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Round up

Is your 'Expression of Wish' form up to date?

A recent report suggests that as many as 750,000 people in the UK may risk leaving pension benefits to an ex-partner simply because they have not kept their scheme’s trustee up to date regarding changes in their circumstances.

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AVCs – your options

As an Active member of the Scheme you may have paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). Whilst these are kept within the Scheme, they are held separately from your main Scheme benefits.

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Limits and taxation

The Government sets limits on both the amount of pension savings an individual makes each year (the Annual Allowance) and the total amount of savings built up (the Lifetime Allowance). The current limits are:

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GMP Equalisation

If you were an Active member of the Scheme for any period between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997 an element of your pension will be Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). You and BT will have paid less National Insurance Contributions for this period of your employment. As a result, you will receive a lower level of pension from the State and the Scheme ensures that your BTPS pension is at least equal to a specific amount, known as your GMP.

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Section C court case update

Last year, the High Court determined that for pension increases, in respect of Section C members, it was not possible at this time to change the inflationary measure from RPI to another index. BT appealed this judgment, however, the Court of Appeal also confirmed that it is currently not possible to change the inflationary measure. BT have now applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Judicial Review update

Last year BT brought an application to the High Court to look at a Government decision (a Judicial Review) on public sector pensions and how this decision, may impact the way in which increases to Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) are applied to certain Section B members’ pensions.

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Change of Administrator

In May 2018, our own in-house administration team took over the Scheme’s pension administration services from Accenture.

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The State Pension and other benefits

The State Pension changed on 6 April 2016. If you reached your State Pension age on or after this date you will be entitled to receive the new State Pension and you may already be doing so. This was introduced to create a single-tier State Pension for everyone and simplify the old system.

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Retirement options

You can start receiving your BTPS pension at anytime on or after your 55th birthday (if you joined the Scheme before 6 April 2006 you may be able to start taking it as early as age 50). UK legislation dictates that it must be taken before you turn 75.

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Pension Scams – How to spot one

A ‘Pension Scam’ is when someone tries to fraudulently access your pension savings. Victims of these Scams can potentially lose their pension savings or find out later that they are facing an unexpected tax bill … or both!

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