nuvos is a Defined Benefit scheme (Career Average - CARE). Benefits are calculated using a proportion of pay earned in each scheme year of active service (a scheme year runs from 1 April to 31 March). Members can join nuvos or open a partnership pension account (see table 4), subject to their eligibility. nuvos was closed to new entrants from 1 April 2015.


  • Members contribute a percentage of their pensionable earnings. 
  • Members receive tax relief on contributions subject to HMRC limits. 
  • You pay a monthly contribution (ASLC) to the Cabinet Office Civil Superannuation Vote for each member. It is the equivalent of the employer’s contribution to a funded scheme. 
  • Members may buy added pension or contribute to a money-purchase top-up arrangement. They can buy amounts of extra pension either through regular payments or by lump sum (see section 5 (‘Your responsibilities when staff are in service’)).


  • Not based on final salary.

The pension builds up at 2.3% of pensionable earnings each scheme year.

The pension being built up will be adjusted in line with inflation at the end of every scheme year, and when it is in payment, as advised by HM Treasury.

  • Members can exchange some of their pension for a tax-free lump sum on retirement. For each £1 of annual pension given up, the member will receive £12 of lump sum. There are restrictions, set by HM Revenue and Customs, on the total amount of the lump sum. 
  • Ill-health retirement benefits. 
  • Lump sum death benefits. 
  • Family benefits for members’ dependants. 
  • Payments to unmarried partners are available, subject to qualifying conditions. The booklet ‘Pensions for partners’ gives more information. 
  • Are not restricted by the earning cap.


After 30 July 2007 new entrants to the CSP arrangements were able to join nuvos, subject to eligibility. nuvos was closed to new entrants from 1 April 2015. nuvos is still available for some rejoiners, subject to their eligibility. New entrants and most rejoiners in post on or after 30 July 2007 were eligible to join nuvos, depending on their employment status. Staff in post before 30 July 2007 could not join nuvos.

See section 4 (‘Your responsibilities when staff join’) for eligibility.

Pension age and taking benefits

The current nuvos pension age is 65. However members can claim their benefits earlier, subject to an early payment (actuarial) reduction.

Members who do not retire at 65 may continue to build up their pension to age 75 in the normal way, subject to scheme limits. They will receive an age addition (an extra amount of pension) for each year or part year that they do not take their pension after pension age. The member and you will continue to contribute towards their nuvos pension in the normal way up to the member’s 75th birthday (see Section 7 (Members reaching age 75 (classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos)).

Switching from nuvos to partnership and vice versa

Switching can occur at any point, but only once during a 12 month period. This can be done by completing the switch form which must be sent to your HR department two months before the switch date.

21 December 2021
Last updated:
21 December 2021