BPAS active members
As an active contributing member of BPAS, the benefits that you accrue are based on each year and complete month of service multiplied by your pensionable salary. The Government described occupational pension schemes, like BPAS, as being an excellent means of providing for retirement. Below are some frequently asked questions that you may find useful when planning for your retirement benefits. There are many different ways to save more for your retirement. It is therefore, a good idea to consult an Independent Financial Adviser to find out what the best options are for you. No matter how soon you start, you still need to choose the best savings vehicle(s) available to you.
Managing my pension
The scheme offers an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC’s) arrangement which is administered by Aviva. Any AVC paid receives tax relief at your appropriate tax rate. Details of the AVC arrangement and an application form can be found here. To add Aviva AVC docs & forms.
If you are currently paying into the AVC arrangement and either wish to increase or reduce your contributions, please complete the attached form and forward to UOB Pensions.
From 01 August 2006, members are able to choose the accrual rate that their future level of benefits are based on with their pension contributions reflecting that change. This option to amend your accrual rate is available every 5 years from 01 August 2006, with the next option date being August 2026. Members will be contacted near to that date with details of the options available.
Transfer of benefits into the pension scheme are no longer available to members.
The scheme provides a death in service lump sum of 3x your pensionable salary as well as dependents pension payable to your spouse or partner (the latter subject to the Trustees agreement). Also there is a refund of the pension contributions that you have paid into the scheme.
Contact the pensions office via the HR Portal for a quotation - ideally three months before your intended retirement date. You will receive this quotation along with the option form, which you need to complete to indicate your preference and return. Confirmation will be issued once your retirement has been processed confirming the final retirement figures to your institution.
- Early retirement: The Scheme normal retirement date is the end of the month in which you attain age 65, but you may receive your benefits at any time from age 60 onwards without an early retirement reduction being applied. Retirement before the age of 60, benefits are actuarially reduced, the reduction deduction dependent upon your age at retirement.
- Late retirement: You can retire after the age of 65 and your benefits will be based on your service up to late retirement.
Ill health retirement: There is a possibility that you are able to retire on the grounds of ill health. You will need to contact your HR advisor for further information.
Tax-free cash lump sum
A number of retirement options will be issued to you, including an option to commute part of your pension for a tax free cash lump sum, based on the scheme rules and the maximum permitted by HMR&C. You may take a smaller cash sum and a larger pension if you wish.
If you have paid AVCs you will have some additional choices to make. You can choose whether to use your AVC fund as a cash payment or to purchase additional pension. AVC benefits taken at retirement can potentially provide you with a tax free cash lump sum within your HMR&C maximum limit. It is suggested you take independent financial advice in order to choose the best option for your circumstance.
Your Tax Free Cash sum will be paid directly into your bank account via BACS transfer within two weeks of retirement.
The monthly pension will be paid directly into your bank account towards the end of each month and will be paid on the penultimate working day of the month following your retirement. The pension is paid monthly, in arrears. Pay advice slips, will be issued for the first month of your retirement and for the months of March, April and May each year. Should your net pay figure differs by £5.00 or more from the previous month’s net figure, a further payslip will be issued.
Your pension increases in line with the ‘Government Pension Increase Orders’ each April. Details of these increase will be issued to you at that time.
If you should die as a contributing member before age 65 the following benefits are payable:
- A cash lump sum equal to three times your contributory pay at the time of death
- A pension for your spouse equal to 2/3rds of the pension you would have received if you have remained in membership until age 65
- A refund of your contributions.
How are my benefits calculated
If you are paying or have paid AVCs to the Scheme a separate statement of your benefits will be issued to you by Aviva each year. The benefits arising from AVCs are in addition to your pension benefits under the scheme
Further information on paying AVCs can be obtained from the Pensions Office.
A. Full Time Employees
Your pension is calculated as follows:
Final Pensionable Pay* x Years & Months of Membership x 1/60th for service up to 31st July 2006.
For service from 1st August 2006 pensionable pay* x 1/80th, 1/70th or 1/60th dependent upon option chosen.
For all service up to 31st July 2006 pensionable pay will be your final pensionable pay. From the 1st August 2006, your Pensionable pay will be based on the following:
Option 1 the final pensionable earnings will be averaged over three years prior to retirement.
Option 2, 3 & 4 will be your final pensionable earnings in your final year of employment.
You can take part of your pension as a cash lump sum. This is calculated as:
Final Pensionable Pay x Years and Months of Membership x 3/80ths
This reduces your pension by the commutation factor applicable based on your age at your retirement date.
Please be aware that BPAS scheme members are now subject to the Life Time Allowance and Annual Allowance, and therefore the maximum cash lump sum available can be higher than the figures calculated in the example above. The maximum cash lump sum is 25% of your Life Time Allowance.
Where a member has AVC’s, the cash lump sum may be greater to allow for the AVC fund with the calculation.
Example (for a member on option 2)
A member joined the scheme at age 35. He retires at age 65 after being a member of the scheme for 30 years. His final pensionable pay at retirement is £10,000 and thus the pension is derived as follows:
- (10 years service pre 1st August 2006 and 20 years post August 2006 service)
Full pension: £10,000 x 10 x 1/60ths = £1,666.67 pa + £10,000 x 20/80ths = £2,500.00 pa.
Total Pension £4,166.67
- When the member chooses to exchange part of their pension for the maximum lump sum it is derived as follows:
£10,000 x 30 x 3/80ths = £11,250
The amount of pension given up in exchange for this cash sum would be:
£11,250 / 15.50 = £725.80, giving a remaining pension of £3,440.86 per year
B. Part Time Employees
For periods of membership during which you are contracted to work less than full time hours your benefits are calculated as for full time employees but with adjustments of the Final Pensionable Pay and Years of Membership to reflect that part time working.
The pensionable pay and final pensionable pay will be taken at the full time equivalent figures calculated by multiplying actual pay by full time hours divided by their part time hours as illustrated in the example.
For each period of part time membership the period used for calculating your benefits is obtained by multiplying the actual period of membership by the ratio of your contracted hours to the normal full time hours.
For example an employee with 30 year’s service, of which 10 years was full time and the remaining 20 years were at half time (ie 18 hours a week). The full time equivalent pensionable service would be calculated as follows:-
10 + (20 x 18/36*) = 10+ 10 = 20 years
*Assuming normal full time hours are 36 a week.
Other useful information
If you are have been seconded to another role, you can find further information on how this may affect your Pension.
If you are have been re-graded or promoted, you can find further information on how this may affect your Pension.
Should you require an Annual Benefit Statement, please contact UOB Pensions. An annual benefit statement provides you with current details of your pension and a projection to age 65.