Frequently Asked Questions

We want you to get the most from your Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) benefits, but we understand the world of pensions can be challenging and full of jargon.

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section is here to help you understand your pension benefits, how to get the most from them and support you in making the right choices for your needs.  

 

Introduction to pensions

A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement organised for you by your employer while you work for them. It is sometimes called a ‘company pension’, an ‘occupational pension’ or a ‘works pension’.

It's tax efficient - as the money you pay in, or contribute, to your pension is taken from your salary before tax is deducted, reducing the overall amount of tax you will pay on your salary. Your employer also has to contribute to your pension, so together you and your employer are saving for your future.

Put simply, a pension is a savings scheme that you pay into while you are working to help make sure you have regular money coming in when you retire.

Having a pension has always been important but never more so than now, with life expectancy getting ever longer. If you are hoping to retire at 60, or even 68, you could be looking to support many years without the regular income you had when you were working, with lots of people now living well into their 80's and beyond. Many of us don’t want to have to compromise our lifestyles in retirement, so taking an interest in your pension planning is a great way for you to do something positive for the future.

A pension works by taking all the money paid in – by you, your employer and the government (in the form of tax savings) – and investing it for your future. Different schemes work in different ways, but the idea is that the investments will grow over time to give you money to support you when you retire.

With some schemes, you choose how to invest your money and these are usually referred to as 'money purchase' or ‘defined contribution’ pension schemes. This means you have your own pot of money which can be used to provide an income when you retire. The size of the pot mostly depends on how much has been paid in and how well your investment funds have performed.

Other types of pension schemes work differently, and the amount you get when you retire will depend on things like how long you've been a member, your final salary when your retire, or the average of how much you've earned over your career. These pension schemes are commonly referred to as ‘defined benefit’ or ‘career average’ arrangements.

The Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) Shared Cost Sections are defined benefit sections, while the Industry-Wide Defined Contribution (IWDC) Section of the RPS is defined contribution. Regardless of which section you are in, once you're a member, you will have access to all the information you need to help you understand more about your pension.

Like many things in life, saving is a whole lot easier if you don’t have to do it alone. With a pension it isn’t just you saving for your retirement; it’s you, your employer and the government (in the form of tax relief).

The money paid into your pension pot* is known as 'contributions'. Contributions can come from:

  • You
  • Your employer – which is a benefit you're unlikely to get with other savings schemes! 
  • The government – through tax relief. Whilst there are lots of ways to save money for the future, a pension can often be the most tax-efficient one while you are working, as your pension contributions will receive tax relief from the government.

*Other than administration charges, all your money will be used for your retirement pot.

Take the time to think about what you might want or need for your retirement. By planning ahead, you can keep your pension savings on track for the future you want.

Your Annual Pension Estimate or Annual Benefit Statement shows the income you're estimated to receive from your rail pension. You can also check this by logging into your myRPS account (or registering if you haven't already).

You can also find some guidance on how much income you might need when you retire to afford different lifestyles by checking out the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) 'Retirement Living Standards'.

If you are a member of one of the defined benefit arrangements, the benefits you get when you retire will depend on the rules of your section. The benefits are typically  based on your salary and service at retirement. 
 
You can find out your section’s rules in the ‘Guide for members’ booklet which you'll find in the 'My Library' section when you log into your myRPS account.

If you are a member of a defined contribution arrangement, you have several options when you retire. You can learn more about these options at pensionwise.gov.uk.

The amount of total benefits you’ll get depends mostly on:

  • how much has been paid into it
  • the rules of your section of the RPS; and
  • for defined contribution schemes, like the IWDC section, how well your investments have performed.

You are currently allowed to take a tax-free lump sum when you retire. Your regular income will then be calculated from your remaining pot.

You can also ‘top up’ your pension by paying additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). Your employer will be able to tell you more about how to do this if you want to save more.

Once you’re a member, you can register to use the myRPS area of this website. Here, you’ll find information about your benefits, the rules of your section as well as handy tools to keep an eye on things and make changes as you need to.

You can log in or register for a myRPS account.

Financial products don’t always get a good press. It’s comforting then to think the pension scheme has a group of people called the ‘Trustee’ who are responsible for looking after the scheme and all the money invested on your behalf. The Trustee is made up of employer and elected member representatives.

