Taking your pension from the Plan

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Taking your pension benefits from the Plan will provide you with a regular income for the rest of your life no matter how long you live. It provides a level of certainty, and for some people it forms the “core” of their retirement income.


  • Your pension will increase each year to help it keep up with inflation. You can find out more about the pension increases applied to your pension benefits in the Plan here.
  • There are benefits for your spouse or civil partner if you die and additional benefits for your family if you die before you start to take your pension benefits from the Plan. You can find out more about these benefits here.

You have options for how you take your money, depending on when you retire and the value of your pension benefits. We’ve explained these options below.

  • Your options for taking your Plan pension

    At any time from age 55 (or 50 if you have a protected pension age), you can choose between:     

    • An annual pension – paid each year for the rest of your life
    • Cash and an annual pension – exchange part of your annual pension for a tax-free cash sum and a lower annual pension paid each year for the rest of your life.  If you leave behind a spouse or partner when you die, a pension of 2/3 of your annual pension will be paid to them for the rest of their life. This pension is based on your full annual pension and not the reduced pension after you have taken a tax-free lump sum.
    • If you retire before your State Pension Age you can take the above two options with levelling. The levelling pension is designed to help members who wish to take their benefits early and before the State Pension is paid. You will receive a higher pension from the Plan until you reach your State Pension age, and then a lower Plan pension paid for the rest of your life. Your higher pension may stop before you are entitled to receive your State Pension if the government changes your State Pension Age.  When you die, if you leave behind a spouse or partner, a pension of 2/3 of your annual pension will be paid to them for the rest of their life. This pension is based on your full annual pension as if you had not taken the levelling option.
    • If you retire after your normal pension age and you contact the Trustee prior to your normal pension age, your options will be the same as if you had retired at normal pension age, but your pension will be higher as it will be paid for fewer years. Please note that if you do not contact the Trustee in advance, you will receive the same pension you would have had at normal pension age.
  • Retiring from the Plan

    The Plan administrator, Mercer, will write to you with your retirement statement six months before your normal pension age. This will explain the options available to you and will include all the forms you need to complete to make your choice. 

    Alternatively, you can get an up-to-date retirement quote by contacting Mercer directly. You do not have to take any action off the back of that quote, but it may give you a good idea of what you have and what the different options might look like for you. You can also request a transfer value quote, if that is an option you would like to explore. 

  • Is a Plan pension right for me?

    That really depends on your personal circumstances. For example, if a regular, guaranteed income and the stability that may provide is important to you, it could be a good option. Alternatively, if you would prefer to choose the level of income you need during your retirement to meet your needs in the short, medium and long term, a pension may not be quite the right approach.

    We would recommend you speak to a financial adviser about what is right for you in the first instance as there is plenty to consider and some tax and planning implications you will need to know about in order to make an informed decision.