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Joining the scheme

Upon joining an RCPS employer you will be automatically enrolled in to the Nuvos pension scheme; this is the standard option for all employees with a contract of service*. You also have the option of setting up a Partnership Pension Account instead; please read the Pension Choices Nuvos or Partnership guide which is on the scheme guides page. Some workers will not be eligible for Nuvos and may be placed in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) which is a workplace pension scheme set up by the Government. Entry to NEST is not administered by JSS; your employer can provide details for you though.

* If you have a previous Civil Service, RCPS or other by-analogy pension you may be eligible to join the Classic or Premium schemes.

Nuvos is an occupational defined benefit pension scheme. Your pension is based on your career average earnings. Please visit the Scheme Guides page for more information on Nuvos.

How your contributions are worked out

The contributions you pay towards your pension benefits each month will depend on the pensionable earnings you are paid. This is worked out by taking your pensionable earnings for that month, multiplying them by 12 to get your annualised earnings and then applying the rate for the pay band as set out in the table below.

Your contributions may change from month to month if your pensionable earnings vary. This variation could be due to a backdated pay award or a pensionable bonus which may move you from one pay band to another for the month that this payment is made. The contribution rate should revert to the normal annualised earnings amount the following month, unless your pay rise takes you to the next contribution band.

The RCPS employee contribution estimator 2016 (Excel, 25KB) - opens in new window can be used to calculate what your monthly contribution might be.

The table below shows the contribution rates that are effective from April 2017. Your employer contributes 26% of your pensionable pay to the RCPS which helps provide for the scheme members' pension benefits.

Annualised Pensionable Earnings Classic % Classic Plus, Premium & Nuvos %
Up to £15,000 4.60 4.60
£15,001 - £21,422 4.60 4.60
£21,423 - £51,005 5.45 5.45
£51,006 - £150,000 7.35 7.35
£150,001 and above 8.05 8.05

Contributions are calculated as a percentage of your earnings and deducted from your gross pay before Income Tax is deducted, giving you tax relief. The actual amount of tax relief you receive will depend on your individual circumstances.

Options on joining

On joining the scheme, there are a number of options that you may wish to consider. You may want to transfer benefits from a previous pension scheme. To do this you must apply within 12 months of joining and the transfer must be completed before you leave the scheme or your pension comes into pay.

Added pension is an amount of extra annual pension that you can buy. It will be paid with your pension when you retire either just for yourself, or for yourself and your dependants.

The Partnership Pension Account is a defined contribution arrangement, whereby individuals select a partnership pension account from a panel of two providers. For partnership pension accounts that are set up, the individual's employer will pay an age related contribution to the selected fund / provider. They will also match up to 3% of the optional member's contribution.

More details regarding the Partnership Pension Account can be found in the Partnership Scheme Guide which is on the Scheme Guides page.

If you choose to open a Partnership Pension Account you will need to complete the information on the Pension Choices form that we send to you. You must also complete your chosen pension provider's application form and return this to the address on the form.

The two Partnership Pension providers are Scottish Widows - external link - and Standard Life - external link -. You should contact the relevant provider if you have any questions about their forms.

JSS are unable to advise you which provider to choose so you may want to compare both providers to aid your decision making.