Their job, with the help of pension and investment specialists, is to regularly check how the Scheme administration and investments are doing and keep you informed of important information. Learn more about the RPS Trustee.

Although investment decisions made by the Trustee are still subject to stock market fluctuations, their experience and expertise ensures that the scheme investments are appropriate for members. They can’t, however, make investment choices for you personally.

There are lots of places where you can get more help and advice. Some really useful websites include:

The Money and Pensions Service
www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk 

Set up by government to bring the Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service together into a single organisation, the Money and Pensions Service can help you access the information you need to make informed decision about your pension and finances.
 
The Pensions Advisory Service
www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent, non-profit making organisation which provides free advice about pensions. 

Pension Wise
www.pensionwise.gov.uk

A free and impartial service to help members with defined contribution funds understand what their choices are at retirement and how these work.

The Money Advice Service
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/pensions-and-retirement

Includes retirement advice, types of pension and retirement income, and information on automatic enrolment.

Unbiased
Unbiased.co.uk  

For help with independent financial advice or finding IFAs in your local area.
 
Department for Work & Pensions:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

www.gov.uk/browse/working

For information about pensions, tax and retirement planning.

 

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVCs) are tax-efficient ways for pension scheme members to save a bit more towards their retirement. As the name implies, these are contributions you make from your pay (before tax is taken) on top of the normal contributions you make as a Scheme member.

AVCs can be a way of making up the shortfall (if there is one) between the pension you will get in retirement and the income you decide you will need to sustain the lifestyle you want after you stop getting a salary from your employer.

With AVCs, you decide:

  • How much you want to contribute (which is tax-free subject to certain limits – see here for details)
  • How you invest your contributions
  • When you start and stop the additional contributions

Whether you join an AVC arrangement is up to you, but it may be something you want to consider if you:

  • have earnings that don’t count towards your RPS pension, such as bonuses or overtime;
  • are thinking about taking your benefits early (if you are eligible); or
  • want to save a bit more towards your future retirement income

Please note that you have to take your AVC benefits at the same time as your normal Scheme or IWDC benefits.

You can learn more about AVCs here.

BRASS is the British Railways Additional Superannuation Scheme.

It's an AVC arrangement open to members of the Railways Pension Scheme.

Your contributions are tax-free (subject to certain limits) and are used to buy units in your BRASS investment fund choice(s).

You choose how much you want to pay and your employer collects contributions from your pay before you are taxed. This way you get the tax relief immediately.

When you take your benefits from the Scheme, the value of your BRASS account is added to your benefits. Following the introduction of the 2015 DC flexibilities you could transfer these benefits to another pension provider. More details can be found in the transfer RAYN. Learn more about BRASS.

If you pay the maximum to BRASS and wish to contribute more, you can join the AVC Extra scheme.

Speak to your employer about paying additional voluntary contributions into BRASS.

If you're a member of BRASS, you can log in to your myRPS account (or register) to:

  • view your investment fund holdings,​

  • look at how the funds are performing,​

  • make changes to the amount you contribute, and​

  • change the funds you invest in.

 

There are two main fund categories, depending on how 'hands-on’ you want to be in managing your investments. These are the ‘Lifestyle strategies’ and ‘Self-select funds’. You can choose the investments that best suit your needs, but there are three very important points to think about first:


1. How involved do you want to be in managing your investments?


2. How much risk are you willing to take? In general, lower risk investments means less chance of reducing in value but they tend to give much lower returns than higher risk investments over the longer term.


3. How long is it before you retire? If you have a particular retirement age in mind, you should set your ‘Target Retirement Age’ by logging into your myRPS account.

Lifestyle strategies:

If you DON’T feel comfortable about managing your own investments, you can opt for the ‘hands-off’ approach with a Lifestyle strategy, which will make the investment switches on your behalf.
 
In Lifestyle strategies, your holdings are automatically moved to the funds which are believed to be most appropriate for the amount of time you have left until your Target Retirement Age. As you get nearer to your Target Retirement Age, your investments move from ‘higher growth’, riskier funds to more ‘stable’ funds which have a lower risk of losing value.

Learn more about the two Lifestyle Strategies.

