Annual Benefit Statement FAQs
Our most commonly asked questions on the Annual Benefit Statement.
No. If you have exceeded your annual allowance for pension tax-relief, you will receive a separate letter from us explaining what to do next.
If a marriage or civil partnership occurs after retirement, the ‘survivor benefits’ are sometimes restricted by the period of membership.
If you die as an active member of the scheme, a ‘survivor pension’ is payable to any eligible family members, such as a husband, wife or partner or child. We also pay a ‘death grant’, which is a tax-free lump sum that is worked out as a multiple of your salary.
Ultimately, this depends on why you are absent. If it is due to sickness, injury or standard child-related leave (maternity, paternity etc.), you may be entitled to Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP). This means your pension will continue to build up in your absence, based on your average pay in the three months prior to your leave.
If you take unpaid leave for any other reasons (for example, additional unpaid maternity), you may not be able to accrue any pension during your time off. In this case, it’s always worth speaking with your employer, who will be able to confirm how much you would lose and whether there’s an option to buy your lost pension back.
Don’t worry, if you leave your pension scheme, you won’t lose out on your pension. It’s usually just a case of deciding whether you defer the benefits until your retirement or transfer them to a different scheme. When you leave, you’ll receive a letter which tells you the value of your fund and explains your options.
If you are paying additional contributions into your pension, these are automatically included in your annual benefits statement. Unfortunately, the values aren’t listed separately, so you won’t be able to see the difference they are making to your projected benefits.
The simple answer is yes. But if you want to top up your pension fund there are different ways of doing it, which will depend on the scheme of which you are a member.
The best solution will depend on your personal priorities. So, before making any decisions, it’s always worth speaking to an independent financial adviser or pensions adviser.
If you have stopped paying into your scheme, but not yet taken your pension, you have what’s known as a deferred pension. This means that your scheme is put on hold until you’re ready to retire.
If you’re lucky enough (or maybe unlucky enough) to have more than one job within your organisation, you will receive a separate benefits statement for each of your roles. Likewise, if you have a second pension with a different employer, you should receive a separate benefits statement.
A CARE pension (Career Average Revalued Earnings pension) is a new type of pension scheme that was set up in 2014 (2015 for Police schemes). It allocates a percentage of your annual salary to your pension fund each year and works out your retirement income based on the sum total of these contributions.
You need to have been a member of your pension scheme for at least 2 years (or a minimum of three months for Fire Service pension schemes), before you qualify for benefits (unless you have transferred from another scheme).
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