, widower’s, civil partner’s, partner’s or child’s pension.

Will PI apply to my pension in the future?

As increases to Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) pensions in payment are dependent on future changes in the cost of living, it is not possible to predict future pension increases. These will be based on the Treasury Order each year.

I have received my P60, why is the gross amount not the same as my annual pension?

Your P60 shows the total of all the payments you have received during the tax year. There are a number of reasons the gross amount may not be the same as your annual pension.


  • your pension started during the tax year
  • the first payment in the tax year included one or more days before the last increase
  • it was not paid in full for the whole tax year – for example, we reduced your pension because you were working in the NICS
  • you have received a change in annual rate, arrears payment or an increase in pension during the year

What is GMP (Guaranteed Minimum Pension)?

If you were a member of the scheme between 06 April 1978 and 05 April 1997, you will have paid lower NI contributions because it was contracted out of the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS). This meant that you were effectively giving up your entitlement to part of the State Pension in exchange for a pension from your occupational scheme that is at least as much as the State Pension you would have received if you had not been contracted out. This is called Guaranteed Minimum Pension or GMP for short.

Will the government be guaranteeing fully inflation proofed public service pensions for those with a GMP?

  • currently pensions are increased in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Public servants will be told the details of how changes will operate, including how inflation-proofing will apply in future, before they are affected
  • if you have a GMP element to your pension the indexation of this is complex

How is my tax code determined?

HMRC is responsible for tax codes. When the scheme begins to pay your benefits they will be taxed using the standard emergency tax code. This code will be updated when HMRC provides a new code to use to tax your benefits.

I have a query about the tax on my pension - who do I contact?

You should contact HMRC.

I’ve read that some pension schemes are selling memebers' data. Does this affect my NICS pension?

Civil Service Pensions (CSP) treats the information it holds on members’ pension schemes with the utmost confidentiality and never sells information to a third party.

When will I receive a newsletter?

Newsletters for NICS pensioners are usually issued every year in April.

How is my pension paid?

NICS pensions are usually paid monthly in arrears, directly into your nominated bank account, and are taxable as income.

Can I have my pension/lump sum paid into an overseas bank account?

Yes, payments can be made into most overseas bank accounts. Please contact CSP for an overseas payment mandate.

How often should I receive pension payslips?

You will receive a payslip every month unless you notify CSP.

When will I get my P60?

You will get a P60 after the end of each tax year. This will show the amount of pension paid and tax deducted during the year, you should keep this in a safe place in case you need it in the future.

How do I change my death benefit nominee?

You can complete a new death benefit nomination form

How can a relative take over management of a pensioner’s affairs if they become incapable?

We need a power of attorney in order to accept any forms which have been signed on the member’s behalf. A power of attorney can be set up by the member when he is in good mental health and this course of action should be pursued.

You may wish to contact a solicitor for help in setting up Power of Attorney.

How do I obtain an estimate of the value of my pension for my divorce proceedings?

You should contact CSP who will provide an estimate for you.

How much lump sum will my death benefit nominee(s) receive in the event of my death?

The amount of death benefit lump sum can differ by scheme and according to individual circumstances. Information regarding death benefit lump sum payments can be found in the scheme guides:

I am getting a dependant's pension - how can I find out more about how my pension has been worked out?

Dependant’s pension benefits can differ by scheme and according to individual circumstances. Information regarding both adult and child dependant pensions can be found in the scheme guides:

How do I update my personal details?

You should contact CSP.

How can I find more information about the pension scheme?

You can find more information in the scheme guides:

What is abatement?

If you partially retire, or fully retire using your classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos benefits, your pension may be abated while you continue to work, or rejoin the NICS pension schemes at a later date. This is because your pension and new salary added together cannot be more than your salary before you partially retired.

Will self-service functionality be made available to scheme members and pensioners?

The scheme intends to introduce an enhanced self-service function for scheme members. Plans for delivering this significant service improvement are in the early stages of development, and more information will be made available in due course.

Back to top