Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
These frequently asked questions are related specifically to Pension Reform / Alpha. Click the question to view the answer.
Alpha is similar to the current Nuvos section which is a career average scheme. The main difference is that the Alpha pension age is aligned to State Pension age.
The accrual rate is 2.32% compared to Nuvos which is 2.3%.
The Alpha Guide - external link - is the place to go to for information about your pension.
This is a good place to start if you need more detail of how Alpha works alongside the features of the scheme you moved from.
Your added years contract/contributions will continue. This means that the accrual of your added years will continue alongside the accrual of Alpha scheme benefits. If your added years contributions stop before your added years contract cessation date, you will be credited with the appropriate proportion of added years.
If your added pension contract was set up on an ongoing basis (i.e. no end date), you will continue purchasing added pension for your 'pre Alpha' scheme and the added pension purchased will retain its current pension age. Any new added pension contract set up after pension reform, will purchase Alpha added pension.
If you are in the RCPS and had less than 10 years to your scheme pension age (60 for Classic, Premium and Classic Plus, and 65 for Nuvos) as at 1 April 2012 you will be protected from moving into a reformed scheme; you will remain in your existing scheme.
Most other members are eligible to move to Alpha. To see exactly when you might be enrolled in Alpha view the enrolment tables on the Civil Service pensions website
NPA in Alpha is the same as your State Pension age. If the State Pension Age changes so will your Alpha pension age.
The new pension scheme - Alpha - external link - contains information that was provided to Civil Service scheme members between February 2014 and April 2015 to help them understand how the introduction of Alpha would affect them.
If any RCPS members are already beyond scheme pension age, they will remain in their current section.
Partnership members are able to remain in the Partnership section while the RCPS continues as a by analogy scheme. Following the transfer of the RCPS to MyCSP anyone with a Partnership pension account will be offered the option of moving to their new fund provider. The Civil Service pensions - external link - page provides more information.
Please note that there are no changes for Partnership members while the RCPS continues.
The changes are part of the Government's wider changes to public service pensions to ensure that the costs of providing pensions are fairer for the public purse by increasing the amount members pay towards the cost of pension and reducing the number of pension administrators. These changes stem from Lord Hutton's review of public service pensions in 2011.
The RCPS is 'by analogy' to the Civil Service Pension scheme (PCSPS) which means that it mirrors the rules of the current PCSPS. Alpha is a completely separate scheme to the PCSPS, which means that the RCPS cannot run by analogy to it.
The Public Services Act 2013 doesn't automatically permit by-analogy schemes to continue past 01 April 2015 and Government policy requires schemes to join the one they are by analogy to. The RCPS has permission to remain open until 01 April 2019.
Civil Service pensions are usually paid monthly in arrears, directly to your nominated bank account. There may be changes to dates once MyCSP takes over administration and MyCSP would tell pensioners about any changes in advance.
Added Pension in Alpha works in the same way as Nuvos and has different actuarial factors. Members can purchase Added Pension by lump sum or monthly contributions. The age at which the Added Pension can be paid will be linked to the Alpha NPA and the overall Added Pension limit may be different in Alpha.
This is currently, £6,500.
Once the RCPS has transferred over to the Civil Service arrangements MyCSP will send members the Annual Benefit Statements; JSS would expect statements to show the various elements of a members pension benefit accrual.
The member will re-join the scheme they would have been eligible to join, had they not opted out as long as they opt back in 5 years or less after their original decision.
No MyCSP will exercise discretion and will not apply the abatement rules in this circumstance.
If the pension is brought into pay before the RCPS is admitted to the Civil Service pension arrangements, MyCSP will exercise discretion and will not apply the abatement rules.
If the pension is brought into pay after the RCPS is admitted to the Civil Service pension arrangements, abatement rules will be applied.
Abatement rules will be applied.
Any transfer to the RCPS which is completed prior to the date that scheme membership changes to alpha, will retain the pension age of current RCPS membership (65 for Nuvos or 60 for the final salary schemes). The scheme pension age for any pension accrued in alpha will be a members state pension age. All benefits accrued prior to joining alpha (including any transferred in pension) can still be accessed at the old scheme pension age - however, if a member is still accruing benefits in the Alpha scheme, they would have to partially retire and the pension may be subject toabatement (PDF, 154KB) - opens in new window -
Any aggregation or linking of RCPS benefits, which is completed prior to the date that scheme membership changes to alpha, will retain the pension age of current RCPS membership - i.e. 65 (Nuvos) or 60 (final salary schemes). The scheme pension age for any pension accrued in alpha will be a members state pension age. All benefits accrued prior to joining alpha (including any aggregated or linked pension) can still be accessed at the old scheme pension age - however, if a member is still accruing benefits in the alpha scheme, they would have to partially retire and the pension may be subject to abatement (PDF, 154KB) - opens in new window -
If the aggregation or linking option is NOT taken up, the earlier RCPS preserved benefits can be accessed at the old scheme pension age - with no requirement to partially retire, but abatement may still be applicable.
Pre Alpha pension can still be paid, without any actuarial reduction at the current scheme pension age (Classic, Premium, Classis Plus - 60, and Nuvos - 65).
However, if you are still accruing Alpha pension, partial retirement would have to be taken in order to access the non-Alpha pension benefits.
Information about partial retirement is available via the Scheme Guides page.
Tapering (also called Tapered Enrolment) that is in place for PCSPS members would equally apply to RCPS members providing they were in the RCPS and between 10-13.5 years till normal pension age at 1 Apr 2012.
If a member has passed their tapered enrolment date at the time of transfer (expected Apr 19) they would not have their enrolment to Alpha backdated.
Tapering is a scheme design belonging to the Civil Service pension schemes and therefore it isn't possible to introduce alternative tapering dates for any members moving from the RCPS to the Civil Service pension arrangements.
Tapered enrolment dates can be found on the Civil Service Pensions webpage- external link -.
© JSS 2018
Last updated: 7 Aug 2018