Added pension is an amount of extra annual pension you can buy which will be combined with your Civil Service pension when you choose to take it.

If you’re a member of alpha, you'll have the option to give up some of your additional monthly pension for an additional lump sum when you retire.

From 1 April 2022, you can no longer apply to make new added pension purchases in the classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos schemes.

Eligibility

You can buy added pension if you're an active member of alpha.

You cannot buy added pension if you are in the partnership scheme, on an unpaid break, or you have left the Civil Service pension scheme.

If you've bought an EPA in the alpha scheme, it will affect how much added pension you can buy as contributions towards EPA count towards your added pension limit.

However, buying EPA does not affect the amount of additional voluntary contributions you can make to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme (CSAVCS).

Buying added pension by monthly contribution

You can choose an amount to pay each month, for example £20, or a percentage of your monthly salary.

If you buy added pension based on a percentage of your monthly salary, the amount you pay could increase or decrease if your salary increases or decreases.

You can use your scheme’s Added Pension Calculator to work out how much added pension costs to buy.

Your employer will deduct the payments from your salary to buy the added pension. All monthly contributions are non-refundable.

Monthly added pension contracts start on 01 April. However, if you apply to buy added pension within the first three months of joining the scheme, we can backdate your contributions to your start date.

You must apply to buy added pension by monthly contribution before the deadline each year. Your employer will notify you of the deadline.

You will not be able to increase or decrease your monthly payments between 01 April – 31 March.

The minimum monthly contribution is £10. There is no maximum monthly contribution limit, you can choose to pay 100% of your salary after the standard pension contributions and NI deductions, although there is an overall limit to the amount of added pension you can buy .

The limit is reviewed each year and adjusted in line with rises in the cost of living. Please see our Limits and deadlines page for more information.

As added pension rates are age-based, you'll buy less added pension in year two than in year one, because you are older. If you wanted to go on buying the same amount of added pension each year, you’d need to increase your contribution amount each year.

If you were buying added pension before you moved into the alpha scheme, you can continue to buy added pension at the same rate until the end date of your contract or until you choose to cancel it. The added pension you have built up will go towards your benefits in your previous scheme.

If you’re a member of alpha, your contributions must be paid for the full scheme year and cannot be ceased before 31 March.

Buying added pension by a one-off, lump sum payment

You can only buy added pension by lump sum payment if you’ve been in the Civil Service pension scheme for 12 months or more.

From 1 April 2022, you can no longer apply to make new added pension purchases in the classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos schemes.

You can buy added pension by lump sum payment only once during the scheme year, which runs from 01 April to 31 March, any time before the deadline. See our Limits and deadlines page for more information.

You can make a lump sum contribution either via salary or cheque.

You must send a completed application form and payment to the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) before the deadline.

There is an overall limit to the amount of added pension you can buy. The limit is reviewed each year and is adjusted in line with rises in the cost of living. See our Limits and deadlines page for more information.

The maximum lump sum contribution you can make by salary is one month’s salary after the standard pension and NI deductions.

Your lump sum payments are non-refundable.

More information

If you are in alpha, please see section 2B of the alpha scheme guide.

Buy added pension

If you've decided to buy added pension, you'll need to complete an Added Pension Application form.

Please read the Declaration section on the form carefully before submitting your application.

You can use your scheme’s Added Pension Calculator to work out how much added pension costs to buy.

You can buy added pension by monthly contributions or a one-off, lump sum payment.

You can choose to make an open-ended commitment to go on contributing every month, until you either leave the Civil Service pension scheme, or choose to cancel it.

Frequently asked questions

You can buy added pension if you’re an active member of alpha. You cannot buy added pension if you’re in the partnership scheme, on an unpaid break, or you’ve left the scheme.

There is an overall limit to the amount of added pension you can buy. The limit is reviewed each year and is adjusted in line with rises in the cost of living. Please see the Limits and deadlines page for more information.

The Added Pension Calculators below will help you work out how much added pension you want to buy and how much it will cost you. Please make sure that you use the calculator for your pension scheme. This ensures an accurate estimate.

classic added pension calculator 

classic plus and premium added pension calculator

nuvos added pension calculator

alpha

From 1 April 2022, you can no longer apply to make new added pension purchases in the classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos schemes.

You’ll receive tax relief on contributions that do not exceed the limits set by HM Revenue and Customs. If the deduction comes directly from your salary then your tax relief is automatic. If you make a lump sum contribution by personal cheque, you’ll have to claim the tax relief from HMRC directly.

Buying added pension, particularly by lump sum, will increase the value of your pension from one year to the next, and you could potentially become liable to an Annual Allowance tax charge. You can find more information on the Government's Tax on your private pension contributions page (opens in a new window).

In the classic, classic plus or premium schemes, added pension will provide benefits for your dependants automatically. In nuvos or alpha, you’re able to select if you want to purchase added pension for yourself only or for yourself and your dependants.

From 1 April 2022, you can no longer apply to make new added pension purchases in the classic, classic plus, premium or nuvos schemes.

Your Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) will show you how much added pension you’ve bought each year and the current value of added pension bought in previous years.

If you buy added pension, you’ll receive tax relief on those contributions (as long as they do not exceed the limits set by HMRC). 

Any added pension you buy is also adjusted annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (inflation). 

You can only buy added pension in the scheme you are currently contributing to.  If you are currently contributing to the classic scheme then you could make a lump sum payment before 1 April 2022 when all members will move to alpha. If you would like to purchase added pension after 1 April 2022 this would be in alpha.

You can’t purchase added years in alpha as alpha isn’t based on years of reckonable service. However, you can buy added pension, which is an additional amount of alpha pension which will be paid to you each year in retirement. Find out more about added pension.

There are different ways to increase your pension in alpha – you can buy added pension or make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme.

Remember, you may also be entitled to receive State Pension benefits. You can obtain a forecast of your state pension from The Pension Service

There are different ways to increase your pension in alpha – you can buy added pension or make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme.

Published:
18 December 2021
Last updated:
1 April 2022