We have reported in recent issues of Pensions update on the withdrawal of GAD Certificates of Broad Comparability issued before 26 April 2007 for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The certificates were withdrawn following the laying before parliament of regulations amending the LGPS. GAD has since been working with contractors to agree changes to their schemes to allow the reissue of a valid certificate.
Changes to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) have now been laid before parliament, including the introduction of a new scheme (“nuvos”) for new joiners from 30 July 2007. As a result GAD has now announced the withdrawal of certain PCSPS GAD passports. GAD states that it will be contacting contractors individually to confirm whether or not a particular scheme is affected. Briefly, those PCSPS GAD passports whose scope is not specifically restricted to exclude employees eligible for nuvos are withdrawn. Where this is the case, GAD will be prepared to reissue subject to this restriction as an interim measure until contractors are in a position to obtain a passport covering new employees eligible for nuvos. To achieve this, contractors are normally likely to have to offer pension arrangements of a similar form (career average revalued earnings) in order to fulfil the broad comparability criteria.
Further PCSPS passport withdrawals
Further changes to the existing Civil Service Classic and Premium schemes are expected to be confirmed after the Parliamentary recess. GAD expects then to have to withdraw further PCSPS passports, in particular, those for schemes which limit pensionable service in line with the existing PCSPS provisions.
National Health Service Pension Scheme
The National Health Service Pension Scheme is also currently under review and similar action is expected to be necessary in respect of GAD passports for this scheme later in the year.