29 April 2019 — From Ian Billings

Following an HMSOldies enquiry regarding Pensions, what should I find in the post waiting for me but the P60 package from CSP, which included details of how to register for the CS Portal. Which I have now done; forgot to turn over the page and struggled with the password requirements until I had done so!

There is a lot to see there, and the website could be better, but persevere and it is there.

To find out about your pension scheme you have to go to your Pensions Dashboard after logging on, and click ‘MORE’ at the top right.

The drop-down includes ‘Your scheme details’. Given that only one scheme was shown on the next page, I’m guessing that pensioners at least will see the details for the scheme that they are in, and no other. So there should not be any confusion as to which scheme you are in, which there might be if you just explore the Civil Service Pensions website.

When you ‘Click here to view the classic scheme guide‘, (or whatever yours says), a new page/tab opens up (green pages) and there are the details.

For example, click on the heading:

Pension benefits for your widow, widower or surviving civil partner

and it gives you:

There are two types of pension that we may pay to your widow, widower or civil partner.

which isn’t very helpful.

But if you click on the subsequent headings more is revealed. For those who haven’t got there yet, another heading reveals:

The continuing pension is normally equal to one half of the pension that you received at the time of your death. It may be lower than this because:

• you chose to contribute for lower benefits (see information under ‘Level of pension’ on page 15); or

• you married after you retired, in which case the continuing pension is based on service from 6 April 1978 (men) or 6 April 1988 (women) or

• you have a civil partner, in which case the continuing pension is based on service from 6 April 1988 (men and women).

This is after the 91 days of continuing pension paid at the full rate.

Philip Marriage adds: Ian’s advice on using the ‘Portal’ is very helpful – thanks! For those who may be more digitally challenged you can actually phone Civil Service Pensions (0300 123 6666) and if you are prepared to go through endless dialling options you will eventually speak with a real person who, in my case, confirmed I was in the CLASSIC SCHEME and offered to send me (in about 4-5 weeks time) a statement showing what my Widow’s Pension will be when I snuff it.