Self-select funds:

If you DO want to be more involved in how your investments are managed, you can choose from the range of self-select funds. The Trustee has drawn up a special range of self-select funds for you to choose from.

​Learn more about the self-select funds.

If you’re still unsure what’s best for you, consider speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Visit Unbiased.co.uk for details of advisers in your area. 

Please note: The Trustee may make changes to the fund choices available (including withdrawing funds). The Trustee can also change the way an individual fund is made up, its benchmark, management and charges.

 

If you are paying AVCs and have invested in a Lifestyle strategy, you should think about choosing a Target Retirement Age (TRA).

This could be earlier or later than your section's Normal Retirement Age (which is usually between 60 and 65).

If you have invested in a Lifestyle strategy an automatic process is triggered five years (ten years for the IWDC section) before your TRA to make sure your funds are put into 'lower-risk' (less volatile) investments where there is less chance of your funds losing value near to your retirement.

Your minimum TRA is 50 or 55 depending on when you joined the Scheme. Your maximum TRA is 75.

So please check and let RPMI know your selected TRA, or you may be invested in funds that don't suit your needs. You should also review your TRA regularly in case your plans change.

If you need advice, you can find Independent Financial Advisers in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk.

 

You can choose to transfer your BRASS funds to another arrangement as long as you have stopped making BRASS contributions.

You ​do not have to transfer your main Scheme benefits at the same time, although ​this can be done if you are a preserved member.

Before making a decision about transferring any of your benefits out of the Scheme, it is strongly recommended that you seek independent financial advice. See www.unbiased.co.uk for details. Proof of having taken advice may be required before a transfer can proceed. 

When you take your benefits, the value of your BRASS funds is used to buy you extra pension in your section of the scheme. However, you are required to take a tax-free cash lump sum equal to your BRASS account value, up to the maximum allowed by HMRC. (A different rule applies for Unisys and RSSB - please contact the Helpline for details).

Your benefits may be adjusted if you change your regular BRASS contributions when you are getting close to the time when your benefits ​are payable. RPMI will write to you to tell you what the change to your benefits will be. 

AVC Extra is available to members who are already paying the maximum BRASS contributions they are able to. (This option is not available to members of the Network Rail section).

You can join AVC Extra if:

 

  • you are a contributing member of the Scheme

 

 

  • you are a contributing member of BRASS, the Scheme’s main Additional Voluntary Contribution arrangement; and

 

 

  • your normal Scheme and BRASS contributions added together come to 15% of your gross pay or 20% or your pensionable pay, whichever is higher.

 

 

You can check and manage your AVC Extra account when you  log into your myRPS account.

To switch to managing your AVC Extra account instead of your RPS account, use the 'Switch Scheme' button on the top left of the page once you've logged in.

You can alternatively contact ​the Helpline on 0800 012 1117.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) allows contributions paid into registered pension schemes and the investment return on a pension scheme’s assets to benefit from tax relief. The benefits paid out of such schemes can include a pension that is taxable and a lump sum that is paid tax-free (up to a limit).
 
Recycling occurs where a pension scheme member intentionally uses some or all of the tax-free lump sum that they receive from a pension scheme to significantly increase their contributions to another (or the same) pension scheme, in order to gain further tax relief and entitlement to a tax-free lump sum.  It doesn’t matter if the tax-free lump sum is directly or indirectly reinvested into a pension scheme – this is still classed as recycling. An example of indirectly reinvesting the tax-free lump sum is to use your personal savings to significantly increase your contributions to a pension scheme, and replenish these savings with the tax-free lump sum.
 
Under HMRC rules, a tax-free lump sum must not be used in a way that exploits the generous tax relief available by ‘recycling’ the tax-free lump sum received.  These rules apply to UK and non-UK residents, and to individuals making contributions into overseas pension schemes.
 
If HMRC finds that recycling has occurred, it will impose tax charges on the member and possibly the scheme too.
 
Members of the Railways Pension Scheme are reminded of the rules prohibiting recycling when they apply for retirement and when they ask to make a one-off additional voluntary contribution.

 

The decisions you make, must be right for your needs. Neither your employer, RPMI nor the Trustee can give you financial advice. If you’re unsure about what to do, you may want to consider speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

You can find IFAs in your local area on the Unbiased website.

