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Q: Do I have to pay tax on my pension?

You may have to pay tax on your pension it depends on the total amount of income you receive. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will notify the Scheme of the tax code to use for your pension payments.

If you have any questions about how your tax code has been calculated, or about the amount of tax you pay, you can contact HMRC. Click here for HMRC contact details.

Q: How often will my pension be paid?

BCSSS pensions are paid monthly, on the last working day of each month. Please be aware that if your pension is paid into an overseas bank account, the payment may take a couple of extra days to credit into your account to the processes required to make the payment. A list of future paydays is provided in Pensions News. Click here to see the most recent edition.

Q: I live overseas. Can my pension to be paid to a bank account in my country of residence?

Yes. You can ask the Administration Office for more information. Please be aware that although we do pay all pensions at the same time, if we pay your pension into an overseas bank account, there may be a short delay in the pension being credited to your account due to the processes required to make the payment.

Q: I am not yet receiving my pension; can I find out how much my benefits are worth?

You can ask the Administration Office to send you a written estimate of your benefits. Alternatively, if you have registered with the Scheme’€™s interactive website https://www.mypensionline.com/bcsss/default.aspx you can log on securely to view a summary of your annual benefit statement.

Q: My pension is already in payment what individual information can I obtain from the interactive website?

If your pension is already in payment, you will be able to view your payslips and P60 details.

Q: Can I make sure my close family members receive any lump sum death benefit payable if I die?

Yes, you can make a nomination (known as a Declaration and Election) to record your wishes for benefits payable in the event of your death. You can download and complete a form here, or you can obtain a copy from the Administration Office. Although (for tax reasons) the Scheme’€™s Trustees cannot be bound by such declarations, they will always consider a member€™s written wishes carefully before making a decision.

Q: Can I transfer my other pension scheme benefits into the BCSSS?

No. The BCSSS can no longer accept any new entrants, or transfers, into the Scheme.

Q: Can I pay contributions into the BCSSS to increase my pension?

No. The option to pay ongoing contributions ended on the closure of the Scheme in 1994.

Q: Can I transfer my pension out of the Scheme?

If you are not within one year of age 60, you can transfer your pension to any new employers scheme you may join (provided they can accept it) or any other HMRC approved arrangement including certain overseas pension arrangements. If the transfer value of your benefits is more than £30,000 then the law requires you to take independent financial advice before transferring your benefits. However, we would recommend that independent financial advice is taken before deciding whether to proceed with a transfer of benefits in all cases.

Q: Can I take my benefits before I am 60 years old?

If you take benefits before you reach 60, these will be reduced. For most members, the earliest age at which reduced benefits can be taken is 50 although, in 2010, the earliest age at which reduced benefits in most UK pension schemes could be taken increased from 50 to 55 (under new laws this is increasing from 55 to 57 in 2028). The Administration Office has already notified those members affected.

Some members who were made redundant have the right to take payment of unreduced benefits at 50 under an arrangement operated by British Coal. Members who have this option have already been notified.

Q: What happens to my pension if I get divorced?

If you get divorced your pension is normally taken into account along with your other assets when your solicitors are finalising a financial settlement. There are three outcomes:

  • you retain your pension in full and your ex-spouse receives other assets; or
  • your ex-spouse is awarded a proportion of your pension through an earmarking order. Your ex-spouse’s proportion will only become payable when you choose to take your benefits; or
  • your ex-spouse can be awarded a proportion of your pension through a pension sharing order. Your ex-spouse’€™s share, known as a pension credit, could be retained within the Scheme or transferred to an approved pension scheme of their choice.

Further information about divorce and its effect on Scheme benefits can be obtained from the Scheme’€™s divorce fact sheet which you can download here, or you can obtain a copy from the Administration Office.

Please note, the Scheme is only able to act on the instruction of a UK Court.