premium is a Defined Benefit scheme, with benefits based on final salary.


  • Members contribute a percentage of their pensionable earnings.
  • Members receive tax relief on contributions subject to HMRC limits.
  • You make 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’)).


  • A pension based on 1/60th of final pensionable earnings for each year of reckonable service.
  • 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.
  • The annual pension will be index linked. 
  • 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.


Most staff in post on 30 September 2002 were eligible to transfer to premium from their existing scheme. After 1 October 2002, new entrants to the CSP arrangements were able to join premium, subject to eligibility. premium was closed to new entrants from 30 July 2007, although it is still available for some rejoiners (subject to their eligibility).

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

Pension age

The current premium pension age is 60. However, members can draw their benefits earlier, subject to an early payment (actuarial) reduction.

If members choose to work past age 60, they can build up pension benefits to the age of 75*. You and the member will continue to contribute towards their premium 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)).

*Subject to the maximum number of years’ service. See section 3.5 (‘Paying for Civil Service pensions’) for details.

Switching from premium 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