Pension Increases

What was the latest increase?

The headline increase payable from 1 April 2018 is 4.1 per cent for those who retired before 1 April 2016. If you’re a “1986 member” (a member of the CWSF in 1986 who declined membership in the No. 3 Pension Scheme), the headline rate of increase for pension built up before 6 April 1997 is three per cent.

How does the Trustee decide by how much to increase pensions each year?

CWSF pensions in payment are increased each year to help offset increases in the cost of living, as follows:

  • Pension earned on or after 6 April 2006 is guaranteed to increase each year in line with the rise in the Retail Prices Index (RPI), up to a maximum of 2.5 per cent a year.
  • Pension earned before 6 April 2006 is guaranteed to increase each year in line with the rise in the RPI, up to a maximum of five per cent a year.

How is my pension increase worked out?

Below state pension age

If you’re below Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) Payment Age, the annual increase applies to your full pension, including any GMP.

Above state pension age

If you’re above GMP Payment Age, the increase applies only to that part of your pension above the GMP. In other words, you’ll find that the headline rate we announce each year will not apply to the full amount of your CWSF pension.

This doesn’t mean that your GMP isn’t increased beyond the GMP Payment Age – regulations require that it must be – but only part of the GMP increase has to be paid by the CWSF; the government is responsible for paying the balance (if any) of the GMP increase (see the first question below).

Other frequently asked questions

From GMP Payment Age, the GMP part of your CWSF pension is increased each year. Under current regulations, responsibility for paying the GMP increase is shared by the CWSF and the government, as follows:

  • The CWSF is required to pay the first three per cent of the annual increase on your GMP earned for service after 6 April 1988. This amount is added to your CWSF pension.
  • The government is responsible for paying the balance (if any) of the annual GMP increase (ie the full increase on GMP earned before April 1988 and any increase above the three per cent paid by the CWSF on GMP earned after April 1988). These increases (if any) are paid directly by the government, along with your State Basic Pension.
There are several versions of price indices, all designed to meet different needs. The government bases its increases (including the GMP increases referred to above) on a September-to-September measure of the Consumer Prices Index. The version used to calculate the CWSF pension increase each year is the “All Items” version of the Retail Prices Index, measured from December to December prior to the April increase date. So in some years the CWSF increase is greater than the State pension increase, and in other years it’s smaller.