Applying for my pension
What to do when you're ready to take your DB pension and what will happen next.
Before applying please make sure you understand all the options available to you. You can find out more using the links below:
If you’re still paying in to the RPS when you come to retire, this means that you are an active member. This is how the process would work for you:
1. You need to tell your employer you want to start the application process
2. Your employer will then let the Scheme administrator, Railpen, know. This can only be done 3 months before you intend to retire.
3. Railpen will process your request and will send you a retirement quotation, along with details of your options and any forms you need to complete. The retirement quotation will show
The retirement quotation isn’t to provide proof of your pension income. You won’t get final confirmation of your pension until just before your retirement date (see point 6) so you may want to hold off making any big purchases.
4. You will need to return the form(s) to Railpen, telling us how you want to take your pension and confirming your bank details. This should be done at least 1 month before your retirement date. Please check the ways to take my pension page for more information about your options.
If you have BRASS it is important you review your investment fund choices before retirement, as your BRASS fund value can go up as well as down. If you want to make changes to your investment funds, you should do this via the member website BEFORE returning your completed retirement option forms. See the taking my BRASS page for more details.
5. Railpen will process your forms and check we have all the information we need.
6. You will get a letter just before, or around your retirement date, confirming what payments you will get. You can find out more about how the payments will be made in ‘how your pension will be paid’ below. Payments may be delayed if forms are returned late.
You can also read more about applying for your pension as an active DB member and the steps involved in the ‘guide to taking your benefits’. This can be found in ‘My library’ after logging in to your myRPS account.
If you’re no longer paying in to your pension when you come to retire, then you are classed as a ‘preserved’ member. Here’s what the application process will look like for you:
1. Log in to your myRPS account and get an estimate of your benefits
2. Get in touch with the scheme administrator, Railpen. You will need to tell them:
3. Railpen will send you an acceptance form to complete and send back.
4. You should return your form at least 1 month before your planned retirement date. Railpen will only process your request once they’ve received your form and payments may be delayed if forms are returned late.
5. Payments will be made as explained in ‘how your pension will be paid’ below.
If you’re no longer paying into your pension and if the rules of your Section allow it, you may be able to take your pension later than your normal retirement age (NRA). This could be up to age 75.
If you’d like to take your pension later, known as ‘deferring’, you should let us know between 3 months before, and 3 months after, your normal retirement age. ‘Late retirement factors’ (LRFs) will then be applied to your pension which would increase your yearly pension when you take it. This is because the Scheme will likely pay your pension over a shorter period of time.
If you do not let us know you decision between 3 months before, and 3 months after, your normal retirement age, your pension will not have late retirement factors applied and will be payable from your NRA.
If you’re eligible for late retirement, we will write to you and let you know. The letter, or email, will tell you more information about the impact of taking your pension later and how you can tell us if you want to take that option.
You can let us know that you’d like to take your pension later than your NRA by following these steps:
As a member of a Defined Benefit (DB) pension, you’ll receive a pension every 4 weeks for the rest of your life, starting around your retirement date.
If you’ve chosen a lump sum, this should be paid on, or shortly after, your retirement date.
We will do everything we can to meet those payment dates, however there may be delays in some instances and payments may be delayed if forms are returned late during the application process. Knowing this, you may wish to consider delaying any large purchases, until the money is in your account.
Around your retirement date, you will receive a retirement statement. This will outline:
Lifetime Allowance (LTA)
The LTA is the maximum you can save into your pensions throughout your working life. This doesn’t include your State Pension. The LTA is due to be abolished in 2024. In the meantime, if the value of your benefits from the RPS, plus the value of benefits you have in any other pension arrangements, is more than the LTA when you retire, you may have to pay tax on the excess. Visit gov.uk for more information on tax.
To prevent any disruption to your pension payments, it’s important that you let us know about any changes to your details, such as:
You can update some of these details by logging in to your myRPS account. For anything else please get in touch with the Scheme administrator, Railpen.
It’s also important to update your nominations, as this could speed up the process of us paying any lump sum death benefits to your loved ones when you die. Log in to check and change your nominations today.
Once you’ve started taking your pension, you'll be able to review your payslips by logging on to your myRPS account.