Sunset And Single Rock


On retirement at age 65

Shortly before your 65th birthday the Pensions Office will contact you about your pension.

To calculate your retirement pension, your Basis 1 and Basis 3 deferred pensions will be increased to your 65th birthday.

Your pension will be the highest of the Basis 1, Basis 2 or Basis 3 figures.

If you wish, you may give up part of your pension to receive a lump sum payment which is currently tax-free. Please see "Cash sum instead of pension" below for further details.

On retirement before age 65

Under current legislation if you retire between ages 55 and 65 you may, subject to Trustee discretion, qualify for an immediate pension.

To calculate your retirement pension, your Basis 1, Basis 2 and Basis 3 deferred pensions will be increased (except Basis 2) to your chosen date of retirement then these amounts will be reduced to allow for the longer period for which your pension is expected to be paid.

Your early retirement pension will be the highest of the reduced Basis 1, Basis 2 or Basis 3 figures.

Reduction rates for early retirement pensions are determined by the Trustee, after consulting the actuary, and with the agreement of the Company. Rates are provided on request.

If you are over age 55, a quotation of your options can be obtained from the Pensions Office (see contact details).

Cash sum instead of pension

Since 6 April 2006, when you take your retirement benefits, you have been able to receive approximately 25% of the capital value of your pension, including AVCs, as a tax-free lump sum from the Plan.

If you have AVCs the rules allow you to take cash from your AVC fund up to this limit before using them to purchase additional pension benefits i.e. an annuity.

The reduction in your pension, if you decide to take a tax-free lump sum and it is not taken wholly from your AVC fund, depends on conversion rates in force when you retire.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Additional information about AVCs can be found in the AVC section of the website

Benefits arising from AVCs depend on the performance of the fund in which they are invested.

They are payable in addition to your Plan pension.

At any time prior to your taking your Plan pension, your AVCs may be transferred to an alternative arrangement separate from your Plan benefits.

When you retire your AVCs can be used as follows:

  • To increase your tax-free cash sum. Please see above for further details.
  • To purchase an annuity with an insurer to provide additional pension benefits

In 2014 HM Government introduced legislation to enable the payment of taxable lump sums or flexible withdrawals from money purchase arrangements. While AVCs are money purchase arrangements, the Plan Rules do not allow this so if you wish to do either of these things you will need to transfer your AVCs to an alternative arrangement.

Balancing your income in retirement

If you chose to take your pension from the Plan before you reach the date when your State Pension becomes payable, your income in retirement will be lower up to the date when your State Pension becomes payable then increase by the amount of your State Pension for the rest of your life.

There is a facility within the Plan, if you retire for reasons other than ill health, to help smooth your income in retirement by taking extra income up to your State Pension Age with a reduction thereafter.

If your State Pension Age is currently 65 then your Plan pension would decrease when you reach 65 as your State Pension becomes payable thus giving you a more consistent level of income, from all sources, during your retirement.

Should you choose this option; any surviving spouse’s pension payable in the event of your death would be unaffected.

Please contact the Pensions Office if you require further details of the early retirement options available (see contact details).

Transfer to an alternative pension arrangement

As an alternative to your deferred pension, you may ask the Trustee to transfer a cash equivalent to another employer’s approved pension scheme or to a personal pension arrangement at any point before you put your pension into payment. The cash equivalent represents the expected cost, taking account of likely future pension increases and investment yields, of providing your deferred benefits in the Plan, together with the value of your AVC benefits.

The cash equivalent available will not be less than the sum of your Plan contributions plus credited interest and the value of your AVC funds.

You may obtain a quotation of the cash equivalent, which will be guaranteed for three months, by contacting the Pensions Office (see contact details).

It is possible to transfer only part of your benefit away from the Plan leaving the remainder unaffected. All members should seek independent financial advice before committing to any pension transfer. You should, however, make your financial adviser aware that this facility is available.

If your transfer value is more than £30,000, you must obtain financial advice before transferring to an alternative arrangement.

Ill health

If you are under age 65 and have not started to receive your pension and you retire on the grounds of ill health or disablement such that you are no longer capable of carrying out the duties of your last employment while contributing to the Plan, the Trustee may arrange for your pension to begin on the basis that it will not be subject to the normal reduction for early payment.

Additionally if the Trustee has received evidence from a registered medical practitioner that your life expectancy is less than a year, you may be paid a lump sum in lieu of a pension.

If you think you may qualify for ill health retirement, please contact the Pensions Office in the first instance (see contact details).

On death before retirement before age 65

If you are entitled to a deferred pension and you die before it goes into payment, the following benefits become payable:

  • a lump sum equal to 150% of the total Plan contributions, that you personally contributed, plus credited interest
  • your AVC fund (if any) would be payable as an additional lump sum

Please note there is no surviving spouse’s or dependant’s pension in these circumstances.

On death after retirement

If you die after you have begun to receive your pension, the following additional benefits may be payable:

Pension for surviving spouse:

If you die while receiving a pension under the Plan and leave a surviving spouse to whom you were married when, and have been continually married to since, you retired a pension will be payable for life to your spouse.

The amount of pension (excluding any additional pension purchased – see below) will be one half of your Plan pension (as it would have been had you not taken cash, or adjusted your pension to provide additional spouse’s or dependant’s pension).

Any adjustment chosen by you to apply between retirement date and State Pension Age will also be disregarded for this purpose.

Pension for specified dependant

If you do not have a spouse, you may ask the Trustee to provide a corresponding benefit (50% of the value of your pension as determined by the Plan actuary) to some other specified dependant. Only unmarried members may nominate a specified dependant. A married member will not be able to make a nomination even if he or she is no longer living with his or her spouse on a permanent basis.

It is possible to make a nomination up to six months after the date of your retirement.

Any person nominated must be financially dependent on the member both at the date of the nomination and at death (and must be accepted by the Trustee). However, the definition of financial dependency includes, for example, people who live together where the two are contributing towards shared household expenses (i.e. they are financially interdependent).

Nomination forms may be obtained from or the Pensions Office Nomination forms can be found here.

Additional pension for dependants

You may give up part of your pension to provide a pension for your surviving spouse or other dependant additional to that described above. Application should be made via the Pensions Office shortly before your pension commences, or you attain age 65, whichever is the earlier. Such provision cannot be revoked after your pension commences, even if the nominee dies.

Any spouse’s or dependant’s pension begins on the first day of the month after your death.
If you choose to exchange part or all of your pension increases for a higher non-increasing pension, any surviving spouse or dependant’s pension would be similarly amended.

Five year guarantee

If you die within a period of five years after the commencement of your pension, a cash sum will be calculated equal to the sum of your remaining instalments which would have been paid if you had lived until the end of the five year period.

This benefit is payable in addition to any pensions described above.

On death before retirement after age 65

If you defer payment of your pension beyond your 65th birthday and die during this period of post age 65 deferment, it will be assumed that you had retired immediately before your death and the following benefits would become payable:

  • A lump sum, currently 25% of the value of your pension, payable free of tax (provided this has not already been paid to you)
  • A lump sum equal to five times the annual amount of the remaining pension
  • Any surviving spouse’s or dependant’s pensions.


Courts may take account of pension arrangements when deciding the financial settlements in divorce cases.

If you are asked to provide details you should contact the Pensions Office (see contact details) and ensure you make them aware that you are requesting the details for divorce purposes as they will need to provide additional information in these circumstances.