Certification Officer: Pensions

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform 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 Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what pension scheme is offered to staff joining the Office of the Certification Officer; what the rate of employer contributions to the scheme is; and if he will place in the Library details of the terms and benefits of the scheme.

Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Employment Relations and Postal Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The Office of the Certification Officer is covered by the civil service pension.

New entrants to the civil service 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 as follows:

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) 26.5

The scheme rules are laid before Parliament and copies are in the House Library.

For members of 'partnership', 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:

http://www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk

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