When can I claim my pension?

You can claim your full alpha pension benefits if you retire when you reach your alpha Normal Pension Age (NPA).

The NPA in alpha is the later of age 65 or your State Pension age (SPA). If your SPA changes, your alpha NPA will also change.

NPA is the earliest you can take your pension in full. You can apply for your alpha pension at any time from age 55 but your alpha pension will be permanently reduced because the pension will be paid for longer.

What do I have to do to claim my pension?

At least four months before you plan to retire you should discuss your plans with your employer so they know the date you plan to leave.

Your employer will let the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) know the date you intend to retire.

Find out more about claiming your pension.

If you are looking to claim a preserved pension you will need to complete and return the “deferred retirement form” which is available on the Civil Service Pensions website.

You will then receive a quote showing the pension you should expect to receive, and some forms to complete. You should use the Personal Details Form to confirm the details like your address, marital status and also your bank or building society information.

You also need to supply the details of any other pension arrangements you have. This should include any pensions that you have already taken, or are about to take. These figures and your alpha pension will be checked against your Lifetime Allowance (LTA). For further information see Section 07A – Your pension and tax.

How and when do I get my pension paid to me?

Your pension will be paid into the bank or building society you confirmed on your Personal Details Form.

Your pension is paid monthly in arrears. If you have requested a lump sum, it will be paid after your retirement once all the necessary documentation has been received and your benefits have been processed. You should not enter into any financial commitments until you have received confirmation that your benefits have been authorised.

Can I carry on working after I claim my pension?

Partial retirement is the only way you can claim some of the pension you have built up and continue to work and build up more alpha pension. If you want to know more, details can be found in Section 05B – Partial retirement

How much pension will I get?

You will receive an annual benefit statement, this shows how your pension is building up, and what you could get when you retire.

Your benefits are made up of an annual pension and an option to exchange part of the pension for a tax- free lump sum. You can get a lump sum by exchanging some of your pension. Your pension will be lower if you choose this option.

If you have bought any added pension, or an EPA portion of your pension, it will be paid with your pension when you retire. You will get your pension paid for life.

Thinking about retirement with an alpha and 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 parts of your pension.

If you have banked service in classic, classic plus, or premium or banked benefits in nuvos, your pension from that scheme will normally come into payment when you claim your alpha pension.

If you have some banked service in classic or classic plus, you will receive an automatic lump sum from these arrangements.

You will still get the option of taking an additional lump sum in exchange for part of your pension from any of these schemes as well as the option to exchange some of your alpha pension for a lump sum.

14 December 2021
Last updated:
22 August 2022