 

Annual and Lifetime Allowances

The Annual Allowance (AA) is a limit on the amount of your pension savings that can benefit from tax relief in any given tax year. If you exceed this limit, you will be charged tax on your pension savings that are over the AA. 

The most that you can save tax-free towards all your pension arrangements is the lower of 100% of your earnings over that period and the AA.

For most people, the AA is currently £40,000 (although this could change in the future), however, it will be lower if your ‘adjusted income’ is over £150,000. This reduced allowance is known as the ‘Tapered Annual Allowance’.

For this purpose, your ’adjusted income’ is your taxable income plus your level of pension savings for AA purposes (called your ‘Pension Input Amount’).

  • You may be affected if your taxable income is more than £200,000 (this includes income from non-employment sources). If your taxable income is £200,000 or less, you will not be affected by the Tapered Annual Allowance.
  • If you have an adjusted income over £240,000, then your Annual Allowance will reduce by £1 for every £2 of adjusted income over £240,000.
  • The maximum reduction to the Annual Allowance is £36,000, so if you have an adjusted income of £312,000 or more, you will have an Annual Allowance of £4,000.

Find out more in our Tax Limits guide.

You could be affected by this tax limit if you take money from your IWDC pension pot or Additional Voluntary Contributions, while still paying in.

Find out more in our Tax Limits guide.

If your pension savings in the RPS are greater than either the Annual Allowance (AA) or the Money Purchase Annual Allowance, then we will send you a pension savings statement that will detail the benefits savings for the relevant period.

Your Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) will give you an indication of how much of the AA you have used in respect of your savings in the RPS.

Please remember this statement will only cover the part of your allowance that the growth in your IWDC Personal Retirement Account uses. You will need to factor in the amount of savings you have built up in any other pension schemes that you are a member of.

There’s no ‘typical’ scheme member who may be affected by the AA – this tax limit could potentially affect anyone who makes pension savings. However, there are circumstances that increase the likelihood of a person exceeding the AA and, potentially, being subject to a tax charge. These include:

  • ​the member receiving a high level of pay during the Pension Input Period
  • ​the member making a large additional contribution into their pension savings during the Pension Input Period

You are responsible for reporting any excess in your pension savings over the Annual Allowance (AA) (after using up any carry forward) via self-assessment. 

The amount of AA charge will be included in your tax calculation and you would normally have to pay any charges by the usual self-assessment payment deadlines. You can pay the required tax charge either directly to HMRC or by using the Scheme Pays option (if you qualify for this option).

You can find more information in our 'Read as you Need' guides.

RPMI, as the Scheme Administrator, must inform HMRC that a pension savings statement has been issued to individuals whose pension savings in the RPS exceed either the Annual Allowance or the Money Purchase Annual Allowance.

  

The growth in your pension savings is measured over each tax year (6 April to 5 April) and, in respect of your savings in the IWDC section, is simply the total of contributions paid into the section during the tax year (although this figure would be adjusted if you had, for example, transferred existing savings from another pension arrangement into the IWDC section).

Any investments returns are not included in Pension Input Amount.

The Annual Allowance limit applies to all pension savings that you may have, not just those in the RPS. Therefore you must include growth in any other pension benefits outside of the RPS when calculating your Pension Input Amount.

Please visit the HMRC website for more help with your personal tax calculations.

  

You can carry forward any Annual Allowance (AA) that you have not used from the previous three tax years to the current tax year. The amount of the unused AA can then be added to your current year's AA to give you a higher available amount of tax-free pension savings.

This rule may allow you to make occasional large amounts of pension savings without having to pay an AA charge.

The three-year carry forward rule applies whether you are subject to the standard AA of £40,000 or the Tapered Annual Allowance of between £10,000 and £40,000.

However, the three-year carry forward rule does not apply directly to people who are subject to the Money Purchase Annual Allowance.

You can learn more in our 'Read As you Need' guides.

    

The LTA is the maximum amount you can save into all your pensions throughout your working life.

If you exceed the LTA - which currently stands at  £1,073,100 for the 2020/21 tax year​ - you may be liable for an excess tax charge.

