Civil service pension.

Hello My wife is 56 and has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. I am trying to access on her behalf a civil service pension she last paid into in 2007.

The civil service pensions say i need a referral from her line manager to claim the pension early on ill health. My wife worked for several different depts the last being Defra. A firm called sscl are the new administrators of HR and pay that the link civil service pensions say i should contact as part of Defra.

Sscl say they have no records of service before2017 and its down to civil service to set the ball Rowling to access the pension early on ill health.

My question is Do you still qualify for ill health civil service pension early if you have left the service many years before??

If so who do i need to contact to start the process?

As my wife is now no longer able to work, it seems that access to the pension she paid into is also out of reach until her retirement date.

  • Hi

     

     I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve experienced trying to access your wife’s Civil Service Pension.

    As your wife has the left the Civil Service she is known as a deferred member, and the rules around applying for ill health retirement are different from those of an active member.

    There are also different sections of the Civil Service Pension Scheme, and the rules vary depending on the section of the scheme your wife belonged to. The sections are as follows:

     

    Classic

    Classic Plus and Premium

    Alpha

    Nuvos

     

    Pension benefits can often be taken early from age 55 (50 in some cases) with the employer’s agreement. If a member chooses to retire early, the pension income will be lower to allow for the fact that it could be paid for longer.

     

    Early retirement and ill health retirement are different, and the options vary for deferred members of the Classic Plus & Premium, Alpha and Nuvos schemes. For example, deferred members of the Classic scheme who are permanently unable to do their own job because of their ill health, can apply to take ill health retirement at any age. It is tricky for me to give you more specific information without knowing which section of the scheme your wife belonged to.

     

    If the member qualifies for ill health retirement and it's available in their section of the scheme, their pension benefits would be paid without any reduction.

     

    Members who are given a prognosis of less than 12 months, may have the option to access their pension on ‘special terms’. These terms allow a member to swap their pension benefits for a lump sum but there will be no further income, or lump sums payable in the member’s lifetime. To apply, the member should contact MyCSP Pension Service Centre (contact details below) in the first instance. They will arrange the relevant paperwork, which includes supporting medical evidence from the member’s GP and/or oncologist. This information will be used to decide if a member qualifies for retirement on ‘special terms’. Choosing this option doesn’t usually affect how any dependants’ pensions are worked out, but it might still be worth seeking financial advice before choosing a lump sum on special terms. The total pension and lump sum available to dependants may be higher if the pension is not accessed in this way.

     

    If a deferred member would like to apply for an ill health pension, they should first contact MyCSP Pension Service Centre (contact details below). They will arrange the relevant paperwork, which includes supporting medical evidence from the member’s GP and/or oncologist. This information will be used to decide if a member qualifies for ill health retirement. The members previous employer will also be involved in the process, as you have found already.

     

     For more detailed information about the Civil Service Pension Scheme visit: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/

     For urgent questions, contact the scheme helpline on 0300 123 6666.

    If you still struggle to start the process, please feel free to give us a call and one of our Financial Guides will be able to ask you more information about your wife's pension and give you tailored guidance, information and support. You can contact one of our Financial Guides on the Macmillan Support Line (freephone) on 0808 808 0000.

    Laura

    Service Knowledge & Content Specialist

    The Financial Guidance Service will not recommend that you buy, sell or cancel a specific financial product from any company. As a guidance service, we do not provide financial advice and we are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

    The aim of the Financial Guidance Service is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your personal finances. For financial advice, including recommendations to buy, sell or cancel specific financial products, you should speak to a financial adviser who is suitably qualified and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • Thanks Laura

    so it seems even though my wife left the civil service in 2007 she should still qualify to claim her pension early on I’ll health grounds. Thank you for clarifying that part. 
    I may give you a ring to see how s best to progress this. As each side say it’s down to the other to initiate the process. 

    thanks again John