Civil Service Pensions (NI) Digital Newsletter - Issue 1 - February 2023

Welcome to our first Digital Newsletter which pulls together information on current issues that may impact you and where further detailed information will be signposted. We welcome your feedback on this new approach. You can tell us what you think in a quick survey available at the bottom of this newsletter webpage.

The McCloud Judgment and 2015 Remedy

The dominant issue within Civil Service Pensions currently is the impact of the McCloud Judgment ruling.

Comprehensive information for those affected on all issues emanating from the ruling can be accessed at The McCloud Judgment and 2015 Remedy page on the website.

We are pleased to tell you about our new interactive ‘Am I Affected Tool'. After answering a few simple questions the tool will give you an indication of whether you’re likely to be offered a choice under the 2015 Remedy when you take your pension benefits after October 2023. You won’t be asked to share any personal details or need any specific information to hand – the tool will guide you.  This supplements the ‘Am I Affected’ flow chart already on the website.

So if you are unsure if you are affected by the McCloud ruling, the recently launched 'Am I Affected Tool' and the simple Am I Affected Flowchart will help confirm your position.               

Even if you are not affected, there are topics below which provide information on issues you should consider to keep your retirement plans up to date. 

From 1 April 2022 all CSP(NI) members are now in the alpha pension scheme. For those who only moved to alpha on 1 April 2022, it is worth watching the Pension Awareness webinar, Moving to the alpha pension scheme in April 2022 to give you a better understanding of the alpha scheme.

Benefits of the alpha pension scheme

The many  benefits of the alpha scheme for you, as well as your family and loved ones, are also explained on this webpage. 

Key Dates and Jargon Buster during the Remedy Process

There are a number of key dates already in place to help ensure that the Remedy is completed as quickly as possible. These are listed on the Key Remedy Dates and Jargon Buster page on the website and will be updated as progress is made.  

Ill-Health Retirement

Some members retire because their health prevents them from being able to continue working. Applications to retire due to ill-health are carefully examined based on the member’s health condition and the role they are in, as well as the ill health retirement rules or regulations of the scheme in place at the time of application.

If you are affected by the 2015 Remedy and have been referred for ill-health retirement since 1 April 2015, your application will be reassessed. The earliest this will happen will be late 2023.   

You will have the opportunity to ask about the process if you have any concerns and we will not carry out a re-assessment without your consent. More information about what this means and the required action is available on our Ill-Health Retirement - Members affected by Remedy page on the website.

Give your pension some attention 

In June 2022, CSP(NI) delivered an extremely popular and well received information session in partnership with NICS Live.
This session provided an overview of the benefits of the alpha pension scheme, an update on the latest position of the McCloud Remedy, and concluded with a Q&A session where the panel responded to some of the questions submitted in advance ofhe session.

The session was well received with 332 members completing the survey at the end, of which 100% rated the webinar as satisfactory or better, 95% rated the event as excellent or good, 92% would attend again and 93% would recommend to a colleague.

Given the popularity of the session, a recording of the session can be viewed under Give your pension some attention. We have also provided a copy of the presentation and speaking notes for your convenience.

Annual Benefit Statements

Many of you will have already received your Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) showing the amount of benefits you have personally built up for retirement. Members who were still in the legacy schemes as of 31 March 2022 will receive their statement in due course.

If you moved to alpha on 1 April 2022, your 2021-22 ABS will not yet show your alpha benefits. You will see these in your 2022-23 statement.

From 2023, all active members will receive an ABS by 31 August every year. 

From 2024, ABSs will show what your pension benefits could look like under both your legacy scheme and the alpha scheme for your service during the Remedy period. When you retire, this will help you make your future choice of the benefits you would like to take in respect of the Remedy period.

This is an important document and should be retained safely. For an in depth explanation of the information on your ABS, please refer to our Annual Benefit Statement-FAQ's.

Is your Death Benefit Nomination up to date?

Finally, the subject we all want to avoid but unfortunately is inevitable - what happens to my pension when I die and who will receive the death benefits when the time comes?

The NICS Pension Schemes do not only provide pension benefits for you. In certain circumstances they also provide benefits after your death to the people you care about. You can complete a Death Benefit Nomination form to confirm who you want to be considered to receive any lump sum benefit. This could be a family member, a friend, a charity, a business or any other organisation.

As a member of the alpha scheme, you can name as many nominees as you wish and choose how to split the lump sum between them. More information and forms can be found on the Death Benefit Nomination webpage.

Coming up

Over the coming months, we will be sharing more information, launching a public consultation and providing guidance to help you understand if you are affected and what this may mean for your pension. But for now, there is no action you need to take.

Share your feedback on this newsletter

We hope you enjoyed this edition of our first Digital Newsletter!

Tell us what you thought of it using this quick survey.





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