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.

Where can I find my payslip?

Your monthly payslip can be found under the ‘Your Pension’ section of the pensions portal. You can download these payslips as a pdf and save them to your own device. The pensions portal will show up to 12 months’ worth of payslips, and you can also access your annual P60 from here too. If you require a printed payslip, please contact a member of the administration team.

Will my pension increase?

Generally, pensions in respect of service from 6 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, please contact a member of the administration team.

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 up to date. You can do this by either:

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

Do I pay tax on my pension?

The LSF 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:

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

You can do this by either:

What happens if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, you should get in touch with a member of the administration team, who 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 Ombudsman.

Tel: 0800 917 4487
Post: The Pensions Ombudsman, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 4PU.
Website: 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;
  • part of the member’s pension rights can be ‘earmarked’ and paid to the ex-spouse or 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 a member of the administration team.

How does the State pension impact my pension from the LSF?

Your LSF pension is paid on top of any State pension you may receive. For anyone who reached State pension age before 6 April 2016, the State provides two kinds of pension:

  • The basic State pension (BSP): often called the ‘old age’ pension, BSP is based on your National Insurance record during your working life and is increased by the Government each year, currently by the highest of inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%.

    S2P/SERPS: This is the second tier of State pension provision and is based on your additional full-rate National Insurance contributions. It is increased by the Government each year in line with inflation. You will be eligible for this unless you have been contracted out.

  • There is a new State pension in place for anyone who reaches State pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The new State pension replaces the two State pensions above. It is generally not less than £168.60 per week (in 2019/20) for a single pensioner – so it provides a significant increase on the current BSP (£129.20 per week in 2019/20). However, to receive the full amount of new State pension, you must have at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions (NICs) (whereas it is 30 years under the old system). Also, a minimum of 10 years of NICs is required to receive any pension and, if you have been contracted out of S2P/SERPS, a deduction will be made to your State pension. The new State pension is an individual benefit, so spouses are not able to inherit or derive rights to this State pension from their partner’s NICs record.

    The new State pension is increased by the Government each year, currently by the highest of inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%. There are more details on the Government’s website about the new State pension.

For members who are yet to receive a pension

When can I receive my pension?

Benefits may be drawn at any time between the Minimum Pension Age (currently 55) and Maximum Pension Age 75.

The LSF will write to you prior to your normal retirement date with a retirement quotation. If you would like to consider taking your benefits before your normal retirement date, an adjustment will be applied to your pension to account for the fact that it will probably end up being in payment for longer. You can run an early retirement illustration via the pensions portal or contact a member of the administration team.

Can I get an update on my pension?

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

Will my pension increase?

Your benefits are subject to revaluation in line with statutory requirements up to normal retirement date or earlier commencement date. Further detail is included on your annual benefit statement and your benefit illustration which can be run via the pensions portal.

Can I take a cash sum when I retire?

At retirement, you may have the option to exchange part of your pension for a cash lump sum which, under current legislation, is tax free. Your retirement quotation will provide further details of this.

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 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 all your pension benefits for a cash lump sum, also known as ‘trivial commutation’. 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.

What if I have Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)?

Some members pay, or have paid, Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) on a defined contribution basis. If you have AVCs, they build up in an individual ‘pension pot’, invested in line with your instructions in one of the LSF’s AVC investment options. Your AVCs can be taken as part of your tax-free cash lump sum or used to provide additional pension.

Our online system doesn’t currently include details of AVCs, so you should contact the administration team directly if you wish to discuss your AVCs.

How does Lifetime Allowance impact my benefits with the LSF?

When your pension comes into payment for the first time, the LSF will measure its value against the Lifetime Allowance. If the value of your pension exceeds the Lifetime Allowance, you may have to pay an additional tax charge. This will be paid to HMRC by the LSF and will reduce the amount of pension you receive.

If you have applied for some form of Lifetime Allowance protection, you should notify LSF and provide the administration team with a copy of the relevant certificate issued by HMRC, if you haven’t already done so.

You can find out more about Lifetime Allowance here.

Can I defer taking my pension?

Yes, you can defer taking your pension up to the maximum age of 75.

The pension will be increased by 2% (simple) per complete three-month period of deferment from normal retirement date (NRD). For members with an NRD of age 60, if you defer taking your pension beyond 12 years, the increase changes to 4% per complete three-month period for the three-year period between 12 and 15 years.

In addition to the Late Retirement increase, any increases that would have been provided had you retired from your normal retirement date will also be applied.

Can I transfer my pension to another pension arrangement?

You have the statutory right to transfer your benefits to another arrangement at any time up to one year before your normal retirement date.

You can run a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) illustration via the pensions portal, or you can contact a member of the administration team.

If the value of the transfer is more than £30,000, Government rules require the Trustee to ensure that you have taken regulated financial advice before the Trustee is permitted to proceed with the payment of the transfer value.

