Active members

Active members

If you’re still building up a pension in the Scheme, you’re what’s known as an ‘active’ member.

You’ve already started saving towards a better retirement. However, to get the most from your membership, it’s important to understand your benefits and options.

You and your employer both pay into your Scheme pension and those contributions benefit from tax relief (up to certain limits known as the Annual and Lifetime Allowances) – think of it as an extra boost to your retirement savings from the Government.

To make sure you have what you need for ‘life after work’, you should think about your pension plans as early as possible – and review them regularly to check they’re still on track.

Boost your benefits

While you’re an active member of the Scheme, you’re eligible to join the additional voluntary contribution (AVC) arrangement.

Your AVCs are paid into a ringfenced pension account and you can choose from a range of funds to invest in. How much your account is worth when you retire will depend on how much you pay in, and how your chosen investment funds have performed.

Learn more about AVCs »

Benefits after death

The Scheme not only provides you with an income for retirement, but can also help provide for your loved ones if you die.

A number of benefits may be payable to your dependants, including one or more of the following:

  • a spouse’s pension
  • a dependant’s pension
  • children’s pensions
  • a lump-sum

You should check your member booklet or contact your pension scheme administrator, Railpen, for more information on the death benefits you may be entitled to as a Scheme member.

Death benefits and Nominations

When you die, a pension may be paid to your beneficiaries.

If you die before you claim your Scheme benefits or within 5 years of taking them, a lump sum or refund of contributions may be paid to your beneficiaries.

You can tell the Trustee who you’d like your beneficiaries to be by logging into your online account or by completing a nomination form.

To change your beneficiaries, simply submit a new Nomination. This will override any previous nominations. Please complete a new Nomination every few years, even if your wishes haven’t changed, so the Trustee knows they’re up to date.

Approaching retirement?

If you’re an active member approaching retirement, you might want to check out the ‘Pensioners’ section to find out what you can expect once you start taking your Scheme benefits.

Protect your pension

Fraudsters could be after your pension savings! Make sure you know the warning signs before agreeing to any transfers.