Headlines: October 9th, 2002

The first major change in the Civil Service pension arrangements for thirty years has now come into effect. The new scheme gives a choice of pension and enables members to put more in to get more out, as well as delivering a number of benefits.For an increased contribution of 3.5% civil servants will benefit from a pension package which includes partner benefits, higher death in service benefits, improvements to ill health benefits for the seriously ill, better children’s benefits and an increased opportunity for choice about benefit packages best suited to the individual. This is the first pension scheme in the public sector that provides survivor benefits for unmarried partners, irrespective of gender.

The scheme covers half a million civil servants and the average Civil Service pension currently pays around 5400 pounds. It has taken the Cabinet Office and civil service unions five years to develop the scheme.