When you reach your State Pension age, you may be entitled to some pension benefits from the Government. Your State Pension age depends on whether you’re a man or a woman, and when you were born. The Government is gradually making the State Pension age for men and women the same. They’re also gradually increasing the State Pension age for everyone over many years. You can check your State Pension age using the Government’s calculator. If you’re eligible, you should get an invitation to claim within four months of your State Pension age. If you’re eligible but your invitation doesn’t arrive, call the Pensions Service on 0800 731 7898 or visit their website to claim online. The State Pension rules do change from time to time – so, check the Government’s website to see what you can expect to receive.
After your pension comes into payment it may increase each year based on inflation. We’ll send you a letter to tell you if you are eligible and how much you will get. We will pay your increase to you automatically on the next payment date after you get this letter. The payment may include a small amount of arrears if the payment date is after the date the increase comes into effect. This will be shown separately on your payslip as ‘Pension Adjust’. If your total yearly pension isn’t eligible for annual increases, unless your tax code changes, we will continue to pay the same amount into your bank account every month.
Your options depend on whether you are in a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution pension scheme. You may also have Additional Voluntary Contributions.
In a Defined Benefit scheme, your pension at retirement will be defined by the rules of your scheme. We will send you a retirement quotation six months prior to the Normal Retirement Age, as defined by the rules of your scheme.
With Defined Contribution schemes and Additional Voluntary Contributions, you will typically be able to take up to 25% of your retirement fund as a tax-free lump sum. There are various options as to what to do with the rest of your retirement fund. The two key alternatives are that you could buy an annuity that pays you a regular income for the rest of your life, or you could transfer the fund to another approved vehicle and draw down on the fund over time. You can receive independent advice from The Pensions Advisory Service HERE. You can find an independent financial advisor by visiting the Money Advice Service HERE. You can also find details of your nearest Independent Financial Adviser at www.unbiased.co.uk.
If you are still employed by the company who sponsors your scheme and the scheme is still active, you will be receiving an annual Benefit Statement with a forecast of your pension.
If you have left the company who sponsors your pension, or the scheme is now closed, you would have received a Deferred benefit statement when you left, with an estimate of your projected pension.
Either way, you will receive a Retirement Quotation, six months prior to your Normal Retirement Age, as defined within the rules of your scheme, as long as the address we have for you on file is accurate.
Some of our Clients have access to a website that allows their members to run their own retirement calculations. We would have sent you information about this and your login details. If so, click HERE to go to the ‘My Pension Tracker’ website.
Alternatively, you can request a retirement quotation, based on the date that you want to retire. The number of free quotations you can request, may be limited by the Trustees of your scheme. You can request your Retirement Quotation HERE.
We would also suggest that you keep your Expression of Wish form updated. You can download a form HERE.
When you die, your dependants may be eligible for a lump sum and a pension. These are for widows or widowers, and civil partners – or, if you’re not married or in a civil partnership, someone who was financially dependent on you. Pensions can also sometimes be paid to your children, usually until they turn 18 or, if they are in full-time education or training, up to the age of 23.