The simplest way to begin the process is by logging on to our online Member Self Service (MSS) portal. There you can check and update your personal details and produce an estimate of the benefits payable.
If you have not yet registered for Member Self-Service, please visit our registration page. Additional information, including guidance on how to complete your registration, can be found on our Member Self Service page.
If you have any difficulties with MSS please contact us via the MSS portal or through our website contact us form.
When can I take my benefits?
Providing you are no longer employed in the role, the total benefits become payable at the date quoted on your record, which is the earliest date you can retire with no reduction to your benefits. This is also confirmed on your personal benefit statements each year under ‘Normal Pension Age/Date’.
It may be possible for you to draw your benefits earlier than the date shown, but they would be reduced for early payment. If you wish to consider taking your pension benefits from age 55 onwards, but prior to your Normal Pension Age, you will be able to obtain these estimated figures showing any reductions applied to your pension benefits via the MSS portal too. You can then decide whether you wish to proceed with your request, and if so, follow the online instructions accordingly. If you are happy to proceed you will need to press the “Begin Payment Request” button.
What happens next?
We follow statutory guidelines which state that we are required to contact scheme members with information about their pension benefits as below, although we aim to contact you as soon as possible:
- if the benefit becomes payable on or after normal pension age – before the benefit becomes payable if practicable and, in any event, within one month after the benefit becomes payable, or
- if you choose to take the pension benefits earlier with a reduction on a date before normal pension age, within 2 months of the date you have requested they become payable.
We will calculate and forward details of the benefits due to you along with the following forms for you to fill in and return to us:
- Marital Status.
- Bank or Building Society Details – for your pension and lump sum.
- Lifetime Allowance – for HM Revenue & Customs to ensure your benefits don’t exceed the maximum allowed.
- Conversion Form – you can convert some of your pension to a lump sum or, if you have a pre-April 2008 membership, a bigger lump sum than the standard benefits provide. Lump sums are paid tax free.
- Option on Pension – only included if your pension is reduced for early retirement.
When will I receive payment?
When we receive your completed pension forms, payment of any lump sum due (excluding trivial commutation) will be arranged by BACS direct to your nominated bank/building society account within 10 working days. Please note BACS payments can take 3 to 5 working days to show in your account.
Payment of your pension will be made on the last working day of each month. The first month’s payment will include any arrears due to you or adjustments for part of the month. We will provide you with a letter detailing the breakdown of payments.
After the first pension payment you will only receive a pay advice when your net monthly pension differs by more than £1 from the previous month’s amount. However, you will always receive a pay advice and P60 each April.
It is possible to pay your pension in to most overseas bank accounts. Please contact the pensioner payroll team for more details and to request the appropriate form.
Cost of living increase (Pensions Increase – PI)
Each April your pension will increase in line with any cost of living increases that have accrued, and you will be notified of the relevant increase by the end of April.