Q: How is my pension affected if I go part time?
A: Pension accrues on the basis of your Pensionable Service and your Final Pensionable Salary. For many Fund members, assuming their contractual arrangements remain the same throughout their Pensionable Service; it's simply a case of the pension being calculated as one 54th or one 60th of Final Pensionable Salary for each year of Pensionable Service, depending on the Section that applies to you.
However, if different contractual hours have applied during your Pensionable Service, the calculation is based on the full-time equivalent Final Pensionable Salary but service is pro-rated for periods of lesser or greater hours.
For example, an employee who has been a member of the Pre-2009 Section since the end of 1995 and whose service has been full time since that date, changes his or her contractual hours at the end of 2010 to work 3 days a week. His or her full time salary was £40,000 a year. The employee subsequently leaves Company service in 2015. The five years working at 3 days a week is pro-rated to 3 years’ service.
The calculation of that employee’s pension would be as follows:
1995 - 2010: 1/54 x 15 years x £40,000 = £11,111
2011 - 2015: 1/54 x 3 years x £40,000 = £ 2,222
Total Pension payable at Normal Pension Date = £13,333 a year
Q: I understand that members do not pay pension contributions on reaching 36 years’ pensionable service. Does my pension grow once I have attained 36 years’ pensionable service?
A: Yes. Although SCPF member contributions for Pre-2009 Section members cease after 36 years’ Pensionable Service, the pension still continues to accrue at the rate of one 54th of your Pensionable Salary a year (and part year) of service. SCPF member contributions for Post-2009 Section members continue after 36 years’ Pensionable Service and the pension continues to accrue at the rate of one 60th of your Pensionable Salary a year (and part year) of service.
Q: What do I do if I want to take my pension early?
A: You may take your pension on or after the age of 55 and before Pension Age if you leave Company service. You must have at least two years’ Pensionable Service or have transferred benefits in.
You have to resign from the Company (giving at least your contractual notice) and notify the Pensions Advisory Unit (PAU) that you want to take your pension straight away. The PAU will then send you the relevant forms to complete in order to set up the pension. An early retirement factor will be applied for each year you retire before Pension Age and this factor is subject to periodic review.
Q: What does ‘AVC’ stand for?
A: Additional Voluntary Contributions. These are additional pension contributions that you can make voluntarily. The Additional Voluntary Contributions Arrangement Explanatory Booklet gives full details of the AVC Arrangement.
Q: If I take my pension at Pension Age but continue to work, can I still pay into AVCs?
A: No. The SCPF AVC arrangement is only available to active members of the SCPF and not those taking pension.
Q: If I go on an expatriate assignment do I have to leave the SCPF?
A: No. When you go on an expatriate assignment you will become a deferred member of the SCPF in the section that applies to you (Pre-2009 or Post-2009 Section, depending on when you joined the SCPF). If you return to work in the UK and have been in continuous Pensionable Service in the SOCPF while you were overseas, then you will be able to rejoin the section of the SCPF that you were in immediately prior to transferring.
The Inter-Fund Linking Rules factsheet (factsheet will be available shortly) gives full details of how the two funds are designed to complement each other.
Q: When will I receive the annual pension benefit statement?
A: The annual Pension Benefit Statements are usually available in June. The Pensions Administration Team will send benefit statements to Active Members at their home address.
Q: How do I transfer in pension from another Fund?
A: A factsheet, entitled Transfers into the SCPF, explains the process.
Q: Who is my nominated beneficiary for Death in Service Lump Sum?
A: Your Death in Service Nomination Form is held on your personal file, so you should contact the HR service desk (email: HR Service Desk Europe-AF-LA-RU, SSSC-HRVO/E-T1) who should be able to check the details for you. In order to ensure your wishes are up to date, you can complete a form which will replace any previous nominations.
Q: Can I attend a pre-retirement course?
A: The Company offers a pre-retirement course to employees leaving with an immediate pension and employees approaching Normal Pension Date. You should receive an invitation to the course automatically but you can contact the Course provider direct by using the contact details given in HR Online.