What if

I am on long term sick leave?

What happens whilst I am on long term sick leave?
If you are unable to work temporarily, you are entitled to sick pay. You will still continue to make contributions into the Plan whilst you are receiving sick pay. If you are on unpaid leave, then your contributions will stop.

When you return to work, you have the opportunity to repay any missed contributions. Otherwise your pensionable service will receive a ‘break in service’ and the time you were on leave will not count towards your pensionable service.

What ill-health benefits are paid?
If you are contributing member of The Pearson Pension Plan and you become permanently unable to work due to illness or injury, you may retire early and begin receiving your pension, regardless of your age.

You would need to provide medical evidence of your inability to work and you would usually need both the Trustee’s and your employer’s consent.

Below, we set out the benefits payable and the process for applying for an ill health pension.

How do I apply for an ill-health pension?
The first step is to speak with your HR department and line manager about your health. They will explain the conditions of payment of an ill-health pension and confirm the medical information that will need to be provided. The payment of an ill-health pension will usually require your employer’s consent and the provision of an independent medical opinion. Once this information has been received and reviewed, a decision can be made by the Trustee and you will be told if you qualify for an ill-health pension.

How much is the ill-health pension?
The pension is calculated in accordance with the rules of the section of the Plan of which you are a member. If you joined the Plan on or after 1 January 2003, the pension would normally be 50% of your pensionable salary at the date of your ill-heath retirement.

If you joined the Plan before that date, the pension is likely to be based on your pensionable salary at the date of your ill-heath retirement and the potential pensionable service you could have completed to age 62. The amount of pension payable will be subject to former statutory limits, which have been incorporated within the Plan rules.

What will my options be at retirement?
If you are allowed to retire early on grounds of ill-health, you will have the option of taking part of your pension as tax-free cash. (The maximum cash available is usually worked out as broadly 25% of the total value of your pension and any additional voluntary contributions.) However, if you choose this option, your pension will be reduced.

How long will the ill-health pension be paid for?
The ill-health pension will usually be paid for life. However, the Trustee may review your medical condition at any time before you reach age 62. If your condition improves, or you receive income from an alternative employment, your ill-health pension may be reduced or suspended.

What happens to my additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)?
If you have paid AVCs, these will be used to provide additional benefits for you. You may use your AVCs as part of your tax-free cash sum, or to buy an income (an annuity) from an insurance company.

Still have questions?

If you have any questions then please go to the contact us page on the website for different ways to get in touch.

Discounts

Aviva is offering additional discounts to its online premiums for car, home and travel insurance to new Aviva customers.

To find out more go to www.aviva.co.uk/affinities/pearson where you can find details of the products available and any eligibility criteria that may apply.

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