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What choices do rejoiners have?

4.1.11 Rejoiners may have different choices. These will depend on:

  • the length of break since they were last employed by a CSP employer,
  • the reason they left, and
  • whether or not they are receiving their pension.

4.1.12 The general position is as follows. There are exceptions to new entrants and rejoiners but we will tell you about these later (see table 1 ‘Exceptions to new entrants and rejoiners’ and ‘Other things you need to know – Rejoiner matters’ (paragraph 4.1.53 onwards)).

Members eligibility for alpha

After 1 April 2015 most new entrants and rejoiners will be entered into alpha when they start.
However, some members will be eligible to join (or rejoin) the PCSPS, so a series of checks must be completed.
See ‘Scheme Eligibility - Public service pension scheme history’ and ‘Scheme Eligibility – The Presence Test’ (paragraphs 4.1.73 to 4.1.83) for more information.

There is also more information available about eligibility and enrolling members into alpha here.

Please note: You must use the Pension Questionnaire and the Joiner Tool. Both of these are essential tools to help you deliver the correct choice of pension(s) to staff and, because of this, the Scheme Manager, Cabinet Office is making it mandatory for all employers who participate in the CSP arrangements to use them. See ‘Helping you decide pension choices for new entrants and rejoiners’ (paragraphs 4.1.18 to 4.1.24) for further information.

No more than 28 days’ break between CSP employments

4.1.13 Rejoiners who have not taken their pension or received compensation and who have had a break in CSP employment of 28 days or less will usually return to the scheme they were in with their previous CSP employer. However, if the rejoiner was previously a member of the PCSPS the member will be enrolled into alpha if:

  • they qualify for tapered enrolment; and
  • in the break between their CSP employments their tapered enrolment date has passed.

Please see ‘Scheme Eligibility – Public service pension scheme history’ and ‘Scheme Eligibility – The Presence Test’ (paragraphs 4.1.73 to 4.1.83) for further information regarding tapered enrolment.

Members who have received compensation on leaving will have their compensation cancelled on rejoining and their service will be classed as continuous. The member must pay back the full amount of compensation. See ‘Other things you need to know – Rejoiner matters’ (paragraph 4.1.53 onwards) for further information.

More than 28 days and under 6 months’ break between CSP employments

4.1.14 Most rejoiners who return after a break of 28 days or more but less than 6 months will be eligible to join either alpha or partnership.

If, however, a rejoiner had previously qualified for full protection or tapered enrolment in the PCSPS (and has not yet passed their tapered enrolment date) and returns after a break of 28 days or more but less than 6 months, they will usually be eligible to join either nuvos or partnership (see ‘Scheme Eligibility - Public service pension scheme history’ and ‘Scheme Eligibility – The Presence Test’ (paragraphs 4.1.73 to 4.1.83) for further information regarding full protection/tapered enrolment).

However, those who resigned from their previous CSP employment or came to an end of a fixed term appointment, having qualified for a classic, classic plus or premium pension, and who are not yet receiving their pension, will have a choice of premium or partnership. They will not be able to join nuvos.

If a member becomes eligible for alpha (i.e. their tapered enrolment date has passed), they will be moved into that scheme.

4.1.15 Members rejoining during this period who left with a compensation payment will have to repay the lesser of (a) 6 months' worth of compensation, and (b) the notional period of their compensation (see ‘Compensation payments’ (paragraphs 4.1.61 to 4.1.64) for further information). If their pension is in payment, abatement may apply (see ‘Abatement’ (paragraph 4.1.53)).

Breaks between CSP employments of more than 6 months but less than 5 years

4.1.16 Most rejoiners who return after a break of 6 months but within 5 years will be eligible to join either alpha or partnership.

If, however, a rejoiner had previously qualified for full protection or tapered enrolment in the PCSPS (and has not yet passed their tapered enrolment date) and returns after a break of 6 months or more but less than 5 years, they will usually be eligible to join either nuvos or partnership (see ‘Scheme Eligibility - Public service pension scheme history’ and ‘Scheme Eligibility – The Presence Test’ (paragraphs 4.1.73 to 4.1.83) for further information regarding full protection/tapered enrolment).

However, those who resigned from their previous CSP employment or whose fixed term appointment came to an end, having qualified for a classic, classic plus or premium pension, and who are not yet receiving their pension, will have a choice of premium or partnership. They will not be able to join nuvos.

If a member becomes eligible for alpha (i.e. their tapered enrolment date has passed), they will be moved into that scheme.

Breaks between CSP employments of 5 years or more

4.1.17 This group of rejoiners will usually have the option to join either alpha or partnership. In effect, you treat them as if they were new entrants. However, if a rejoiner has service in a previous public service pension scheme, this can affect the choices available to them (see ‘Scheme Eligibility - Public service pension scheme history’ and ‘Scheme Eligibility – The Presence Test’ (paragraphs 4.1.73 to 4.1.83) for further information).

Annex 4A gives a summary of the choice(s) of scheme(s) available for rejoiners. As the choices for rejoiners are not straightforward, we have developed the ‘Pensions Questionnaire' and 'Joiner Calculator’ to help you identify the correct choices. We tell you more about this in paragraph 4.1.18 onwards.

Using the Pension Questionnaire and Joiner Tool will help you to identify the scheme your new member of staff is eligible for.

This will involve you collecting information from your new employee about their public service pension scheme history, as this can affect their scheme eligibility.

 

 

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