Food Standards Agency: Pensions

Health written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander Liberal Democrat, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what pension scheme is offered to staff joining the Food Standards Agency; what the rate of employer contributions to the scheme is; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms and benefits of the scheme.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

New entrants to the civil service, including those joining the Food Standards Agency, are covered by the civil service pension arrangements. Staff can choose between 'nuvos', a defined benefit pension scheme and 'partnership', a stakeholder pension. If a person is being re-employed, and was previously a member of a civil service pension scheme, they may be able to rejoin their previous scheme, but this will depend on the length of time since they were last employed.

In respect of members of the defined benefit schemes, employer contribution rates are assessed for each of four ranges of pay levels. A separate rate is payable in respect of a group of prison officers who have certain reserved rights. The rates for 2008-09 are:

Band Full-time annual salary Rate from 1 April 2008 (Percentage)
Band 1 £19,500 and under 17.1
Band 2 £19,501 to £40,500 19.5
Band 3 £40,501 to £69,000 23.2
Band 4 £69,001 and above 25.5
Prison officers with reserved rights (pre-fresh start) (Percentage) 26.5

The scheme rules are laid before Parliament and copies of the Principal Civil Service Pension scheme are available in the Library.

For members of the "partnership scheme", the employer pays a basic contribution of between 3 per cent. and 12.5 per cent. (depending on the age of the member) into a stakeholder pension product and will match the member's contribution up to a limit of 3 per cent. Employers also contribute a further 0.8 per cent. of pensionable salary to cover the cost of risk benefit cover (death in service and ill health retirement).

Details of the civil service pension arrangements can be found on the civil service pensions website at:

www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk.

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