Frequently asked questions

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For members who are receiving a pension from the LSF

When will my pension be paid?

Except for those pensions paid to members of Sturge Holdings Plc (E) Staff Pension Scheme, whose pensions are paid monthly in advance, pensions are paid monthly in arrears, normally on the last working day of the month.

Will my pension increase?

Generally, pensions in respect of service from 6th April 1997 will increase at least in line with inflation, while pensions in respect of service before that date are not increased. However, some employers in the LSF allowed for increases that are in excess of statutory requirements.

If you require specific details about your own pension, then please contact LSF Pensions Administration, whose details are given in Get in touch.

What happens if I die while I am receiving a pension?

As a retiree the death benefits paid from the Fund will depend on the benefit structure that was chosen by your employer. However, generally speaking, the following benefits are payable:

  • Your pension from the Fund is guaranteed for five years in payment. Should you die within the first five years of receiving your pension, the remaining term would be paid, with an offset of any spouse’s pension payable, as a lump sum benefit.
  • Your spouse and, in some cases, eligible children may also receive a pension.

Any lump sums payable on death are paid at the discretion of the Trustee and therefore do not form part of an individual’s estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. Although lump sums are payable at the Trustee’s discretion, it may take into account any wishes of the deceased, and therefore it is important to keep your Expression of Wishes Form up to date.

If you are currently in receipt of a pension that commenced due to the death of your spouse, then no further benefits will be payable upon your death.

Do I pay tax on my pension?

LSF Pensions Administration deducts any income tax due directly from your monthly pension and pays it to HMRC. This will depend upon the tax code notified to us by HMRC.

What do I do if my tax code is incorrect?

If you think you are paying the wrong amount of tax, you need to contact HMRC, by getting in touch with the relevant tax office.

Please note that when you reach State pension age you may start to receive a State pension, which could result in a change of tax code.

How do I notify the LSF of a change to my bank details?

You can do this by either:

or

  • posting a signed notification to our address; go to Get in touch for contact details.

How do I notify the LSF of a change to my address or other personal details?

You can do this by either

or

  • posting a signed notification to our address; go to ‘Get in touch’ for contact details.

What happens if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, get in touch with LSF Pensions Administration. They will send you details of our Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure.

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the Trustee, you can contact The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

Tel: 0300 123 1047

Post: The Pensions Advisory Service, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB

www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

If you’re still dissatisfied with matters after TPAS has attempted to resolve them, you may wish to contact the Pensions Ombudsman, who can further investigate any disputes. You’ll be expected to contact TPAS before the Ombudsman.

Post: The Pensions Ombudsman, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB

www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk

What happens to my pension on divorce?

When a couple divorce from marriage or a registered civil partnership, pension scheme benefits are included as part of the couple’s assets.

What actually happens to their pension benefits depends on how the total assets of the marriage are split as part of the divorce settlement.

A Court can order the pension benefits to be shared between the couple in one of three ways:

  • the member’s pension rights can be offset against other assets;
    or
  • part of the member’s pension rights can be ‘earmarked’ and paid to the ex-spouse (which includes a civil partner) when the member retires;
    or
  • the ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s share will either be a) transferred to another pension arrangement or b) remain in the LSF under the ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s name.

If you need further information, please contact LSF Pensions Administration.

For members who are yet to receive a pension

When can I receive my pension?

The earliest date you can take your Fund pension is currently age 55. If you take your pension early, an adjustment will be applied to your pension, to account for the fact that it will probably end up being in payment for longer.

Can I get an update on my pension?

You can get an updated pension figure by logging into the secure pensions portal.

Can I take a cash sum when I retire?

Under current tax rules, you may be able to exchange part of your pension for a cash lump sum, which is currently tax free. If you choose this option, your pension at retirement would be reduced.

Can I take my pension as a one-off lump sum payment?

From age 55 onwards, if your benefits are valued at less than £10,000 you will be able to exchange (‘commute’) all your benefits for a cash lump sum. A proportion of this will be paid to you as a tax-free lump sum and the remainder would be taxed under PAYE at your marginal tax rate. Please let us know if you would like to find out if you are eligible for this option.

