Impact of alpha pension ages on CSCS

Updated: 10 July 2015

This page sets out some information for members who have moved, or are moving into alpha, about the potential impact of pension age and minimum pension age in alpha, on benefits payable under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

Information for members:

If you leave early on voluntary or compulsory redundancy, or on voluntary exit, you may be entitled to a compensation payment under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS). You can also choose to take your pension if you have reached your minimum pension age. The minimum pension age in alpha is 55.

Normal Pension Age (NPA) is the earliest age that a scheme member can usually take their pension benefits without reduction. NPA in classic, classic plus and premium is usually age 60, in nuvos it is usually age 65, and in alpha it is the usually same as your State Pension age.

If you take your pension after the minimum pension age but before your NPA, it will be reduced because it will be paid for longer. However, you may be able to buy out this reduction, so that your pension is paid in full. You can use any compensation you received under the CSCS to fund the buy-out. If you leave on voluntary redundancy, and in some circumstances if you leave on voluntary exit, your employer may be able to top-up your compensation payment if it is not enough to buy out the reduction.

Once you move to alpha and you leave on early exit terms

If you are over the alpha minimum pension age of 55 you can take your alpha and PCSPS pensions together. Both will be reduced for early payment, but if you received compensation under the CSCS you can use it to buy-out the reduction. In some circumstances your employer may top-up your compensation if it is not enough to buy out the reduction in both your alpha and PCSPS pensions.
PCSPS benefits can have a minimum pension age of 50 (some classic, classic plus, or premium members), lower than the minimum pension age in alpha. There is more information about minimum pension age available in the main scheme booklets.

If you leave under CSCS after age 50, but before the alpha minimum pension age you cannot take both your alpha pension and PCSPS pension together. You can access your PCSPS benefits and use any compensation you received under the CSCS to buy out the reduction. Your employer (in some circumstances) can top-up your compensation if it is not enough to buy out the reduction in your PCSPS benefits. You would not be able to access your alpha pension immediately, and it would be preserved. You can choose to claim your pension on early payment terms once you reach age 55. If you did claim your alpha pension at that point and wanted to buy out the early payment reduction you would need to use your own funds; there would be no employer top-up available.

Any compensation that is payable is reduced if you are approaching, or you are over, your NPA when you leave. Once you move into alpha, this is your alpha NPA, which is usually the same as your State Pension age.