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Brexit and your pension

The Trustee has been monitoring the Brexit negotiations closely and working with its advisors to ensure the Scheme is well-positioned to withstand a range of possible outcomes once the transition period comes to an end.

Importantly, for the majority already receiving a pension, your payments are expected to continue unchanged. The Scheme Administrator (WTW), which makes pensioner payments on behalf of the Trustee, has confirmed that in the event of a “No-Deal” Brexit there is not expected to be a change or reduction in service to pensioners, including those who live overseas. There are a small number of members who live in the EEA but have their pension paid into a UK bank account. Some banks have indicated they will be closing accounts for people who do not live in the UK so alternative bank details may be required for some members. The Scheme Administrator has written to those affected.

If you are concerned about your pension and Brexit, particularly if you are resident in the EU, please either contact the Scheme Administrator for more information or speak to The Pensions Advisory Service for free and impartial guidance.

COVID-19 and your pension

The Trustees and Scheme Administrators are working hard to maintain a normal service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority at this difficult time is ensuring pension payments and other benefit payments continue to be made as expected. We are also focusing on reviewing and processing any death benefit claims. Please be patient and only contact us if absolutely necessary, so we can focus on providing key services to members.

Financial markets

You may have seen recent news reports about the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on financial markets. As a member of a Defined Benefit (DB) scheme your benefits (other than any AVCs you might have) are not directly affected by the current unsettled market conditions.

The Scheme gives you a guaranteed benefit based on your salary and length of service. The value of the Scheme’s investments does not affect the value of your benefits. Investment risk is borne by the employer.

You may have thought about transferring away from the Scheme. A move away usually means that you take on the investment risk yourself. If you are seriously considering transferring out, please seek independent financial advice.

Beware of scams

Someone will always be looking to take advantage of a crisis. Now, more than ever, you should be wary of scammers trying to tempt you to transfer out of the scheme. They may offer the chance of virus-proof returns or immediate access to cash. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has some useful tips for spotting a scam:

  • Never engage with a cold-caller, unexpected text or email;
  • Never be rushed into making a commitment;
  • Always check the background of the person you are dealing with;
  • Always remember that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is;
  • For more help go to fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

Need more information?

The Pension Protection Fund has published a guide for pension scheme members to provide some reassurance for those concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their retirement. Visit ppf.co.uk to read COVID-19 and your pension.

If you have any major concerns, please get in touch.

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