Prospective members FAQ

What pension choices do I have?

If this is the first time you’ve worked for a public service employer, you will be able to choose between alpha (a ‘career average’ scheme) and partnership (a ‘defined contribution’ arrangement). You can find further details of alpha and partnership on this website.

If you’ve worked for a public service employer in the past, you may have different choices. Your employer will give you details of these.

Click on the links below to view information booklets:

Who can help me decide which pension scheme to join?

Neither your employer nor the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP), can give you financial advice. You should speak to an Independent Financial Adviser if you need advice about your pension. The link below will help you find an adviser:

If I decide to join the pension scheme, can I opt out at a later date?

Yes. You should read the opting out form and factsheet which can be found on the members’ publications page using this link:

The factsheet will help you understand what you will be giving up if you leave the scheme. You may wish to consider consulting an Independent Financial Adviser before making a decision.

If I choose partnership now but change my mind at a later date, will I be able to swap?

Yes. You are allowed to switch once from partnership to the scheme you are eligible for and vice versa. Switching can occur at any point, but only once during a 12 month period. This can be done by completing the switch form and sending it to your HR Department two months before the switch date.

How do I nominate someone to receive a death benefit lump sum in the event of my death?


How do I join the pension scheme?

If eligible, you will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. Your employer will help you with this and will give you a starter pack containing information about your pension choices.


Preserved pension

I already have a preserved Civil Service pension. Can I join both periods of scheme membership together if I join?

This is dependent on which scheme you are eligible to join.

If you have a preserved Civil Service pension and are eligible to join premium, see section ‘Joining up previous pensions’ within the premium scheme guide for further details.

If you have a preserved Civil Service pension and are eligible to join nuvos, see section ‘Transferring in other pensions’ within the nuvos scheme guide for further details. 

If you have preserved Civil Service pension are eligible to join the alpha scheme see ‘Section 04C – Re-joining alpha after leaving’ within the alpha scheme guide.

Paying for your pension

How much will I pay if I join the Civil Service Pension arrangements?

You will pay a percentage of your pensionable earnings into the pension scheme. The current contribution rates can be found here.

If you join partnership, your employer will make a contribution to your pension related to your age. The level of contributions you make on top of that is up to you. For more information see the partnership section of the website.

Will I receive tax relief on my pension contributions?

Yes. Pension contributions paid to pension schemes like alpha and partnership attract tax relief. 

How much will my employer pay towards my pension?

Your employer will contribute towards your pension. The actual amount your employer will pay depends on your pensionable earnings. The percentage contribution is set by the Scheme Manager (Cabinet Office). Details of the rates can be found here.


Can I transfer other pensions into the scheme?

Yes. If you are interested in transferring in a pension, you should indicate this on your transfer in form or contact the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP).

You must be an active member and in satisfactory health for the scheme to consider accepting a transfer in. You must send your application to the Scheme Administrator within 12 months of joining.

Can I apply to transfer a pension from overseas into the scheme?

Yes. You may apply to transfer in a pension from overseas provided that it is from a recognised overseas pension scheme.

You must be an active member and in satisfactory health for the scheme to consider accepting a transfer in. You must send the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) your application within 12 months of joining the scheme.

You can find a list of recognised pension schemes using this link:

How do I apply to transfer other pensions into partnership?

You should tell Legal and General that you are interested in transferring in a pension using the partnership application form. Your partnership provider will then give you the information you will need.


Where can I find more information about the pension scheme(s)?

How do I contact the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP)?

You can contact the Scheme Administrator by phone, post or email.