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News from the VOA

Monday, October 5, 2015

Our colleagues in the VOA have informed us of two interesting pieces of news that we were unable to find any trace of in HMRC -

CSP Survey

The Pension Scheme Executive (at the Cabinet Office) want to understand how well the information they provide to members of the Civil Service Pensions arrangements helps you to understand your scheme benefits; and how informed you feel about the options available to help you take control of your retirement planning. Your feedback will help them to continuously improve the communications that they produce for them.

The Pension Scheme Executive have set up an online survey at; 
to capture your feedback.  The survey is expected to remain open until the last week in October.

CSP Focus Groups

The Pension Scheme Executive are also planning to run member communications focus groups at different locations around the country, starting with Edinburgh 12 & 16 October and Cardiff 22 & 23 October. You can apply for a place at the focus groups by completing an online form at

If you do wish to attend and are awarded a place, you will be able to do this in work time (no need to take time off or apply for paid special leave) and will be entitle to claim days subsistence and travel costs only (overnight stays will not be considered).  


Occupational Health Services are provided by OH Assist, currently part of Atos IT Services Limited (Atos).  Atos has agreed to sell its Occupational Health business – OH Assist will formally separate from its parent company to become a new legal entity, OH Assist Limited from 1st November 2015.

From this point, all staff, business contracts and assets of the Occupational Health business will transfer from one legal entity to another i.e. from Atos IT Services Limited to OH Assist Limited.  Essentially, the business will be exactly the same as before, but delivering services under a new owner.

The business currently holds personal data relating to VOA people who have in the past or may in the future attend Occupational Health examinations.  It is a requirement of the Data Protection Act 1998 to notify you that individual Occupational Health Records will be transferred to OH Assist Ltd.  There is no change to where data is stored or how it is processed - the change is that the named Data Controller will transfer from Atos IT Services Ltd to OH Assist Limited.

The effective transfer of records will ensure that OH Assist Limited continues to offer impartial medical advice to help individuals and managers address the issues affecting health at work, and provide best practice to assist safe return to work.

You have a legal right to object to your Occupational Health records being transferred to OH Assist Limited. However, it is important to note that objecting to this transfer could prevent OH Assist Ltd from providing you with a full range of Occupational Health services.  Please be reassured that OH Assist Limited is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act and the Access to Medical Records and Reports Act and will ensure the security and confidentiality of your records remains at all times. 

As far as we know - HMRC staff are a part of the Civil Service Pensions – we refrain from saying anything more about this marvellous new scheme which should not exist for staff who were in post before its advent. As OH Assist are the Occupational Heath provider in HMRC – so surely the same must apply? We will see what this enquiry brings.


Obviously BoF overrules all – we will comment in another news article about the announcement of 29/9/15.

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