1. What is nuvos?

nuvos is an occupational defined benefit pension scheme. It provides a way of saving for your retirement. Over the years, you and your employer both make contributions to the scheme. When you retire we pay you the pension you have built up each year while you have been in the scheme. nuvos provides:

  • a pension linked to your pensionable earnings and increased each year in line with inflation;
  • an option to take a tax free lump sum in exchange for part of your pension;
  • special early retirement terms, subject to certain conditions, if you are forced to retire early because of ill health;
  • a death benefit of twice your final pay if you die in service;
  • a pension for your husband, wife, civil partner or partner after your death;
  • a pension for your dependent children after your death;
  • a number of options to increase your pension if you wish.

2. Who can join?

Most people who were employed in the Civil Service on a permanent or fixed-term contract, and joined between 30 July 2007 and 31 March 2015,  will have joined nuvos.

After 31 March 2015, with the introduction of alpha, no person is in or is eligible to be in pensionable service under nuvos unless the person is a protected member.

This is because all other members would have transitioned into the alpha scheme from 1 April 2015.

A protected member means a full protection member, a tapered protection member or an ill- health protection member.

If you have transitioned into alpha and you want to find out more about how this affects your pension, you should read the alpha scheme guide found here: alpha Scheme Guide

3. I opted out of the Civil Service pension arrangements. Can I join nuvos now?

You will only be able to rejoin nuvos if you had opted out of nuvos and are a protected member of nuvos. If, had you not opted out, you would have transitioned into alpha then you will only be able to opt in to alpha or join partnership.

A protected member means either a full protection member, or a tapered protection member.

4. I don’t work for the Civil Service, but for an organisation called a “Schedule"

Throughout this booklet, “Civil Service” includes not only UK Government departments and agencies but also some other organisations that are able to take part in the Civil Service pension arrangements. These organisations are sometimes referred to as “Schedule 1 bodies” because they are listed in Schedule 1 to the Superannuation Act 1972, which governs the Civil Service pension arrangements.

5. I no longer want to be a member of nuvos. Can I opt out of the scheme?

If, having joined nuvos, you wish to ‘opt out’, you can do so at the next available pay period.

We advise you to think very carefully about what you are giving up. Before you make a decision, please look at our Opting out page.

You may also wish to consult an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

If you decide to opt out you can download the latest version of the Opt-Out or you can ask the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) for a copy. You should send the completed Opt Out form to your employer.

Please note: The Pensions Act 2011 requires all employers to automatically re-enrol most workers who are not in a qualifying pension scheme periodically (usually every three years), from the employer’s automatic enrolment staging date. The Civil Service applies this to all workers who are not currently in a qualifying pension scheme. Your employer will be able to tell you when this is.

6. Can I change my pension arrangements?

You can switch to partnership, a defined contribution pension at any time. If you want to do this you will need to complete a Pension Switch form and return it to your employer at least two months before the date you want to switch.

Find out more about partnership.

7. I already have a pension from a previous employer

If you were previously in an occupational pension scheme, you may be able to transfer your pension into nuvos (see questions 38-40). If you were previously in a personal pension, you may be able to transfer it into nuvos or you may want to continue to pay into it as well as being in nuvos. You may want to take independent financial advice about your options. You should note, though, that if you want to transfer a previous pension into nuvos you must apply to do so within your first 12 months of employment.

38. I have a pension from another scheme. Can I bring this into nuvos?

15 December 2021
Last updated:
29 June 2022