The GEC Plan was closed to future accrual on 5 April 2010. This meant that members of the Plan could no longer contribute or build up additional pension or other benefits for future service but that their entitlement to pension and benefits earned up to the Plan closure was retained.
This guide is intended to help members whose benefits are retained within the Plan understand their pension and the options available to them.
The benefits include:
- a pension for life when you retire (the normal retirement age under the Plan is 65 but under current legislation, and subject to Trustee consent, you may do so at any time after your 55th birthday)
- a lump sum for your dependants if you die before you retire (there is no surviving spouse or dependant’s pension payable if you die before age 65 and before starting to draw your pension)
- a pension if you have to retire before age 65 due to ill-health
- under current legislation, the choice of taking part of your pension as a tax-free lump sum
- a pension for your surviving spouse or other dependant on death after retirement
- a lump sum payment if you die within five years of your retirement
- the option to transfer your benefits to your new employer’s scheme or to a personal pension arrangement
- if you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) whilst you were contributing to the Plan these will remain invested until you chose to transfer them to an alternative arrangement or use them to purchase an annuity
How was your pension calculated?
The Plan pension, which is payable in addition to State benefits, is the highest of three separate calculations:
2% of your final pensionable earnings multiplied by your pensionable service,
2% of the average of the Basic State Pension in force at the beginning of the last three Plan years you contributed to the Plan multiplied by your pensionable service,
and also less
0.9% multiplied by your pensionable service up to a maximum of 20 years after 5 April 1978 and beginning in the Plan year in which you reach age 65 multiplied by the lesser of 6 times the average Basic State Pension in force at the beginning of the last three Plan years in which you contributed to the Plan
your final pensionable earnings minus the same average
This amount is scaled down if you stopped contributing before your 65th birthday.
50% of your own total contributions, which you personally contributed, to the Plan.
17.5% of your own total contributions, which you personally contributed, to the Plan plus credited interest.
The values of each of the above were calculated and communicated to you when you left contributory membership. If you are not yet receiving your pension, the figures calculated at your date of leaving, known as your deferred pension, will be increased as follows;
Basis 1: annually on 1 May by the lesser of 5% or the increase in General Index of Retail Prices (RPI) as published in February each year.
Basis 2: no increase.
Basis 3: interest credited monthly on your contibutions at a rate determined by the Trustee, but not less than 2.5% per annum.
At the point that you draw or transfer your benefit from the Plan the increased values will be reviewed and you will be given the highest basis at that time. It is possible for the highest basis to change between your date of leaving and your date of retirement or transfer depending on the rates of increase applied.
The assets of the Plan are invested by the Trustee and are entirely separate from the assets of the company or the employers.