House of Lords Staff Handbook Seventeenth Edition


House of Lords Staff Pension Arrangements

4.1 Membership of the House of Lords Staff Pension arrangements, which mirror the Civil Service Pension arrangements, is not a condition of employment. Instead, staff may choose not to have a House of Lords pension and rely instead on State benefits, including the State Second Pension (S2P) or alternatively staff may, at their cost, make their own pension arrangements for example by contributing to a personal pension.

4.2. Membership of the House of Lords Staff Pension Scheme is, however, automatic for eligible staff (staff appointed for a period of twelve months or more) who do not decide to opt out or to choose the partnership pension account.

4.2a From 30 July 2007 casual staff and staff appointed for a period of less than 12 months have the right to opt into the "Nuvos" House of Lords Staff Pension Scheme. Those wishing to exercise this option should contact the Pensions Section in the Human Resources Office. Staff may also be eligible for a partnership pension account (see paragraph 4.8) or to contribute to a Stakeholder pension (see paragraphs 4.5-4.7).

4.3. Normal age for retirement is 65. Staff have the right to request that they work beyond normal retirement age. For further information please see Chapter 14, paragraphs 14.5-14.9. Members of the Classic, Classic Plus or Premium House of Lords Staff Pension Schemes may retire and receive their superannuation benefits at any time after age 60. The retirement age for Members of the "Nuvos" House of Lords Staff Pension Scheme is 65.

4.3a Early retirement before age 60 is possible in certain circumstances (see paragraph 14.12). Staff with a partnership pension account may currently draw their partnership pension at any time between the ages of 50 and 75.

4.4. The terms of the pension scheme differ depending on when staff took up employment in the House. For staff joining on or after 30 July 2007 the pension scheme is called "Nuvos". Staff who joined between the period 1 October 2002 to 29 July 2007 the pension scheme is called "Premium". Staff in post before 1 October were given the option of remaining in the old pension scheme (called "Classic") or transferring to the new Premium scheme either with all their previous service or only in respect of service after 1 October 2002 ("Classic Plus"). Once having made their choice such staff are not eligible to change it. Details of each of the pension schemes are available from the Human Resources Office.

Stakeholder pensions

4.5. In accordance with the provisions of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999, the House offers staff of the House access to a designated stakeholder pension provider. Where the member of staff chooses to contribute to a stakeholder pension the House will deduct employee contributions from the member of staff through the payroll system and pay the contributions direct to the to the stakeholder provider, though the House will not itself make any pension contribution. Staff who have opted out of the HLSPS are not eligible for stakeholder access to the designated HLSPS provider, though they are able to contribute to a stakeholder pension independently.

4.6. The House also offers members of the HLSPS access on a concurrent basis to the designated stakeholder pension provider, as an alternative or supplement to the House of Lords staff AVC scheme. The House will deduct contributions from the employee's pay and pay them to the provider. Since 6 April 2006, it is possible to contribute up to 100% of pensionable earnings or £3,600 a year, whichever is the higher, to a stakeholder pension.

4.7. Staff wishing to contribute to a stakeholder pension, on either of the bases mentioned in paragraphs 4.5 or 4.6 above, should consult the Human Resources Office or the People, Pay and Pensions Agency (the authorised pensions administrator (APAC) for the House of Lords).

Partnership pension accounts

4.8 Staff who are ineligible for membership of the HLSPS (Premium) may also be offered access to a partnership pension account. This is a stakeholder pension held with one of a panel of designated providers to which the House of Lords will make a contribution based on the age of the employee (ranging from 3% of pensionable salary in the case of employees under 21 to 12.5% for those aged 46 or over). If the employee makes a contribution the House of Lords will match it up to a maximum additional 3% of pensionable salary. Partnership pension accounts are also available to staff as an alternative to the HLSPS (Premium and Nuvos) except for staff who opted to join Premium with effect from 1 October 2002 under the arrangements described above (see paragraph 4.4). Staff will be advised if they are eligible for a partnership pension account.

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