alpha was introduced on 1 April 2015. The majority of Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme members (includes classic, classic plus, premium and nuvos) will now have moved to alpha. Most new members will also join alpha.

Members of a public service pension scheme (including classic, classic plus, premium and nuvos) on 31 March 2012 will have been affected differently depending on how close they were to Normal Pension Age (NPA):

  • If they were 10 years or less away from NPA on that date, it is less likely they will have moved to alpha. They will continue to build up benefits in their current pension scheme.
  • If they were more than 10, but less than 13.5 years away from NPA on that date, then it is likely they were able to choose whether or not to remain in their current pension scheme for a period of time, based on their age, before moving into alpha.

If neither of the above applies, they will have moved to alpha on 1 April 2015. Their pension benefits will be worked out in two parts when they leave the scheme or retire:

  • Part 1 – based on the previous scheme arrangement (classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos); and
  • Part 2 – based on the pension benefits built up in alpha from 1 April 2015 or the date they join alpha if later.

If they were previously a member of one of the final salary sections (classic, classic plus or premium), the service built up until 31 March 2015 was ‘banked’. The part 1 pension benefits will be based on the ‘banked’ service and pensionable earnings, at or close to the point they leave or retire from alpha.

For nuvos members, the part 1 pension benefits will be based on the ‘banked’ pension built up until 31 March 2015. Like the existing arrangements, alpha provides a ‘defined benefit’ pension, which will give a guaranteed income in retirement. The benefits in alpha will be worked out based on a percentage of the pensionable earnings each year until they leave or retire. This is called a ‘Career Average’ scheme – like the nuvos scheme.

The changes won’t affect everyone in the same way. Please click on the option that best describes the member from the list below to see how it will affect them. 

Active members

If the member was more than 13.5 years from NPA on 1 April 2012

It is likely that they moved to alpha on 1 April 2015.

The service and/or benefits that already built up in the current scheme to April 2015 will remain unchanged.

If they were between 10 and 13.5 years from NPA on 1 April 2012

They may have been offered the choice to move straight into alpha from day one (1 April 2015) or stay in their current scheme for a set period beyond April 2015. The length of that period will depend on their age on 1 April 2012.

See a list of dates they may move into alpha

If they were 10 years or less from NPA on 1 April 2012

It is likely that they will not move into alpha. 

Published:
7 February 2022
Last updated:
8 February 2022