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Central government: Principal civil service pension scheme

Pension benefits for civil servants are provided from the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). In addition to the PCSPS, the Civil Service Compensation Scheme provides pension and related benefits on (broadly speaking) redundancy and ill-health. Like the other public sector pension schemes, the PCSPS has been the subject of major review and change. Most recently, significant changes have been proposed to the benefit structure for the PCSPS in response to the recommendations made in the Hutton Report. Central Government employers need to be aware of the relevant provisions which affect their staff.

In addition, under HM Treasury’s revised Fair Deal guidance, private sector employers who enter into outsourcing and other partnership arrangements which involve transfers of civil servants are now able to participate in the PCSPS, by entering into an admission agreement.

In some cases, employers may be permitted instead to provide pension benefits which are broadly comparable to those provided by the PCSPS. A scheme is only broadly comparable to the PCSPS where it has a certificate of broad comparability from the Government Actuary's Department (GAD). It is important that such employers ensure that they have an appropriate up to date GAD certificate.

How we can help

Eversheds Sutherland s' public sector pensions team has extensive experience in acting both for Central Government and employers taking transfers of civil servants. In particular, the team:

  • advises on the provisions of the PCSPS and their application to members and employers.
  • advises central government agencies in relation to the transfer of staff to private sector service providers, including entry into admission agreements or the provision of broadly comparable pension arrangements.
  • advises employers in relation to their powers and choices in making staff redundant, or when dismissing high-profile individuals.