In general, if the value of all your pension savings and benefits (from every Scheme you are a member of) at the time you take your benefits exceeds the ​Lifetime Allowance for that tax year, then the value of your savings and benefits above the ​Lifetime Allowance will be subject to additional tax charges.

 

Auto-enrolment

The fact is that people are living longer, spending many more years in retirement and millions aren’t saving enough to support themselves in later life. 

The Government has taken action to help increase the amount that people will have to live on in their retirement years. 

A worker who:

  • is aged 22 or over and under State Pension age​
  • earns a minimum level of earnings (known as the ‘earnings threshold’) – currently £10,000; and
  • ordinarily works in the UK
Most employers offer one auto-enrolment pension scheme. Whether they offer an opportunity for you to change to another scheme later is something you will need to check with them.

It isn’t unusual to have more than one pension. The one on offer from your employer now includes contributions from them, so you should think carefully before opting out and missing out on their support. 

You can have as many pensions as you want to help you provide for your future, but you will only get tax relief if the total contributions are not more than 100% of your gross pay in any one tax year, up to an annual limit referred to as the Annual Allowance.

The standard Annual Allowance is currently £40,000 (although this could change in the future). Anyone whose taxable income is more tan £200,000, and taxable income plus your pension savings for the year is greater than £240,000 will have a reduced Annual Allowance. This is known as the Tapered Annual Allowance. Further information about the Annual Allowance is available in a guide on the 'Read As You Need' page.

If you are a member of a defined benefit scheme, the Annual Allowance limit for tax relief is based on benefits earned rather than contributions paid.

No, you can have as many as you want to help you provide for your future, but you will only get tax relief if the total contributions are no more than 100% of your gross pay in any one tax year, up to an annual limit referred to as the Annual Allowance. 

The Annual Allowance is currently £40,000 (although this could change in the future).  Anyone whose taxable income is more than £200,000, and taxable income plus your pension savings for the year is greater than £240,000 will have a reduced Annual Allowance. 

This is known as the Tapered Annual Allowance.Further information about the Annual Allowance is available in a guide leaflet on the 'Read As You Need' page.

If you are a member of a defined benefit scheme, the Annual Allowance limit for tax relief is based on benefits earned rather than contributions paid.  

Yes, the government has set out minimum contribution levels for automatic enrolment, which apply to defined contribution schemes. Your employer must offer a pension scheme that meets minimum quality criteria, including the levels of contribution you and they must pay in. Minimum contributions for 2020/21 are based on earnings above £120 per week (equivalent to £6,240 per year).

Your employer will make it clear in their communications with you the minimum you must pay in. They’ll also let you know how much they will pay in as well. 

Contributions are usually a percentage of your salary, which can seem like a large amount of money. It’s useful to break it down into everyday things we can all understand. For example:

If your pay is £24,000 per year, your qualifying earnings are calculated for the 2020/21 tax year as £24,000 - £6,240 = £17,760 per year.

In this example, if your employer is only paying the minimum contribution then the amounts payable in the 2020/21 tax year are: 

Your employer pays:

You pay:

The Government adds tax relief of:

Total contribution

£532.80 per year (£44.40 per month)

£710.40 per year (£59.20 per month)

£177.60 per year (£14.80 per month)

£1,420.80 per year(£118.40 per month)

So, in this example there would be £1,420.80 going into your pension pot in a year but would only be costing you half of that amount (£14.80 per week).

Note: The arrangement for the IWDC Section is that your employer deducts your contributions from your salary before it is taxed

Breaking contributions down into a weekly amount can help us all understand them in the context of our daily lives and understand if they are affordable for us to manage.

The beauty of being enrolled into a workplace pension scheme is that you don’t need to do much at all. Your employer sorts out payments from your salary and ensures you get the tax-relief you’re entitled to. All you may need to do is:


  • decide what investment funds you want your money to go into to (if you are auto-enrolled into the Industry-Wide Defined Contribution (IWDC) section of the RPS), and   

  • complete a Nomination form to let the Trustee know who you would like to receive any lump-sum death benefit if you die.

​Learn more about the investment funds available to you.

