UKAEA Pensions

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Your contributions

As a member of the Combined Pension Scheme you would pay contributions at the rate of 8.2% (10.7% for members of the Principal Non-Industrial Superannuation Scheme) of your pensionable pay if the pensionable pay is £21,000 or more. If your pensionable earnings are between £15,000 and £20,999 your contribution would be 6.5% of pensionable pay. If your pensionable pay is less than 15,000 you would pay 5% of pensionable pay. Contribution rates are determined by the member's full time equivalent rate of pensionable pay.

Members working part time pay contributions on their actual pensionable earnings.  Benefits are calculated on the full time equivalent pensionable pay with an appropriate adjustment to reckonable service. 

Your contributions to the the pension scheme qualify for tax relief . See below for details of the tax position.

The Combined Pension Scheme of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority was formed on 1 July 1997 by merging the Principal Non-Industrial Superannuation Scheme (PNISS) and the Industrial Superannuation Scheme (ISS) for members employed by United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, British Nuclear Fuels plc and some employees of the Health Protection Agency, who were formerly employed by the National Radiological Protection Board. With effect from 1 April 2005 membership of the scheme extended to employees of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority.

The Earnings “Cap”

The Finance Act 1989 introduced an earnings cap for pension contributions and benefits.

If you joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension schemes on or after 1 June 1989 or choose to be considered as though you had joined after this date, your contributions and benefits would be based on earnings which are not more than the maximum level of earnings set by the government each year. Any earnings in excess of the “earnings cap” are ignored for the pension purposes. For the 2018/19 tax year, "the earnings cap" is set at £160,800.

Does your employer pay anything?

Your basic Scheme contribution rate does not normally vary, but your employer is required to make contributions at whatever rate is needed to meet the cost of providing your benefits.

The Tax Position
Tax Relief on Benefits and Contributions

Tax relief is available on the following:

  • The pension lump sum payable at normal retirement
  • Death Benefit lump sums
  • Member’s contributions, to either the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority final salary schemes or the AVC Scheme or Shift Pay Pension Plan, within HM Revenue and Customs limits
  • Pensions are treated as income and taxed under the PAYE system
National Insurance Contributions - Contracting-out Arrangements

Prior to 6 April 2016 the Scheme is contracted-out of the Second State Pension (S2P), and as a result members paid lower national insurance contributions. 

With effect from 6th April 2016, with the introduction of a Single Tier State Pension, the contracting out arrangements will cease and as a result the rebate on Contracted-Out contributions of 1.4% for employees and 3.4% for employers will cease.