Deferred members
Deferred members

If you’ve left the Scheme and haven’t yet retired, you’re a ‘deferred’ member. Neither you nor the Company will still be contributing to your Scheme pension.

However, each April, you will receive an increase to your benefits in line with inflation. This is based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) figure for the previous September (although limits apply).

You may leave your benefits within the Scheme until you reach your normal pension age. The pension and lump sum will be calculated using your pensionable service and pensionable salary at the date of leaving, taking into account the annual inflation increases.

If you leave deferred benefits in the Scheme, please remember to update your details by logging into your online account if your address or personal circumstances change. It is important that we can continue to get in touch with important information about your pension.

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.

Alternatively you can complete 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.

Transfers and pension scams

You may transfer your deferred benefits to another UK pension arrangement or an approved overseas arrangement.

You may request a transfer value estimate by contacting Railpen at any time after leaving the Scheme and before your deferred benefits become payable (a transfer value cannot be paid once your benefits have come into payment).

However, please be wary of any cold calls or emails about transferring your pension.

Fraudsters may try to lure you into an illegal pension transfer – and if they succeed, you could lose all of your pension savings and face tax charges as well!

Beware of:

  • Promises of early access to your pension (before age 55)
  • 'Guaranteed' returns on investments
  • Offers of free pension reviews and health checks
  • Talk of pension loans or upfront cash
  • Advice to transfer your pension savings into small occupational schemes to avoid scrutiny from regulators
  • Pressure to act quickly
  • Offers to complete paperwork on your behalf

You can learn more about pension fraud and red flags to watch out for at

Payment of your benefits

Members who joined after 1 April 1988...
If you joined the Scheme on or after 1 April 1988, you have a normal pension age of 63. You may take your benefits at any time from age 60, but they will be reduced to reflect early payment.

Male members who joined pre-1 April 1988...
If you are a male member who joined the industry before 1 April 1988, you left service on or after May 17 1990 and you leave for reasons other than redundancy, you may take your deferred benefits at age 60. However, any benefits you earned before 17 May 1990 will be reduced to take into account the fact that they were originally payable from age 63 and are therefore being paid three years early.

If you defer taking your benefits until the age of 63, an enhancement will be applied to benefits earned after 17 May 1990 to reflect late payment.

Other early benefit payments…

If you leave because of redundancy or reorganisation, you will be able to take your deferred benefits at age 50 if you joined the Scheme before February 2003 or have protected status. Alternatively, you may decide at the time of leaving to defer receipt of these benefits until you reach 63. If you do so, you may receive an additional lump sum from the Company. If you joined the Scheme on or after February 2003 your benefits will be paid from your Normal Retirement Age although you will have the option to receive reduced pension benefits from age 55.

If the Scheme's Medical Adviser confirms that you are unable to work due to ill health, then your deferred benefits may be paid early.

Please read your member booklet or contact the Scheme administrator, Railpen, for more details about your options.