Frequently asked questions 

FAQs for defined benefit members

Will there be a spouse’s pension payable?

For details of the benefits in your section of the Plan click here.

How does a spouse’s/civil partner’s pension get set up and when is it payable?

A spouse’s/civil partner’s is payable from the date of a member’s death. The pensions team will contact individuals who are eligible for a pension with full details.

What date will my pension be paid?

Pensions are paid on the first of the month in advance.

How does my pension get set up, what is involved and how long does it take?

We will write to you providing a personal illustration of your benefits, and asking you to make some important decisions, either on request, or six months before your retirement date.

You will be provided with some forms that you will need to complete and return, requesting details such as your retirement option, bank account and Lifetime Allowance check.

Depending on the speed of which your forms are return, the process will take approximately one month to complete.

How do you value my pension for Lifetime Allowance purposes?

We multiply the amount of annual pension built up to date by 20 and add any additional voluntary contributions.

When will my pension increase?

Pensions from the Plan are reviewed for increases at 1 January each year. See How is my pension paid for further details.

When can I take benefits from the Plan?

You may retire and receive your pension at any time from age 55, provided the Company agrees.

How do I update my bank details?

Please contact Capita on 0800 7811378, alternatively complete the bank details form and return it to them.

How is my pension calculated?

For details of the benefits in your section of the Plan click here.

Will you accept copies of certificates?

Yes, alternatively, you can provide proof of your name and address by enclosing a copy of one of the following:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • birth certificate

What is the Reference Scheme Test and what does it mean for my pension benefits?

If you are a member of the Money Purchase 2003 Section up to 5 April 2016, you were contracted out of the State Second Pension. This means that the Plan has to provide you with a minimum level of pension and at least part of your Pension Pot will be used to purchase or provide this minimum pension.

If your Pension Pot at retirement provides less than the minimum level, the Plan will pay a top-up to ensure the correct level of pension is paid. In this case, you will not be eligible to take early retirement from the Plan before age 62 and from age 62 your Plan retirement options may not include a tax-free cash option. You can find out more information about the options available to you by downloading our ‘Your options at retirement’ leaflet which can be found here.

What options are available to me when I retire?

You can find out more information about the options available to you by downloading our ‘Your options at retirement’ leaflet which can be found here.

Pensions Wise
Pension Wise is a free and impartial guidance service set up by the government, which aims to help you understand what your choices are and how they work. You will be able to get help on Pension Wise website (www.pensionwise.gov.uk), over the phone from the Pensions Advisory Service, or face to face at branches of the Citizens Advice Service.

When is the earliest I can take my benefits?

You may retire and take your benefits at any time from age 55, provided the Company agrees.

How does my pension get set up, what is involved and how long does it take?

We will write to you providing a personal illustration of your benefits, and asking you to make some important decisions, either on request, or six months before your retirement date.

You will be provided with some forms that you will need to complete and return, requesting details such as your retirement option, bank account and Lifetime Allowance check.

Depending on the speed of which your forms are return, the process will take approximately one month to complete.

Based on what I am paying now, what amount of pension will I get at retirement?

You can get an estimate of your pension at retirement by using our contributions calculator.

How do I join The Pearson Pension Plan?

You can find out more information by reading How to join the Plan.

How do I update my personal details?

Use the contact us page of the website.

Will you accept copies of certificates?

Yes, alternatively, you can provide proof of your name and address by enclosing a copy of one of the following:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • birth certificate

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