Payment of your pension

Paydays, your monthly pension is paid in arrears on the last working day of the month.

Payslips

Payslips are available online through the Scheme’s secure member website.

Payslips are still sent to pensioners in:

January - after the Scheme pension increase; 

March – as a combined P60 & March payslip;

April - after the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) increase (please see Guaranteed Minimum Pension section below). GMP increases only apply to pensioners who have pensionable service after April 1988 and are over GMP age (65 for men, 60 for women);

If there is a net change in your monthly pension of more than £5.00.

P60

All pensioners will receive a combined P60 & March payslip. The combined P60 will be posted to your home address before the end of April each year.

P60s are available online through the Scheme’s secure member website

Lifetime Allowance

The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) was introduced in 2006 and is a limit on the amount of pension benefits that can be drawn from pension schemes, whether lump sums or retirement income (pension), without triggering an additional tax charge. The LTA amount changes each year, the current and previous LTA rates can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pension-schemes-value-your-pension-for-lifetime-allowance-protection

While most people aren’t affected by the LTA, if the value of your pension benefits is approaching or above the LTA, you should seek advice from an independent financial adviser.

Levelling option

The levelling option was available to members who retired before 2009. The option is no longer available to members on retirement.

The amounts of the levelling option addition and deduction are fixed at the date your pension starts. Once members reach State Pension Age (SPA), any RPI increases awarded are added to pensions before taking off the Levelling Option deduction.

The Levelling Option allows members to take account of their entitlement to a Basic State Pension by receiving an enhanced BCSSS pension up to SPA. The BCSSS pension is reduced once a member reaches SPA; payment of the State Pension then has the effect of offsetting the reduction in BCSSS pension and so ensures that there is no overall fall in income.

The Levelling Option addition stops when the member reaches SPA. From then on, the pension is reduced by the amount of the levelling option deduction, which stops at age 80.

The option was designed to work around a SPA of 65 for men and conforms to UK taxation regulations. Changes to the SPA, introduced by Government, meant that in April 2009 the Levelling Option had to be withdrawn for new retirement awards where the members SPA is higher than age 65.

If you are already in receipt of a Levelling Option top-up (because you are under SPA and took the Levelling Option) or a deduction (because you are over SPA and under age 80) you are unaffected by this change, which only applies to members retiring from April 2009 onwards who have a SPA higher than 65.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) you will have an AVC fund with the Prudential Assurance Company Limited which will provide you with additional benefits. 

You can take your AVC benefits at any time from age 55. There are different options including: 

1. Buying an annuity. 

2. To provide all or some of your BCSSS tax-free cash on retirement (you can only do this if you are taking your BCSSS pension at the same time). 

3. Taking the whole of your AVC fund as a cash lump sum, the first 25% will be tax free, and the remaining 75% will be added to your income in the tax year you take it and you will be taxed accordingly. 

You don’t have to take your AVCs at the same time as you start to take your BCSSS pension. You can take both benefits at different times to suit your circumstances. 

If you need help deciding what to do you can get help from Pension Wise, a service set up by the Government to provide free and impartial guidance to help you understand what you can do with your AVC pension pot. To contact Pension Wise call 0800 138 3944 or visit www.pensionwise.gov.uk

Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)

Members who contributed to the BCSSS after April 1978 were contracted out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS). Legislation requires the pension paid by the Scheme from age 60 for women and 65 for men to be at least equal to the pension that would have been earned in SERPS.

This equivalent amount of pension is called the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). The GMP is included in the BCSSS pension and is not an additional pension. 

Widows and widowers 

 The widows and widowers of contributors who were contracted out of SERPS may also have a GMP entitlement. For widows, this will be half of the contributor’s GMP. For widowers the entitlement will be half of the contributor’s GMP earned from service after April 1988.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will automatically notify the Scheme of the amount of GMP payable to widows and widowers. For most beneficiaries, the Scheme pension will be more than the GMP. For these beneficiaries, the only effect of their GMP entitlement will be that increases on GMP will be paid separately from increases on the rest of their pension. The Scheme pension is normally higher than the GMP but if it is not, BCSSS would increase the pension so that it is equal to the GMP.

Widowers of Scheme members who did not pay Family Benefit Contributions will not be entitled to a Scheme pension. However, they may be entitled to a pension from the Scheme equal to half the GMP earned by their wife after April 1988.

For more information about GMPs please see the Scheme's GMP factsheet.

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