Another attraction of a pension is its flexibility. If you change job the considerations for you are:

  • your new employer will need to provide you with a pension as part of their auto enrolment duties,​
  • your new employer may allow you to take your existing pension with you so that you can combine it with pension savings from your new job,​
  • you may be able to continue to make payments into your existing plan regardless of any other pension your new employer offers, or​
  • if you can’t take your existing plan with you to your new job, you can keep it to provide future benefits, but just stop making payments into it.
The great thing about auto-enrolment is if you decide it isn’t right for you now, you will be automatically enrolled back in later (usually every three years) – giving you another chance to start saving for your future.

We all have financial commitments so it is important that you make sure you can still pay those as well as your pension contributions.

If you decide to leave, as long as it is within the opt-out period, any payments you have made will be refunded to you as if you had never been a member.

Leave it until later and whether or not you get a straight refund will depend on what your scheme allows. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death benefits and nominations

RPS death benefits may include a dependant's pension which, for an eligible spouse, would be worth half the pension you would have received if you had retired early through ill health at the date of your death.

There is also a lump-sum death benefit which may be payable and is  typically up to four times your salary

It’s vital the Trustee (or your Pension Committee) know who you'd like the lump sum to be paid to and you should complete a Nomination form to let them know.

You can complete your Nominations quickly and easily by logging into your myRPS account. Over time, you should update this form to change or confirm your wishes.

Alternatively, download the paper form from the Forms section.

 

 

A lump-sum death benefit may be payable if you are contributing to the IWDC Section and are employed by a participating employer. This amount is based on your death benefit pay and will be paid to your beneficiaries or to your estate at the Trustee’s discretion.

It’s vital the Trustee understands who you want to receive the lump-sum death benefit and completing your nomination form is the way to do this.

You can complete your Nomination form quickly and easily online by logging in or registering for myRPS.

In relation to any lump sum payable on death, you can nominate any person or organisation, such as a charity. In relation to the dependant’s pension, the categories of eligible dependants are as follows:

Eligible dependants 
These are adults who have been fully or largely dependent on you financially, for the two years immediately prior to your death (up to a maximum of three people).

An eligible spouse 
This is your husband, wife or partner in a civil partnership who you were living with at the time of your death.

A legal spouse 
This is your husband, wife or your partner in a civil partnership, even if you are not living together at the time of your death.

Eligible children 
This covers the two youngest eligible children who normally receive pensions until they are 18 years old.

If your child is disabled or in full-time education, the pension may still be paid after the age of 18, if the Trustee or your Pensions Committee agrees. This could extend up to the age of 23 for students in full-time education or for life, if your children are disabled.

 

Ill health

If you stop working through ill-health, you may be able to access your Scheme benefits early.

The Trustee must receive medical evidence from a registered practitioner that you are, and will continue to be, unable to carry out your job.

If you suffer from a serious illness and your life expectancy is less than 12 months, you may be able to take all your benefits as a lump sum. Please contact RPMI for more information on 0800 012 1117.
As a preserved member, if you choose to access your benefits due to ill health it is only the benefits you have built up while you were a member will be used to calculate what you may receive. You will usually not be able to access your benefits before your Normal Minimum Pension age (usually 55) and they will be reduced to reflect that they are being paid early.

You can find the rules and reduction factors for your section in your 'Member guide' which you can access in 'My library' by registering or logging into your myRPS account section.

None of us likes to think that we may fall seriously ill.

If you stop working through ill-health, you may be able to use your Personal Retirement Account to buy an annuity before your Normal Minimum Pension Age.

The Trustee must receive medical evidence from a registered practitioner that you are, and will continue to be, unable to carry out your job.

If you suffer from a serious illness and your life expectancy is less than 12 months, you may be able to take all your benefits as a lump sum. Please contact RPMI for more information on 0800 ​012 1117.

Your ill health pension will be based on the benefits you built up when you were paying into the IWDC Section.

Phone the Helpline on 0800 012 1117 or email dc@rpmi.co.uk for help. 

 

Retired members of the Scheme's final salary sections

We have uploaded a payment calendar which shows the dates your pension will be paid into your bank or building society. 

 

View or download a copy of the payment calendar.

Your pension will be paid into your bank or building society account. It is paid, in arrears, every four weeks. This could be paid annually in some circumstances.

