What Happens when I Decide to Take my Pension?

You do not have to retire to access your income from the pension scheme.  You can continue to work, although the income from your pension will be taxable, as well as the salary you are earning.  The options are different for deferred Defined Benefits and deferred Defined Contribution members.  Note that if you have deferred pensions under both these arrangements, you may have an option of combining all your benefits – please ask the scheme administrators for details when the time comes.  The value of your Pension Account with Legal & General will affect whether it is possible to combine the two benefits before they are paid to you.

Deferred Defined Benefits

Your normal pension date is 65. You may take your pension at any time after reaching the age of 55 with the agreement of the Scheme Trustee, but if you take it before age 65, the annual amount will be permanently reduced because your pension is starting earlier and is likely to go on being paid for longer. The rate of reduction is determined by the Trustee at the time you take your pension

You also have the option to take your pension between the ages of 65 and your 75th birthday. If you delay retirement in this way, then your pension will be increased between your normal pension date and the date you actually retire. The rate of increase is determined by the Scheme Trustee.

Full details can be found in the scheme booklets. 

PDFMinisters' DB Plan booklet 

PDFBUSPS DB Plan Booklet

The scheme administrators will contact you with full details about your pension approximately 6 months before you reach your Normal Pension Date.

If you want to take your pension at a date which is different from your Normal Pension Date, then please contact the scheme administrators three or four months before the date you have in mind so that the details can be prepared for you. We do understand that giving this much notice may not always be possible (if you are suddenly retiring due to ill health for example).

Deferred Defined Contributions

You can ask to draw your Defined Contributions pension at any time between the ages of 55 and 75 (you may be able to access it earlier if you are seriously ill or incapacitated).  Be careful if anyone offers to help you access your pension below age 55, this could be an activity known as 'pension liberation' which could lead to you paying high fees to them and a very high tax bill to HMRC.

Whenever you decide to start receiving your DC benefits, you have some flexibility to choose how you want to receive them. Your choices can be found below in the Scheme communication to members of June 2015:

PDFBPS Members with only DC Pension Accrual 

PDFBPS Members with with DC and DB Pension Accrual 

PDFBPS Members who were also previously members of the BU Staff Pension Scheme 

You will not know until you decide to take your pension, how much your pension account is worth or what benefits it will buy. The final numbers depend on:

  • how much you and your employer contributed to your pension account
  • how well the investment funds that you have chosen perform
  • the age at which you choose to take your pension (the younger you are, the less annual income you will receive)
  • whether you opt to take a tax free lump sum as part of your benefit
  • the options you choose at retirement (for example whether to purchase a dependant’s pension or to have your pension index linked to offer protection against future inflation)