Along with your salary, your pension is one of the most important benefits of joining the Civil Service. It provides you with financial security and options when you retire, as well as benefits for your family and loved ones. Some of the benefits of a Civil Service pension include:

alpha pension scheme

If this is the first time you’ve worked for a public sector employer, you’ll be able to choose between alpha (a ‘career average’ scheme) and partnership (a ‘defined contribution’ arrangement).

In alpha your pension builds up quickly when you add your member contribution to your generous employers contribution. For example, if you earn between £23,101 and £45,500, you will contribute 5.45% of your salary and your employer will contribute 27.1%, meaning for every £1 you contribute, your employer will contribute almost £5.

Find out more about alpha

How much you could receive

If you earned £22,000 for 20 years, you could have an annual pension of £10,208 or £6,562 pension and a tax-free lump sum of £43,748.

After 40 years, this could be an annual pension of £20,416, or £13,124 pension and a tax-free lump sum of £87,497.

Increasing your pension

A Civil Service pension gives you the opportunity to plan for the retirement you want and increase your pension by buying either added pension or Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).

Find out more about increasing your pension

Benefits for loved ones and dependents

A Civil Service pension allows you to nominate a beneficiary (including charities) for a tax-free lump sum in the event of your death.

  • Some of the other benefits a Civil Service pension offers your loved ones and dependents include:
  • A spouse/partner/civil partner’s pension
  • A death benefit lump sum
  • A children's pension
  • A Widow’s or Widower’s (WPS) refund
  • Life assurance cover
  • Support from our trusted charity partners


The partnership pension account is and alternative to the Civil Service Pension Scheme and is managed by a third party - Legal & General.

You can choose how much you want to contribute and the money that you and/or your employer pay into your plan builds up your pension pot. Your pension pot is invested in one or more of Legal & General’s investment funds. The aim of an investment fund is to grow the value of your pension pot but this isn’t always guaranteed. You can decide what to do with your money, and how you take it from age 55, whether or not you’ve stopped working.

Find out more about partnership

Joining the Civil Service Pension Scheme

To join a pension scheme, complete the form inside the New Joiner Pack that you received when you started working for the Civil Service. If you did not receive a New Joiner Pack, please contact your employer.

30 November 2021
Last updated:
9 June 2022