What is Added Pension?
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 are a member of alpha, you will 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.
If you were a member of Classic, Classic Plus, Premium or Nuvos and are due to transition into alpha on 1 April 2022, and you want to buy Added Pension in alpha, you can only do so once you become an active alpha member. Therefore you will need to apply in April 2022 and your application will be backdated to 1 April 2022. Please note you can purchase alpha Added Pension by lump sum during 2022/23.
You can buy Added Pension if you are 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 have 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. Please see our Limits and deadlines page for more information.
However, buying EPA does not affect the amount of additional voluntary contributions you can make to the Northern Ireland Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme (NICSAVCS).
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.
There is no maximum monthly contribution limit. You can choose to pay 100% of your salary after the standard pension contributions and National Insurance (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 will 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 will 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 continue to buy Added Pension in Classic, Classic Plus or Premium after 1 April 2022, you can cancel your payments at any time by providing notice in writing. If you continue to buy Added Pension in Nuvos or alpha, your contributions must be paid for the full scheme year and cannot be ceased before 31 March.
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.
Buying Added Pension by a one-off, lump sum payment
You can only buy Added Pension by lump sum payment if you have been in the Civil Service pension scheme for 12 months or more.
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.
You can make a lump sum contribution either via salary, cheque or by bank transfer. (Details are on the application form).
Buy Added Pension
You must send a completed application form (and cheque if you are buying by lump sum and choose that method of payment) to Civil Service Pensions (Northern Ireland) [CSP(NI)] before the deadline.
Please read the notes at the top of the form as there is an option to complete and submit the forms electronically.
Please also read the Declaration section on the form carefully before submitting your application.
The maximum lump sum contribution you can make by salary is one month’s salary after the standard pension and NI.
Your lump sum payments are non-refundable.
See our Limits and deadlines page for more information.
Please read our frequently asked questions to help you decide if buying Added Pension is right for you.
Further information on Added Pension in Classic, Classic Plus, Premium or Nuvos can be found in this Added Pension booklet. You should read section 2B of the alpha scheme guide for information on purchasing alpha added pension.