As an active member of alpha you build up a pension based on your pensionable earnings each scheme year. There are ways that you can increase the pension you will get or change the date you can claim the full pension you have built up, by changing what you pay or when you choose to claim your benefits.
This guide uses as little jargon as possible but where it has to use specific technical terms, they have been explained in plain English.
This is a guide to the alpha pension scheme. It does not cover every aspect of alpha; full details are set out in the regulations, which are the legal basis of the scheme. You can see a copy of The Public Service (Civil Servants and Others) Pensions Regulations 2014 on the Civil Service Pensions website.
Nothing in this guide can override the alpha regulations. Every effort has been made to make this guide as accurate as possible, but in the event of any difference, the regulations will apply. This guide is based on the regulations current at the time of publication and there is no guarantee that any part of the regulations will not change in the future. You should be aware that tax rates and limits are subject to change.
You should not take anything in this section as financial advice. You might want to consider contacting an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) to discuss your retirement planning. You can find tips on finding an IFA by visiting the Financial Conduct Authority website: www.fca.org.uk
alpha is a registered scheme under the Finance Act 2004, and is governed by UK legislation.
This section explains:
02A. What is taking control of my retirement planning? - An overview of how alpha members can take control of their retirement planning.
02B. Added pension - You can make extra payments to buy a separate additional pension that can be paid in full at the same Normal Pension Age (NPA) as your main alpha pension.
02C. EPA - You can make additional payments to buy an EPA portion of your alpha pension that can be paid without any early payment reduction before your alpha NPA. Information on your NPA can be found in Section 01 - General Information.
02D. Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions Scheme (CSAVCS) - You can make extra payments into a separate defined contribution pension fund with one of the scheme’s AVC providers. The amount of pension you can get when you retire depends on how much you pay and how your fund is invested.
02E. Thinking of retirement before your NPA - Some of the things to consider, and the effects on your pension, when you choose to take your benefits earlier than your NPA.
02F. Thinking of retirement after your NPA - Some of the things to consider, and the effects on your pension, when you choose to take your benefits after your NPA.
The alpha pension scheme is part of the Civil Service pension arrangements. Most new entrants who join after 01 April 2015 will be eligible for membership of alpha.
Added pension is an additional pension that you can choose to buy. It increases in line with rises in the cost of living every year both before and after it comes into payment. When you retire you can choose to give up some of your added pension to take a lump sum.
EPA is a way to build up a portion of your alpha pension that can be paid earlier than your alpha Normal Pension Age (NPA), without any reduction.
You can pay additional voluntary contributions to the CSAVCS. The current provider is Legal & General.
You can claim your pension from your minimum pension age. In alpha this is currently age 55.
Your alpha pension can be paid in full from your NPA, but you are under no obligation to retire at that point. You can continue to build up benefits in alpha as long as you remain an active member of alpha.