Prospective members FAQ

What pension choices do I have?

If this is the first time you have worked for a public service employer, you will be able to choose between – alpha, which is a ‘career average’ scheme and partnership which is a ‘defined contribution’ arrangement. You can find details of alpha and partnership here.

If you have worked for a public service employer in the past, you may have different choices. Your employer will give you details of these.

Click on the links below to view information booklets.

If I decide to join the pension scheme, can I opt out at a later date?

Yes. You should read the opting out factsheet, which is attached to the opting out form. This will help you understand what you will be giving up if you leave the scheme. You may wish to consider consulting an Independent Financial Adviser before making a decision.

If I choose partnership now but change my mind at a later date, will I be able to swap?

Yes. You are allowed to switch once from partnership to the scheme you are eligible for and vice versa. Switching can only occur on the ‘switch dates’: 1 April or 1 October. To switch, you need to complete the switch form. You must send your switch form to your HR Department three months before the switch date.


How do I join the pension scheme?

Your employer will help you with this and will give you a starter pack containing information about your pension choices.

Who can help me decide which pension scheme to join?

Death benefits

How do I nominate someone to receive a death benefit lump sum in the event of my death?

You will need to complete the death benefit nomination form which will be included in the starter pack your employer gave you. Alternatively you can find a death benefit nomination form here.

Death Benefit Nomination Forms

Paying for your pension

How much will I pay if I join the Civil Service Pension arrangements?

If you join alpha, nuvos, premium, classic plus or classic (depending on which scheme you are eligible for) you will pay a percentage of your pensionable earnings into the pension scheme. The current contribution rates can be found here.

If you join partnership, your employer will make a contribution to your pension related to your age. The level of contributions you make on top of that is up to you. For more information see scheme guide.

Will I receive tax relief on my pension contributions?

Yes. Pension contributions paid to pension schemes like nuvos and partnership attract tax relief.

How much will my employer pay towards my pension?

Your employer will contribute towards your pension. The actual amount your employer will pay depends on your pensionable earnings. The percentage contribution is set by Cabinet Office. Details of the rates can be found here.


Can I transfer other pensions into the scheme?

Yes. If you are interested in transferring in a pension, you should indicate this on the transfer in form or contact MyCSP.

You must be an active member and in satisfactory health for the scheme to consider accepting a transfer in. You must send your application to MyCSP within 12 months of joining.

Can I apply to transfer a pension from overseas into the scheme?

Yes. You may apply to transfer in a pension from overseas provided that it is from a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme.

You must be an active member and in satisfactory health for the scheme to consider accepting a transfer in. You must send MyCSP your application within 12 months of joining the scheme.

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) List

How do I apply to transfer other pensions into partnership?

You should tell your partnership provider that you are interested in transferring in a pension using the partnership application form. Your partnership provider will then give you the information you will need.


Where can I find more information about the pension scheme(s)?

How do I contact the scheme administrator, MyCSP?