What if

I take family or unpaid leave

What happens if I take family or unpaid leave?

If you take paid family leave (which covers maternity, paternity or adoption leave) your contributions will continue and they will be based on the amount of basic salary you are actually paid. Pearson’s contributions will also continue, based on the normal rate of your basic salary as if you were working normally.

If you are on unpaid leave or unpaid family leave, you are not required to pay pension contributions. However if you don’t pay in contributions then you will not receive any contributions from Pearson.

If you return to work, you may pay arrears of any unpaid contributions. Pearson will pay contributions in respect of any arrears that you choose to pay. If you do not make up the arrears, your eventual benefits at retirement will be less than if you had done so.

Will I continue to receive updates about the Plan and my benefits?
Yes, you will continue to receive your benefit statements, annual trustee reports and any special announcements to your home address and we can send emails to your personal email address. You will also have access to the Aviva membersite, which will allow you to check the value of your Pensions Pot and switch investments.

I want to make a complaint?

The Pensions Ombudsman solely deals with pension complaints. It can help if you have a complaint or dispute about the administration (including transfers/conversion) and/or management of personal and occupational pensions.

The types of pension arrangements it looks at include:
• executive, group, and personal pension plans;
• self-invested personal pensions (SIPP);
• small self-administered pension schemes;
• workplace, employer, and stakeholder pension schemes;
• free standing additional voluntary contribution schemes; and
• annuities and section 32 buy-out policies.
Some examples of types of complaints it considers include:
• auto enrolment;
• benefits: incorrect calculation/refusal/failure to pay or late payment
• charges/fees;
• death benefits;
• failure to provide information/act on instructions;
• fund switches;
• guaranteed Annuity Rate;
• ill health;
• interpretation of scheme rules/policy terms;
• misquote/misinformation;
• Payment/pension increases;
• pension liberation;
• transfers: general;
• winding up; and
• with-profits issues.

There is no financial limit on the amount of money that The Pensions Ombudsman can make a party award you. Its determinations are legally binding on all the parties and are enforceable in court.

Contact with The Pensions Ombudsman about a complaint needs to be made within three years of when the event(s) you are complaining about happened –or, if later, within three years of when you first knew about it (or ought to have known about it). There is discretion for those time limits to be extended.

The Pensions Ombudsman can be contacted at
10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, E14 4PU.
Tel: 0800 917 4487.
Email: enquiries@pensions-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk

You can also submit a complaint form online: www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/our-service/make-a-complaint/.

If you have general requests for information or guidance concerning your pension arrangements contact:

The Pensions Advisory Service
11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB
Telephone: 0300 123 1047
Website: www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/


What happens if I do not return to work?
If you do not return to work within the time limit agreed with Pearson, your date of leaving for pension purposes will be the agreed date. Alternatively it will be the date you told Pearson you would not be returning if that was earlier.

What happens to my ill-health and death in service benefits?
If you have to retire due to ill-health or unfortunately die during a period of family leave or unpaid leave, your benefits will not be affected. You continue to be covered for any ill-health and death in service benefits based on your full rate of basic pay, even if you choose not to pay pension contributions. See the ill-health and death in service benefits section for more information

Remember to keep your expression of wish form and, if you are in the MP03 Section, not married or in a civil partnership, your nominated dependant form up to date.

What about my additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)?
You can continue paying AVCs during family leave. If your family leave is unpaid, your AVCs will stop. However, you may be able to make good the shortfall in contributions when you return to work, subject to the limit on maximum pension contributions.


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.