UKAEA Pensions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join the scheme?

The Combined Pension Scheme of the UK Atomic Energy Authority is open to employees of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, National Nuclear Laboratories, International Nuclear Services, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.  Some employees of the Ministry of Defence, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, E.P.S.R.C adn P.P.A.R.C also belong to the Principal Non-Industrial Scheme.

If I join the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension scheme, how much do I contribute?

Click here to access details about contributions to the scheme

How much does my employer contribute?

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.

If I choose not to have a United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension, will my employer give me more salary instead?


Can I increase my pension contributions?

You can pay additional contributions to purchase Added Years of service in the Combined Pension Scheme or you can contribute to the Group Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme with the Prudential Assurance Company.

What are the main benefits available from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension scheme?

Click here to access details about benefits

What will my wife/husband/civil partner receive in the event of my death?

This will depend on your circumstances and whether or not you are still a contributing member of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension scheme. For details of death benefit please either:-

How long does a transfer in of benefits from a previous pension provider take?

The length of time for a transfer varies depending on the type of scheme and the time taken by the administrators of the previous pension arrangement to provide information to the Authority scheme administrator.

The important point to remember is that the process can take some time and there are time limits to bringing benefits into the scheme.  Don't delay in requesting the information to start the process. 

Why is my deferred award not added to my current period of service on my benefits statement?

At the time your deferred pension is due to be paid or at the end of your re-employment, whichever is earlier, you will have the choice of either aggregating the two periods of service or retaining two separate awards. In most cases aggregating the award will be more favourable as most members will have increased pensionable final earnings since they were awarded deferred benefits. However, in exceptional cases, the pensionable final earnings used to calculate the preserved award may be higher than the pension award at retirement.

How does part-time work effect my pension benefits?

Your scheme benefits will reflect the actual hours you have worked. For calculating retirement benefits for periods of part-time working the full time equivalent salary is used in calculating the pensionable final earnings. The service is prorated as a fraction of the normal contractual hours worked by an equivalent full time member. For example if you worked part-time for 20 hours each week and the full time contractual hours for someone in the same grade were 37 hours per week, the calculation would be based on 20 hours divided by 37 hours. If you joined the scheme at age 35 and retired at age 60, having been in the pension scheme for 25 years working part-time, your reckonable service at retirement would be 13 years 187 days (25 x 20/37 = 13 years 187 days service).

For members who work part-time hours, the death in service lump sum benefit is calculated using the highest twelve months actual pensionable earnings during the last three years of service rather than the full time equivalent pensionable final earnings.

I am about to get divorced, how does this effect my pension?

If you would like further information about the affect of divorce on pensions, please click here.

Can I work beyond my scheme retirement age?

You may continue to work beyond age 60, but your scheme pension benefits will not begin to be paid until you retire and leave employment.  You will need to give your employer at least 3 months' notice of your intention to retire and draw your Authority Scheme pension.  Your employer will guide you with what needs to be done once you have decided to retire.

Can I still contribute to the Scheme even if I have resigned from employment?

No, it is not possible to continue to contribute to the Scheme once your employment with an employer who participates in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension scheme has ceased.

Can I get information on the current value of my deferred benefits?

As a deferred pensioner you may request details of your deferred benefits from the scheme administrator in writing or by email.  The administrators will respond to your request in writing so please include your latest contact details.

Can I get early access to my deferred benefits?

Deferred benefits are payable on reaching scheme retirement age or they may be paid early under Actuarial Reduction. They may however be paid earlier but only in cases of ill health and exceptionally on compassionate grounds for members over age 50.

What if I received a return of my United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension contribution in respect of service prior to 1978 and I have a GPF 253 certificate from either Yorkshire General or the General Accident insurance company?

Click here for further information about return of contributions prior to April 1978 (Yorkshire General/General Accident)

I have received a forecast from the DWP regarding my State pension and I do not understand the additional pension related to contracted out earnings, which they indicate should be paid by you.

