Your questions answered

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.

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What will I get from my pension?

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.

When’s the earliest I can start taking my pension?

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 Library.

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.

How can I find out how much reckonable service I have?

You can see your reckonable service on page 6 of 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.

Will I pay tax on my cash sum?

No. 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.

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. For 2017/18 it’s £1 million. The Government assesses the tax you need to pay at the point when you start taking your benefits, when you die or if you move your money to another pension scheme.

What is the Pension Input Amount?

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 £40,000 for 2017/18. 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.

Can I pay more in to my pension if I want to?

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

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

I top up my pension by making Additional Voluntary Contributions. Why can’t I see them on my Benefit Illustration?

Scottish Widows manages the Additional Voluntary Contributions for the Plan.

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.

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

What if I use Addplan?

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

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.

I’ve lost my Benefit Illustration. Can I get another one?

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

I’ve nominated somebody to receive some benefits from the Plan when I die. Why doesn’t my Benefit Illustration show the date you received my form?

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.

What is the Pension Supplement?

If you joined the Plan on or after 1 April 1987, you’ll get an extra amount of pension each year. This is called the Pension Supplement and you will receive it if you take your Age60 or Age65 benefits before you reach your State Pension age. It is only paid if you are not employed by Royal Mail Group and it will stop when you reach your State Pension age. See the ‘Guide to your pension benefits’ for more details.

How is it calculated?

The Pension Supplement is calculated based on the first £3,328 of your annual salary. If you work part time, we convert this to the full time equivalent. To find out more, get in touch with the Pensions Service Centre.