When is the latest I can retire?

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.

However, building up and claiming pensions after age 75 can have an effect on the tax relief you will receive.

Do I have to leave employment?

No. You can take your benefits from alpha either through full retirement when you leave employment or partial retirement where you continue working, if your employer agrees.

What happens to my pension if I take it after my NPA?

If your pension is paid after your NPA, it is likely it will be paid for less time than it was originally intended. Your pension is adjusted to take this into account.

This means the pension is increased, because of the lower number of years it is expected to be paid.

How is an adjustment worked out?

The pension you have built up to the date you retire is adjusted by the factor that’s right for your age, and your NPA.

The simple rule is that the later you take your pension the larger an increase you’ll see in your pension that gets paid to you.

Will the adjustments always be the same?

No. The factors can be changed on the advice of the scheme actuaries.

Does a late payment adjustment apply to alpha preserved pensions?

Yes. If you claim your pension late, it gets increased for late payment as well as being adjusted in line with prices.

What if I have bought an EPA?

Your EPA portion of your alpha pension can be paid before your NPA. If you have an EPA portion and take it after EPA your pension will be increased to reflect you choosing to take it later than expected.

Can I still exchange pension for a lump sum?

Yes. Your option to exchange is based on your pension after the late payment adjustment has been applied.

Thinking of retiring after your Normal Pension Age (NPA), alpha and the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) pension

This section only applies to members who were in the PCSPS (classic, classic plus, premium, or nuvos) before 01 April 2015, and then moved from that scheme into alpha.

It does not cover every aspect of the scheme; full details are set out in the scheme rules, which are the legal basis of the scheme. You can find copies of the PCSPS scheme rules on the Civil Service Pensions website.

Nothing in this guide can override the scheme rules. Every effort has been made to make this guide as accurate as possible, but in the event of any difference, the rules will apply. This guide is based on the rules current at the time of publication and there is no guarantee that any part of the rules will not change in the future. You should be aware that tax rates and limits are subject to change.

If this section applies to you, please read it carefully to understand what happens to both portions of your pension if you claim your pension late.

You can still retire late, even if you have some banked service from classic, classic plus, or premium, or some banked benefits from nuvos.

Your PCSPS pension is based on the rules of that scheme, and currently only nuvos pensions are increased for late payment. The other schemes have the payments backdated, as if they were paid from your NPA in the PCSPS, or from the day after you left employment that was covered by the scheme (if that is later).

9 December 2021
Last updated:
29 June 2022