Technical terms

Annual Allowance

Annual Allowance is the maximum growth in the value of your pension savings each year that can benefit from tax relief. The Annual Allowance applies to your entire pension savings with UK registered pension schemes. So, if you have any other pension savings apart from your Civil Service pension, you must also take those into account to determine if you have a tax charge to pay.

Annual Benefit Statement (ABS)

ABSs provide members with a summary of their Civil Service pension benefits, up to the date of the statement each year.


The Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme is a defined contribution scheme where you pay contributions to the pension provider for investment in a fund or selection of funds. You  can then use the accumulated investment fund to provide you with an income and/or lump sum in retirement

Deferred member

Someone who has left classic plus, having qualified for a pension, but has not yet claimed their pension.

Defined benefit

A defined benefit pension scheme provides a pension based on set criteria, usually related to the members’ length of service and/or pensionable earnings (including any transferred in pension benefits).

Dependant child

Any child who is dependent on you and who is;

  • under 18, or;
  • under 23 and receiving full-time education or training or is permanently incapacitated and unable to earn a living. Dependency means that you are providing financial support to the child.


If you retire early because of ill health or die in service we may increase the number of years you have in the scheme when we work out your (or your dependants’) pension benefits.

Earnings cap

The maximum level of pay we will use when working out pension benefits and contributions. It applies to classic plus members who joined the Scheme on or after 1 June 1989.

Final pensionable earnings

These are the earnings on which we base your classic plus pension. Your final pensionable earnings will be whichever is the best of:

  • your last 12 months’ pensionable earnings; or
  • your highest pensionable earnings in any of the last four complete scheme years; or
  • your highest average pensionable earnings in any period of three complete scheme years during the last 13 years ending on your last day of service.

A scheme year is the period from 1 April to 31 March. We will take account of rises in the cost of living in making the comparison.

Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)

The Civil Service pension scheme was contracted out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) prior to 6 April 2016. If you were a member of the Civil Service pension scheme between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997, GMP is the minimum amount that the scheme must provide for you at State Pension age (SPA).

Lifetime Allowance

Lifetime Allowance is the limit on the amount of pension benefit(s) that you can take from all of your registered pension arrangements before you incur a tax charge.

These benefits include:

  • lump sums; and
  • retirement income.

The Scheme Administrator (MyCSP)

The Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) holds your pension records and administers your pension on your employer’s behalf, including working out and arranging pension payments.

Partnership Pension Account

The partnership pension account is a defined contribution pension arrangement. Members of the partnership scheme do not have to contribute but their employer will.

Pension age

This is the earliest age at which you can choose  to receive immediate payment of your classic plus pension without reduction. (In most cases, this is 60).

Pensionable earnings

All earnings that could count towards your pension. They can include non-cash items, for example, uniforms or accommodation.

Pensionable service

Pensionable service is service in employment which qualifies you for classic plus benefits.

Preserved benefits

We will hold (preserve) the pension benefits you have built up if you leave the scheme before pension age and have decided not to transfer them to another pension scheme. (We will only do this is you have built up more than two years’ qualifying service).

Public Sector Transfer Club

A group of defined benefit occupational pension schemes, mainly within the public sector. The Club assists easier movement of staff between its members by providing broadly equivalent benefits when they transfer.

Qualifying service

Generally, this is the number of years and days you have been a member of the scheme, and it qualifies you for certain benefits.

Reckonable service

The service that counts towards a pension. Part- time service counts on the basis of the hours you have worked. Unpaid absences such as strike days or career breaks do not count towards your pension.

Scheme actuary

The scheme actuary provides actuarial advice to the scheme.

State pension age

The age at which you can receive your State pension.

State Second Pension S2P

The additional State pension on top of the basic State Pension (previously known as the State Earnings-Related Pension – SERPS). The amount you get depends on your National Insurance contributions. Please note – this ended on 5 April 2016.

Transfer value

The value of accumulated pension rights within a pension scheme that may be used to transfer benefits from that scheme to another pension scheme.

15 December 2021
Last updated:
29 June 2022