How do I know what my benefits are?
When you left the Scheme, you would have received a leaving statement or letter confirming your benefits at that time. For many members, these benefits may be subject to annual increases to help offset the effects of inflation and if you are trying to plan for your retirement, you might like to know the current figures, especially if you left quite a few years ago.
We do not currently issue annual statements but we are always happy to provide members with an update of their deferred pension. If you would like an update, please contact the Scheme Administrator.
When can I take my benefits?
Your benefits are payable when you reach the Scheme’s Normal Retirement Age which is 65 for most members. If you are uncertain of your Normal Retirement Age, you can contact the Scheme Administrator. The Administrator will write to you around 6 months before your Normal Retirement Age with details of your retirement options, so please ensure that you keep them informed of any changes of address.
You can request to take your pension benefits earlier (from age 55, subject to Company consent). Your benefits will be reduced for early retirement. If you want to apply for your pension before Normal Retirement Age, you should contact the Scheme Administrator.
You can also request to defer your pension benefits after reaching your Normal Retirement Age, if you wish.
If you become ill, you can apply to the Trustee to retire at any age, although satisfactory medical evidence will be required if you are under age 55.
As a deferred member, you have the option to transfer your pension benefits into another registered pension arrangement.
Since 2015, the number of options available in relation to pensions has increased – these are called pension flexibilities. However, they are not available to members with defined benefit pensions.
At Hays, we want members to have the freedom and flexibility to manage their benefits to suit their particular circumstances. This has been achieved by Hays plc agreeing to pay for financial advice, via a company called Origen. Members when they request a cash equivalent transfer value can use their own financial adviser (at their own cost) or use Origen to review their pension situation.
New pension transfer regulations give additional protection if you are thinking about transferring
To help tackle the rise in pension scams, the Government brought in new regulations in November 2021 that give an added layer of protection if you’re thinking of transferring your pension out of the Scheme and into another arrangement.
Before your transfer can go ahead, it must meet two conditions:
- If you are considering transferring your pension into an authorised arrangement in the UK (such as a public-service pension scheme, an authorised Master Trust, an authorised Collective Defined Contribution scheme), then it is likely your transfer can go ahead.
- If your transfer doesn’t satisfy the first condition, you’ll need to satisfy the following:
- If the receiving arrangement is an occupational scheme, you’ll be asked to prove you have an employment link to it – for example, a letter from the sponsoring employer confirming that you meet certain requirements (length of employment, minimum salary, etc).
- If the receiving scheme is a Qualified Registered Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), you’ll be asked to demonstrate you have a residential link with the scheme’s financial jurisdiction of six months or more by providing, for example, evidence of having paid local tax, a utility bill, registration with a local doctor, etc).
If (a) and (b) above are satisfied and no red or amber flags are present, your transfer can take place.
If the trustee of the scheme you’re transferring out of determine that red or amber flags are present, they can either stop or pause your transfer.
- If one or more amber flags are present, but you can provide evidence that you’ve taken scams guidance through MoneyHelper (or that you’ve made transfers into the same receiving scheme in the previous 12 months), then your transfer can go ahead. You will still have to provide evidence that you’ve taken scams guidance from MoneyHelper, a government-backed financial-guidance provider, even if you have taken regulated advice from a financial adviser.
- If one or more red flags are present, the trustee of the scheme you’re transferring out of will stop your transfer.
You can find more about these regulations in the Scheme’s transfer pack. Look for the ‘Option B – Take your benefits outside of the Scheme’ guide which includes detailed information about the red and amber flags.
We’ve taken the pledge to help keep your pension safe
Your Scheme administrator Equiniti, along with all of the Trustee Directors and the Pensions Manager, have taken The Pension Regulator’s pledge to help combat pension scams and protect you.
Among other things, this means we’ll:
- Regularly warn you about pension scams so you can recognise the signs;
- Report concerns about scams to the authorities and update you; and
- Follow the new transfer regulations and best practice whenever we’re asked to make a transfer.
What should I do if I want a transfer quote?
You can request one free transfer quote a year.
If you are considering transferring your benefits out of the Scheme, please get in touch with the Scheme Administrator.
Taking your Scheme benefits
Even though you’re no longer contributing to the Scheme, planning how and when you take your benefits takes time and organisation. Here are some suggestions and options for you to consider…
Planning your retirement
What to think about
|Every two to five years||
|Approaching Normal Retirement Age: Between five and seven months before retiring||