If your benefits are valued at less than £30,000, you may be able to exchange (‘commute’) all your pension benefits for a cash lump sum on the grounds of triviality. To do so the total value of all your private pensions, excluding the State pension, would need to be less than £30,000.

Under trivial commutation you would exchange all your benefits, including the contingent spouse’s pension, for a lump sum, a quarter of which would be payable tax free, with the remaining three-quarters taxable under PAYE.

Can I transfer my pension to another pension arrangement?

Yes, up to one year before your Normal Retirement Date (‘NRD’) you have the right to transfer the value of your benefits to another pension arrangement. Within one year of NRD the payment of a transfer value is at the discretion of the Trustee.

You can obtain a transfer illustration by logging into the secure pensions portal.

If the value of the transfer is more than £30,000, you must take independent financial advice before the Trustee is permitted to proceed with the payment of the transfer value. Please also note that there could be tax implications if you were to transfer, so you should consider speaking to an independent financial adviser in any event. You can find one in your area on this website: www.unbiased.co.uk

What benefits may be payable if I die before I retire?

The death benefits paid from the Fund will depend on the benefit structure that was chosen by your employer. However, generally speaking, the following benefits are payable:

  • If you are an active member there would be a lump sum payable, normally a multiple of your salary. In addition, if you are married at the time of your death, there could be a pension payable to your spouse, and sometimes to any eligible children.
  • If you are a deferred member, i.e. you have not yet started to draw your pension, there is a lump sum payable, and in some cases a pension payable to your spouse and/or any eligible children. Your online benefit statement, which is available through the secure pensions portal, shows the current value of both the lump sum and the spouse’s pension.

Any lump sums payable on death are paid at the discretion of the Trustee and therefore do not form part of an individual’s estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. Although lump sums are payable at the Trustee’s discretion, it may take into account any wishes of the deceased, and therefore it is important to keep your Expression of Wishes Form up to date. You can update your nominations whenever you want, by logging into the secure pensions portal.

What happens if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, get in touch with LSF Pensions Administration. They will send you details of our Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure.

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the Trustee, you can contact The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

Tel: 0300 123 1047

Post: The Pensions Advisory Service, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB

www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

If you’re still dissatisfied with matters after TPAS has attempted to resolve them, you may wish to contact the Pensions Ombudsman, who can further investigate any disputes. You’ll be expected to contact TPAS before the Ombudsman.

Post: The Pensions Ombudsman, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB

www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk

What happens to my pension on divorce?

When a couple divorce from marriage or a registered civil partnership, pension scheme benefits are included as part of the couple’s assets.

What actually happens to their pension benefits depends on how the total assets of the marriage are split as part of the divorce settlement.

A Court can order the pension benefits to be shared between the couple in one of three ways:

  • the member’s pension rights can be offset against other assets;
    or
  • part of the member’s pension rights can be ‘earmarked’ and paid to the ex-spouse (which includes a civil partner) when the member retires;
    or
  • the ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s share will either be a) transferred to another pension arrangement or b) remain in the LSF under the ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s name.

If you need further information, please contact LSF Pensions Administration.

Questions about our secure pensions portal

How do I register for the portal?

You will need your NI number and pensions reference number, which you can find on your latest benefit statement, as well as an email address.

Click here and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration form.

For security reasons, you will need to create a password that contains a capital letter, a number and a symbol.

Once you have submitted your registration form, you will receive an email with a link that you must click on in order to verify your email address and complete the registration process.

What can I do if I lose my login details?

If you forget your password you can reset it here using your registered email address.

How secure is the portal?

All information used on the portal is secured using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passing between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

What sorts of things can I do on the portal?

Deferred and active members can:

  • View up-to-date pension statements
  • Request transfer illustrations and retirement quotations
  • Update their contact details
  • Update their spouse’s details
  • Change their nominated beneficiaries

Pensioners can:

  • View P60s, payslips and pay dates
  • Update their contact details (including bank details)
  • Change their nominated beneficiaries
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