What does Deferred Choice Underpin (DCU) mean?
When members retire, they receive a choice of which pension scheme benefits they would prefer to take for the remedy period. This is called a ‘deferred choice’.
To address the discrimination identified by the Courts, from 1 October 2023, eligible members who were moved to alpha in 2015 (or later if they had tapered protection) will be moved back into the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (NI) (PCSPS(NI) - Classic, Classic Plus, Premium and Nuvos) for the period during which the discrimination occurred, between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022 (the remedy period).
The choice is between PCSPS(NI) and alpha pension scheme benefits.
By deferring the choice until shortly before retirement, it allows individuals to make their choice of which pension scheme benefits are better for them, based on facts and known circumstances as opposed to assumptions on their future career, health, retirement, and other factors.
I have received my retirement options, but I need help deciding which option to choose, what should I do?
You need to choose whichever option is best for you and your personal circumstances. Civil Service Pensions (NI) are unable to provide advice on what option is best for a member. If you need financial advice, you can contact an Independent Financial Adviser.
Will my pension benefits be paid based on the choice that I make between the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (NI) (PCSPS(NI) - Classic, Classic Plus, Premium and Nuvos) or the reformed scheme (alpha)?
Yes, your pension benefits will be paid in accordance with your decision.
Once I have made my choice, can I change my mind?
No, you need to consider the option carefully before making your decision. The decision cannot be changed and will be paid in accordance with your decision. If you need financial advice, you can contact an Independent Financial Adviser. Civil Service Pensions (NI) are unable to provide any advice.
I have been given the choice between Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme benefits (NI) (PCSPS(NI) - Classic, Classic Plus, Premium and Nuvos) and an actuarially reduced alpha pension under both options, can I defer claiming my alpha pension and only claim my PCSPS(NI) pension?
Yes, you can defer claiming your alpha pension to a later date. Please advise us in writing if you wish to do this when you return your claim form.
Why is my pensionable pay the same on both quotes when the period for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (NI) membership (PCSPS(NI) - Classic, Classic Plus, Premium and Nuvos) is different under both quotes?
Classic pension is a final salary scheme which means that although you are not accruing pension the final value is still based on current pensionable earnings. Pensionable pay is taken from the date that you retire, looking backwards. If you were in Classic, Classic Plus or Premium benefits are being calculated on the most up to date pay figures.
If the annual pension amount is higher in one of the options, do I need to consider any other information before making my choice?
There are several different elements to take into account, including annual pension, lump sum and death benefits. In reference to lump sum, we will have provided you with the maximum and minimum position to help you decide. If you feel unable to make a decision, you can seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser. Civil Service Pensions (NI) are unable to provide any advice.