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Being able to live comfortably in retirement depends largely on the amount a person manages to save during their working life. This section is dedicated to retirement, including a guide on how to claim your CPS pension and information for anyone who is in receipt of a pension, or is thinking of retiring.


How do I claim my pension?

Whether you are still employed by the University or have already left, claiming your CPS pension is straightforward. Simply:


  • Formally notify the Pensions Office in writing of your intention to retire, no less than three months away from your intended retirement date
  • The Pensions Office will send you a statement of your benefits, together with the relevant forms to complete to claim the pension
  • Return the forms stating which pension / lump-sum combination you wish to take, together with your bank account details.  Your pension and lump-sum (if chosen) will then be paid from your retirement date


Tax Penalties

If you have several pensions coming into payment at the same time, it will be worth making sure that you do not breach the pensions Lifetime Allowance (LTA) - a Government-imposed restriction on the amount of pension income a person can have without imposing a large tax penalty. Most members of the CPS only use up a small percentage of their individual Lifetime Allowance, and the exact amount used by your CPS benefits is shown on your retirement statement as per step 2 of “How do I claim my pension?”



Members of the Final Salary (later CRB) section who took out Money-Purchase AVC policies with the Cambridge Building Society will be able to exercise a choice of what happens with the fund value at retirement. Full details will be provided with your retirement statement.

Any additional membership purchased by an Added-Years AVC (available for Final Salary members only) will be shown on your retirement statement.

Members of the Hybrid arrangement who paid AVCs will need to contact Capita directly, as this only affects your pension with the Cambridge University Assistants Defined Contribution Pension Scheme.


Working after Retirement

With effect from 1 October 2019 a flexible retirement arrangement is available for members of the CPS.  Under the arrangement members of the CPS who have reached Minimum Pension Age, currently age 55, are able to draw their full pension from the CPS whilst remaining in employment.  There is more information about this at (link to HR Policy) and at


Death in Retirement

The CPS offers generous terms for surviving spouses / registered partners / dependants of scheme members. Survivor benefits vary depending on in which section of the scheme the member belong, however the spouses’ / surviving partner’s pension will be at least half of the member’s original pension. Child pensions are also payable for eligible children of deceased members, and a tax-free Funeral Grant payment of £2,500.00 is paid to the deceased member’s next-of-kin.

For full information of the death benefits for specific sections of the scheme, please read the relevant section of the various scheme guides, available here.

To report the death of a scheme member, please telephone the Pensions Office on: (01223) 332214.