Consider using The Money and Pensions Service which provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.

Where can I find out more about my options?

The Government offers a free and impartial guidance service to help you understand your options at retirement. This is available via the internet, telephone or face-to-face through government-approved organisations, such as The Money and Pensions Service and Citizens Advice. You can find out more by going to www.maps.org.uk or by calling 0800 138 3944.

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 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 up to date.

You can do this by either:

What happens if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, you should get in touch with a member of the administration team using the details found at Get in touch. 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 Ombudsman.

Tel: 0800 917 4487
Post: The Pensions Ombudsman, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 4PU.
Website: 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;
  • part of the member’s pension rights can be ‘earmarked’ and paid to the ex-spouse or 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 a member of the administration team using the details found at Get in touch.

Questions about our secure pensions portal

How do I register for the portal?

You will need your NI number and pensions number, which you can find on any recent correspondence from us (this is usually seven numbers, or seven numbers followed by a letter if you are a dependant), as well as an email address.

Click here and follow the onscreen 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.

The login button doesn’t work, what should I do?

Have you registered? If not, click the register button and follow the instructions.

I’ve registered, but cannot sign in, what should I do?

Have you completed the registration process by activating your account? If not, please check your email inbox and follow the activation link in the email to complete your registration.

I haven’t received my activation email, what should I do?

Check in your spam or junk email folder in case the activation email is in there. If the activation email does not come through, email lsfsupport@wordshop.co.uk or call the helpline on 0800 319 6057.

I’ve forgotten my password

You will need to reset your password. Click on ‘Forgotten your password?’ and follow the instructions to choose a new password and reset. You will need to verify your details again. Please note: you will not be able to log in until you have activated your account by following the instructions on the activation email.

How do I reset my password?

Follow the ‘Forgotten your password?’ link and follow the instructions to choose a new password and reset. You will need to verify your details again. Please note: you will not be able to log in until you have activated your account by following the instructions on the activation email.

The activation link in the email doesn’t work

Copy and paste the link into your web browser. If you still have a problem, email lsfsupport@wordshop.co.uk or call the helpline on 0800 319 6057.

Is there a helpline I can call?

If you are having trouble logging into your account, please contact the user helpline:

Email: lsfsupport@wordshop.co.uk
Phone: 0800 319 6057

Please note: this helpline is for registration and login issues only. For further information about your benefits, contact the administration team on 0207 648 8970 or email admin@lsf.org.uk.

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?

If you are a deferred or active member, you can:

  • view up-to-date pension statements
  • request transfer illustrations and retirement quotations
  • update your contact details
  • update your spouse’s details
  • change your nominated beneficiaries.

If you are a pensioner, you can:

  • view P60s and payslips
  • update your contact details (including bank details)
  • change your nominated beneficiaries.

For advisers of members of the LSF

How can I obtain information about the Fund for my client?

In order to release information about a Fund member to you, we will need a signed Letter of Authority. This Letter of Authority should include your client’s name, address, pension number and a statement giving you authority to act on their behalf. Please ensure that both the adviser’s name and company name is included on the Letter of Authority.

If a Letter of Authority has been provided, we will need a written request for information from you. You can request information via the IFA page or by emailing us your request, or writing to us using the details found at Get in touch.

How can I provide you with a Letter of Authority?

You can send us the Letter of Authority via the IFA page or by email.

What information will you provide me about my client’s benefits?

We can provide you with a current benefit statement (where applicable), retirement quotes, cash equivalent transfer value illustrations and general information about the Fund.

How long will I have to wait before I receive the information I have requested?

We will try to provide you with the information you have requested as soon as we can, however, some requests may be more complex than others. If you haven’t heard back from us within three weeks, please do get in touch with a member of the administration team who will be able to provide you with an update.

Where can I obtain general information on the Fund?

You can find useful documents, including the most recent member communication, the Pensions Briefing, Fund documents, Report and Accounts and valuation reports here.

For relatives or next of kin of a member of the LSF

How can I notify you of a bereavement?

If you need to notify us of the death of one of our members, please call the administration team on 020 7648 8970 or complete the form found here.

What information do I need to provide to you?

When you contact us, we will need the following:

  • The member’s full name, date of birth, and, if known, their pension number (formerly referred to as ‘Our ref.’ on older documents) and/or their National Insurance Number.
  • The date the member passed away.
  • A copy of the death certificate (we do not require an original) once it is available.
  • Details of any spouse, civil partner or financially dependent individual.
  • The name, address, telephone number and email address (if applicable) of the nominated person we can deal with in respect of the death – for example, spouse, solicitor or executor.

What happens after I have notified you?

Once you have notified us of the death, we will stop any pension that may be in payment. We will then write to the nominated individual with the necessary information for tax purposes. Where a dependant’s pension is payable, we will also write to the beneficiary directly in order to set up a dependant’s pension.

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