Since April 1978 the state retirement pension has been made up of two parts:

  • the basic pension and, for some individuals
  • the Second State Pension (S2P)

The basic pension is based on the individual’s National Insurance contribution record and is paid by the Department of Work and Pensions (formerly the DSS). The Second State Pension is based on an individual’s earnings.

An occupational pension scheme can contract its membership out of the Second State Pension. Members who are contracted-out of the Second State Pension pay lower National Insurance contributions.

Contracted-out schemes like the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension schemes must provide each member with a minimum level of occupational pension. This minimum level of pension which the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension schemes are liable to provide for pensionable service before 6 April 1997 is called the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP).

The GMP is paid as part of the pension benefit in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension schemes not as a separate benefit.

When will my pension be paid into the bank?

The pension is normally paid to your account on the last working day of the month, except during December, when payment will be made earlier.

Can I give you Bank details/change of address over the phone?

No, it is an audit requirement that this information must be given in writing. Click here to obtain a Notification of change of address/bank or building society form

Can you pay my pension abroad?

If you live abroad your pension payments can be paid directly to banks overseas using the Worldlink Payment Service. This payment method eliminates the need to pay through intermediate bank branches in the United Kingdom thus reducing any incurring bank charges.

Please contact the Pensions Administration Office, Thurso for a leaflet regarding
this payment system.

To claim UK tax exemption you should write to the following address:-

Financial Intermediaries and Claims Office
Fitz Roy House
PO Box 46

Telephone number: 0115 974 2127

My tax code has changed, why are you not using my new code?

If you have any queries regarding the tax on your United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension, you should contact the HM Revenue and Customs office at the following address quoting the reference number 961/930210X and your own personal National Insurance number:-

HM Inspector of Taxes
Centre 1
East Kilbride, Glasgow G79 1AA
Telephone number: 
0300 200 3300

The pension scheme administrators must deduct tax from your pension in accordance with the tax code supplied by HM Inspector of Taxes.

Why have I not received a pay advice slip?

A payslip will be sent when your pension is first paid. Thereafter a payslip will normally only be sent to you when there is a change in your net pay of more than £1 except in April and May of each year when you will receive a payslip detailing the amount of the pensions increase.

Why have I not yet received my P60?

You will also receive a P.60 certificate for tax purposes normally towards the end of May each year.

How much will my pension increase by this year?

All pensions payable from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension schemes keep pace with inflation. Presently increases are applied annually in April in line with the rise in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

For details of this year’s increase, please click here.

How much will my pension reduce by when I reach state pension age?

For details of Modification of Pensions.

Why have I not received the full pensions increase?

If your pension from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme started during the year prior to the increase, your pension will be increased by one twelfth of the percentage increase for each completed month in the period between the start date of the pension and the date of the increase.

Depending on when your pensionable service occurred, the pension increase may be partly paid for by the Department of Work and Pensions (formerly the DSS) and partly by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme. If your pension is based wholly or partly on service between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997, then your United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme pension may include a guaranteed minimum amount to cover this period when the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme was contracted out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS). This amount is called the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP), and for public service scheme pensions such as those under the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme the pension increases on GMPs earned up to and including 5 April 1988, will be paid by the Department of Work and Pensions. However, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension scheme is required to increase any GMPs earned from 6 April 1988 until 5 April 1997 (when GMPs ceased to accrue) by the lower of inflation or 3 per cent. Pension Increases above 3 per cent will normally be paid by the Department of Work and Pensions. Pension increases paid by the Department of Work and Pensions on the guaranteed minimum pension are paid with your State Retirement Pension, State widow’s, widower’s, or invalidity pension and not with your United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme pension. Any pensions increase due on the balance of your United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension will be paid by the Pensions Administration Office, Thurso. The total amount of pension increases will add up to the total percentage increase, but may be paid from two different sources, the Department of Work and Pensions and PAO Thurso.