Your questions answered

Need help filling in your options form? 

Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide.

Please note that if you started the retirement process before 1 October 2020, the form will look a bit different.

Underneath the video you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions. We hope you find these answers useful. If you’ve got another question you’d like us to answer, please get in touch with the Pensions Service Centre (contact details below).

Taking your Age60 benefits
4 mins 20 secs

On 1 April 2010, the age you’d normally start taking your pension benefits increased from 60 to 65. As a result, you get two separate benefits from your pension:

Your Age60 benefits

The benefits you earned before 1 April 2010. You’d normally start taking these benefits when you turn 60.

Your Age65 benefits

The benefits you earned from 1 April 2010. You’d normally start taking these benefits when you turn 65.

Members of the RMPP stopped earning benefits on a Career Salary Defined Benefit basis on 31 March 2018. Therefore, we can’t show you the estimated benefits payable at 60 and 65, or the maximum tax-free cash sum at those ages.

Benefits earned to 31 March 2012 are paid from the RMSPS. However, any increase in pre 2012 benefits in excess of statutory increases, attributable to increases in pensionable pay, will be paid by the RMPP.

You’d normally be able to start taking some of your pension benefits at 60, and some at 65. These are called Age60 benefits and Age65 benefits.

You can start taking some, or all, of your benefits as early as 55. This is the minimum age set by the Government.

If you take your benefits early, the amount you get will be reduced. So, before you decide what to do, make sure you understand how all the different options would affect you. Find out more in our ‘Flexible Pension Guide’ which can be found in the Media Library.

If you are 55 or over and would like a personalised quote for your estimated benefits at 60 and 65 you can email the Pensions Service Centre (contact details below) – remember to include your name, date of birth and membership number.

Benefits earned to 31 March 2012 are paid from the RMSPS. However, any increase in pre 2012 benefits in excess of statutory increases, attributable to increases in pensionable pay, will be paid by the RMPP.

You can see your reckonable service in your Benefit Illustration.

Because your reckonable service is made up of many different parts, it won’t necessarily match how long you’ve worked for your employer.

Not in most cases. Any cash sum you take with your pension when you take your benefits is tax-free, as long as you don’t go over the Lifetime Allowance (and as long as the total cash doesn’t exceed one quarter of the value of your total benefits).

The Lifetime Allowance is what your pension benefits – from all your different pension schemes – can be worth before you have to pay any extra tax charges. It is currently just over £1 million and therefore does not affect the majority of members. The Government assesses the tax payable at the point when you start taking your benefits, when you die or if you move your money to another pension scheme.

The Pension Input Amount is the amount your pension has increased in the last year. We use this amount to work out if you owe any tax. It’s not an amount that can be paid to you.

The Government has set a limit for how much your pension can grow within one year. This limit is known as the Annual Allowance and is £60,000. If you go over this limit you might owe some tax. Generally, this will only affect you if you have a large pension or you’ve made large payments through Additional Voluntary Contributions or other pension products.

Yes. If you want more money to live on when you stop working, you can make extra payments. These payments are called Additional Voluntary Contributions.

Find out more about the different ways you can top up your pension.

Scottish Widows manages the Additional Voluntary Contributions for the RMPP.

If you make Additional Voluntary Contributions, Scottish Widows will send you a separate statement in the post each year to tell you how much you’ve saved and the value of your savings so far.

However, if you’ve been paying Additional Voluntary Contributions for a long time, your statement might be from one of the companies we’ve used in the past. These include Aviva or Standard Life.

What if I pay to Addplan?

If you pay contributions to Addplan, we’ve included your contributions from the date you started your added years contract up to 31 March this year.

You can also see the total amount of added years you’ve bought up to 31 March in the personal details section of your Benefit Illustration.

If you’ve lost your Benefit Illustration, you can ask the Pensions Service Centre to send you another copy in the post. You’ll need to pay £25 if you want to do this.

To ask for another copy of your Benefit Illustration, please write to:

Benefit Illustrations
Pensions Service Centre
PO Box 5863
Pond Street
Sheffield, S98 6AB

You’ll need to include:

  • a cheque for £25 addressed to the Royal Mail Pension Plan

  • your member number or national insurance number

  • your date of birth

If you filled in your form after 31 March this year, we won’t have included the date we received your form in your Benefit Illustration. You should see it in your Benefit Illustration next year.

If you filled in your form before 31 March this year, and the date we received it isn’t on your Benefit Illustration, please fill in a new form.

If you’re not sure who you’ve nominated or if you want to nominate somebody new, you’ll also need to fill in a new form.

Yes. Our original Plan closed to new members on 31 March 2008. So, if you started paying into a pension after this point, you will have joined the Royal Mail Defined Contribution Plan (RMDCP) instead. On 1 April 2018 the RMPP reopened. It is only open to members of the RMDCP who have more than four years of pensionable service at the standard rate.


If you don’t know which section you’re in, contact the Helpline (contact details are at the bottom of the page); or If you recieve an Annual Benefit Illustration the section is noted on the front page.