Office for Nuclear Regulation


We are a participating employer of the Civil Service Pension scheme; this means that we can offer you a competitive occupational pension scheme with numerous benefits as a key part of our reward package on offer to you.

As a new entrant, you will have the choice to enter either a:

Defined benefit pension scheme, ALPHA

A career average pension scheme, which means that your final pension is based on a percentage of your pensionable earnings from each year of active membership.

Partnership pension scheme

A defined contribution (money purchase) arrangement. This is a stakeholder pension where employer and employee contributions are put into an individual pension fund which belongs to you and over the years this fund builds up. When you come to retire, you can use your fund to buy a pension from a pension provider or take up to your full fund as a lump sum payment. Our current partnership provder is Legal and General.

Below is a summary of the key benefits that you can take advantage of by being a member of either of the schemes.

Alpha and Partnership contributions and benefits




What kind of scheme is it?

Defined benefit scheme.

Offers a pension income based on your earnings over your career and your years of membership in the scheme.

Defined contribution scheme.

A type of pension where benefits are dependent on contributions and the growth of the pension fund.

How much will I pay?   You do not have to pay anything. You can pay as much as you like up to 100% of your pensionable earnings. Your employer will match your contributions, up to 3%.
How much will my employer pay?

Your employer will make a contribution as a percentage of your pensionable earnings.

Will I get tax relief on my contributions? You get tax relief on contributions, subject to HM Revenue & Customs rules.
How does my pension build up? You build up alpha pension at a rate of 2.32% of your pensionable pay each year. Contributions are invested in a fund of your choice by your partnership pension provider.

Alpha benefits

Partnership benefits

Retirement pension This will be made up of the 2.32% of your pensionable earnings each year, adjusted in line with prices. Contributions are invested to build up a pension pot that can be used to fund your retirement.
Lump sum You can choose to exchange 25% of the total value of your pension benefits for a tax-free lump sum, subject to limits set by HM Revenue & Customs. You can choose to exchange some, or all of your pension pot for a lump sum, subject to limits set by HM Revenue & Customs.
When can I take my pension? In alpha, you have a Normal Pension Age (NPA), which is the same as your State Pension age. You can take your pension before your NPA, although your benefits will be reduced to take account of early payment. The minimum pension age in alpha is age 55.

You can take your pension at any time from age 55.

You don’t have to retire to take your pension.
Ill-health benefits

You can apply for ill-health retirement.

If the Scheme Medical Adviser confirms your health will permanently prevent you from being able to do your current job, you can have your alpha pension paid early. Your pension can be increased if you are unlikely to be able to return to any sort of employment.

You can apply for an ill-health payment.

If the Scheme Medical Adviser confirms your health will permanently prevent you from being able to do your current job, you could receive a lump sum when you leave.

You can draw your pension before age 55 if you retire because of ill-health.
What benefits are there for my family?

If you pass away with at least one year’s service, alpha provides pensions for your spouse, civil partner, or nominated partner and any dependent children.

If you pass away in service, alpha also provides a lump sum that can be paid to people or an organisation that you nominate.

If you pass away before you take your pension, your provider will pay the value of your pension to the named person on the pension application form.

If you pass away in service, a lump sum can be paid to people or organisations that you nominate.

On retirement, you can choose whether or not to provide a pension for your dependants as well as for yourself.