Please let RPMI know about any changes to your account at least one week before your pension is due to be paid.

If you are unable to give enough notice, make sure you keep your old bank account open to avoid any delay in your pension reaching you.

To notify us of any change, sign in to myRPS and go to  Bank Details under My Details.

Alternatively, telephone the Helpline on 0800 012 1117 or email csu@rpmi.co.uk

When contacting RPMI, please quote your pension reference number.

Yes, your pension will increase in line with Orders made under the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 and the Scheme Rules. 

If you are a man aged over 65 or a woman over the age of 60, a different level of pension increase may apply for the part (if any) of your pension which is referred to as Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP).

We’ll let you know the rate of pension  increase in each Spring issue of the Penfriend newsletter. Any increase is usually effective from the first Monday in April on or after 6th April (the start of the financial year). 

You will also receive a letter telling you what your new individual pension amount is. This letter is sent in the week that your pension is paid following the increase effective date, so it may be May before you hear from us.

You will also receive a statement every time the net amount of your pension payment changes by more than £2 a payment. This usually happens when the Chancellor of the Exchequer alters tax rates or allowances in the Budget, or your tax code changes because of your personal circumstances.

 

 

In short, yes. Your pension is taxable like any other income within the Pay As You Earn scheme. Tax is taken from your pension payment before you receive it, based on the tax code supplied to RPMI by the Tax Office.

Any enquiries regarding your tax code should be made directly to your appropriate Tax Office.

This is because we have been instructed by Inland Revenue to change your tax code. For further information and questions about your income tax assessment, please contact:

HM Inspector of Taxes
South Wales Area (MU2)
Ty Glas
CARDIFF
CF14 5YA

www.hmrc.gov.uk

After the end of the tax year in April, RPMI will send you a P60 Form. The P60 confirms your final tax code for the year and gives details for the year that has just ended of:

  •  your pension and/or earnings from a job;
  • tax taken off;
  • National Insurance contributions paid by you and your employer (you shouldn’t be paying any if you’ve reached state pension age); and,
  • your final tax code.

 Your P60 is important. You need to keep it for at least two years in case you’re asked to complete a tax return (it may help you with other forms too).

Possibly - with permission from your employer, but this will depend on your section’s rules and your age.

 


It’s not a nice thought, but is certainly a practical question. Your pension stops at the end of the four-week period in which you die.

 Any overpayment will be balanced against your spouse's pension or recovered from your estate. On your death, the following benefits may be payable:

  • a lump sum
  • a spouse's or civil partner’s pension
  • a dependant's pension
  • child(ren)'s pensions 

When you die, a lump-sum may be payable. The higher the lump sum you received when you first took payment of your benefits, and the longer you have been receiving your pension, the lower the lump sum amount will be.

 If you have been receiving your pension for more than five years, it is unlikely that any lump sum will be payable.

We all want to make sure our loved ones are looked after. When you die your spouse or civil partner will be paid half of your normal pension.

Your normal pension is the basic pension on the day you took payment of your benefits. This will be increased by any pension increases which have been made since that time.

Your normal pension does not include any voluntary reduction of your pension which you chose at the time you retired. These reductions could be exchanging pension for cash, taking the level pension option, or swapping part of your pension for an additional dependant's pension (which would be paid in addition to half of your normal pension).

There are lots of places where you can get more help and advice. Some really useful websites include:

The Money and Pensions Service
www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk 

Set up by government to bring the Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service together into a single organisation, the Money and Pensions Service can help you access the information you need to make informed decision about your pension and finances.
 
The Pensions Advisory Service
www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent, non-profit making organisation which provides free advice about pensions. 

Pension Wise
www.pensionwise.gov.uk

A free and impartial service to help members with defined contribution funds understand what their choices are at retirement and how these work.

The Money Advice Service
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/pensions-and-retirement

Includes retirement advice, types of pension and retirement income, and information on automatic enrolment.

Unbiased
Unbiased.co.uk  

For help with independent financial advice or finding IFAs in your local area.
 
Department for Work & Pensions:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

www.gov.uk/browse/working

For information about pensions, tax and retirement planning.

 

Transfers

 

Possibly – the majority of sections will not allow you to transfer in pension benefits built up outside the Scheme into your current section of the Scheme.

Find out more in your 'Member guide', which is available in 'My Library' when you log into your myRPS account.

 

Yes. You can transfer benefits from another RPS section into your new employer’s section. Apply for an an intersection transfer by downloading and completing the 'Inter scheme transfer request form' from the Forms section.

Yes. As long as you get the permission of  the ​scheme you are transferring your benefits from.

If you are eligible for a transfer in, you can start the process in myRPS under My PRA.

Yes, but, please think very carefully before you transfer your pension to another provider.

Consider your long-term financial position and what you want your pension to support in the future. You should carefully compare the benefits of your RPS pension with those offered by alternative personal pension plans or any other arrangements.

If you want to transfer your pension to a defined contribution arrangement, ​you are required to get financial advice​ and would need to contact an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can find IFAs in your local area at unbiased.co.uk.

Important: Some companies are singling out RPS members and claiming that they can help cash in your pension early. Please avoid these companies. ​You can find more information in the Safety and scams section.

Depending on your section, you may not be able to transfer back in later. It’s a lot to think about and you may want to consider getting some help from an IFA. 

Yes. But the options available to you on leaving the section depend on how long you have been a member of the section, the date you became a member and how you became a member. Your options could include the following:

  • a refund of your contributions;
  • a transfer value; or
  • a preserved (no longer an active member) Personal Retirement Account. A preserved member has the right to transfer benefits out up until they take payment of their benefits

Auto-enrolled members

To be eligible for a refund equal to the amount of contributions you made, you must complete an opt-out notice within one month of:

  • the date you received your enrolment information from your employer; or
  • the date you became a member of the IWDC section (whichever is the later)

If you opt-out or leave service after this opt-out period, you will be treated as though you left membership as a contractually-enrolled member.

Contractually-enrolled members

What happens to your Personal Retirement Account depends on how long you have been a member of the IWDC Section. Please note that the periods of membership mentioned below include membership you may have transferred-in from other occupational pension arrangements.

You can’t receive a refund at all if you have transferred-in any benefits from a personal pension scheme or from an occupational scheme, if the combined membership from the transferred-in benefits and your IWDC membership is more than two years (or 30 days, if joined after 1 October 2015). 

If you joined the Scheme on or before 30 September 2015, your leaver options are:

Under three months' membership

If you have been in the IWDC Section for less than three months, and haven’t transferred in benefits as outlined above, you will get a refund of the current value of your own contributions (minus the income tax and National Insurance contributions due on those contributions). You will not receive a refund of your employer’s contributions.

Over three months' but less than two years' membership

You can choose to transfer your Personal Retirement Account, including the value of your employer’s contributions, to another registered pension scheme. If you do not choose the transfer option, then you will get a refund of the current value of your contributions (minus income tax and National Insurance contributions due on those contributions). You will not receive a refund of your employer’s contributions.

You can’t have a refund if you have transferred-in benefits, as previously explained. Instead your Personal Retirement Account will be preserved and invested until you take your benefits.

Over two years' membership

If you have over two years’ membership of the IWDC Section, then your Personal Retirement Account (including the value of your employer’s contributions) will remain invested until you take your benefits. A refund is not possible.

If you joined the Scheme on or after 1 October 2015, your leaver options are:

Under 30 days' membership

If you have been in the IWDC Section for less than 30 days, you will get a refund of the current value of your own contributions (minus the Income Tax and National Insurance contributions due on those contributions). You will not receive a refund of your employer’s contributions.

Over 30 days' membership

If you have 1 month or more membership in the IWDC Section, then your Personal Retirement Account (including the value of your employer’s contributions) will remain invested until you take your benefits. A refund is not possible.
 
As a preserved member (regardless what date you joined the Scheme), you will still get an Annual Benefit Statement so you can see how your Personal Retirement Account is invested. You can also make changes to your chosen investment funds or you can transfer your Personal Retirement Account to another scheme, as long as your new scheme allows.
 
Important: If you leave the IWDC Section but keep your Personal Retirement Account invested, then you must tell RPMI about any change of address either by emailing dc@rpmi.co.uk or calling the Helpline on 0800​ 012 1117. 
 
When contacting RPMI, please quote your ​pension ​reference ​number.