Here are some answers to common questions about the Scottish & Newcastle Pension Plan and retirement planning in general.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch with the Plan administrator, Capita, on 0345 600 2086 or email snpensions@capita.co.uk.

It depends on whether you are paid monthly or four-weekly (lunar). Please view the latest pension pay dates here.

Your pension is paid directly into either your bank or building society account. For security reasons, the plan administrator, Capita, does not pay your pension by cheque. Capita is also not able to pay your pension into any other person’s bank or building society account unless it has received the appropriate court notifications (e.g., in cases where someone has a legal power of attorney over your finances).

Pensions are reviewed annually on 1 November and increased in accordance with the Plan Rules. Different increases are applied to pension earned before 6 April 1997 and pension earned after 6 April 1997. If you have passed your Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) age, then the increases to the GMP element of your pension will be decided by the Government. Every element of pension has a specific increase definition, so you will receive a letter each year that provides a breakdown of your pension and confirms the percentage of increase that has been awarded to each element.

You will receive a payslip when your pension is first set up but you will then only receive one if your pension changes by more than £1 in any pay period, or when P60s are issued. Remember, once you’ve registered for the online portal, you can view your payslips online at any time.

Your pension is payable under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) rules. Income tax will be calculated, initially on a Month 1 (Emergency Code) basis. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be informed of your retirement. If any change is made to your tax code, the Plan administrator, Captia, will adjust your tax position accordingly. This is usually within the first two months of your first pension payment.

If you receive a supplementary pension (or ‘bridging pension’), it is only payable until your State Pension Age (SPA). When you reach your SPA, the supplementary element of your pension will cease to be payable and, therefore, your pension will decrease. If the Government subsequently changes the SPA, the date your Supplementary Pension is paid to will not change.

If you have a question about tax, please contact the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) office below:

HM Revenue & Customs
PO Box 1970
Liverpool L75 1WX
Telephone number: 0300 200 3300
PAYE reference number: 120/MA83247

If your bank account details have changed, then please complete the Change of Bank Details form. It is important to advise the Plan administrator, Capita, as soon as possible, as we process the payroll approximately 10-12 days before payment date. Any changes received after we have begun processing the payroll will not be included until the following month’s payroll.

If any correspondence sent to you by the Plan administrator, Capita, is returned, payment of your pension will be suspended until you write to Capita with your new address. This is to help prevent pensions fraud.

If you have recently moved but not updated your contact details, please email snpensions@capita.co.uk from your registered email address or call Capita on 0345 600 3260 (+44 114 273 7331 if calling from overseas).

A P60 is a statement issued by the Plan administrator, Capita, at the end of the tax year, showing how much tax you’ve paid on your SNPP pension. You can also view previous years' P60s online, if you have registered for the online portal. You should keep your paper P60s safe as they may be required for tax purposes.

In some cases, depending on your membership section, a lump sum might be paid from the Plan, while your spouse, civil partner or dependent partner might also receive a pension. If your spouse, civil partner or dependant qualifies for a pension, it would be worth roughly half of your pension at date of death, including any pension given up at retirement for a lump sum.

If you are receiving a dependant’s pension, no further benefits are payable from the Plan on your death.

You can update your nomination by completing an Expression of Wish online. Once you have registered for the online portal and logged in, please go to the personal details section and select ‘change these details’. This information will be held on your record and will supersede any forms you have previously completed. Alternatively, you can print an Expression of Wish form to complete and return to the Plan administrator. Please note, if you’ve been in receipt of a pension from the Plan for more than five years, no lump sum is payable on your death.

The Plan administrator, Capita, will require the following information from your next of kin:

  • Your original death certificate
  • Details of Estate form
  • Beneficiaries Application form (if there is a spouse/civil partner/dependant claiming a pension)
  • Original marriage/civil partnership certificates (if applicable)
  • Original birth certificate of spouse/civil partner/dependant (if applicable)
  • Bank Mandate form
  • Details of any children

Capita will try to request all this information from you when you retire. However, there may be instances where it is necessary to contact your next of kin for further details.

You are entitled to the full pension instalment for the payment period in which your date of death falls, but if any payments are made thereafter, the Trustee will need to reclaim these overpaid amounts in full from your estate. A letter will be sent to your next of kin advising how the overpayment can be made.

The commencement date for your dependant’s pension is the day after your date of death. However, the Plan administrator, Capita, will not be able to start making payments until all the information required has been received (see ‘What information will my next of kin need to provide in the event of my death?) Their pension will be paid in advance, every four weeks, into their nominated bank account. The first pension instalment will be paid on the next pension payment date after all the relevant information has been received.

The payment of a pension to a dependent partner is subject to Trustee approval and evidence of financial dependency will need to be provided. A questionnaire will be sent to your partner for completion; here is a list of the types of things we would require:

  • Details of income of both you and your partner
  • Joint mortgage/rental agreement
  • Joint utility bills
  • Joint loans/credit agreements
  • Bank statements showing payments made by you to your partner

It is important that all relevant information is provided with the completed questionnaire to try and avoid any delays and requests for further evidence.

When the Plan administrator, Capita, has been notified that you require information for a divorce, the following information will be sent to you:

  • The Plan’s divorce policy statement
  • Schedule of Charges
  • An invoice if you are not entitled to a free Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV)

If you are in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, Capita will arrange for a CETV to be calculated. This may have to be done by the Plan actuary (e.g. if you are already in receipt of your pension). If you are in Scotland, your pension must be valued on the ‘date of separation’ and only the value that has been built up during your marriage or civil partnership is taken into account.

You are entitled to one free statutory Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) a year. If you require another within a 12-month period, there will be a charge payable, usually £250 plus VAT.

Before a pension sharing order (PSO) can be implemented, the following is required:

  • Final Consent Order or Financial Remedy Order and Pension Sharing Annex (Form P1) (or Minute of Agreement or Court Order for divorces under Scottish Law), stamped and dated by the court
  • Decree Absolute or Dissolution Order (or extract of the Decree of Divorce, Decree of Dissolution of Civil Partnership or Declarator of Nullity for divorces under Scottish Law)
  • Charges payable by both parties or in the proportion specified in the court order
  • Information about the ex-spouse/civil partner
    - All the names by which he/she has been known
    - Date of birth
    - Address
    - National Insurance number
  • The full name and address of the qualifying arrangement(s) to which the credit is to be transferred
  • The membership or policy number in that arrangement (if known)
  • Contact details of the administrator responsible for the receiving arrangement

When your PSO was implemented, your pension was reduced according to the terms of the order and a letter was sent to confirm this.

A supplementary pension is a temporary pension that is paid to bridge the gap in your income between your retirement date and your State Pension Age (as defined in the Trust Deed and Rules of the Plan).

The Plan administrator, Capita, will write to you in the month the supplementary pension is due to stop, to confirm the adjustment that will be made to your pension and the total amount of pension you will receive going forward.

The supplementary pension is only applicable to certain categories of membership; you will usually have been told at retirement if it applies to you.

Your supplementary pension is shown on your payslip as ‘Bridging Pension’.

Your supplementary pension will stop being paid from the pay period after you reach your State Pension Age, as defined in the Trust Deed and Rules of the Plan, which is as follows:

Any person born between 6th December 1953 and 5th October 1954: age 65

6th December 1953 to 5th January 1954: 6th March 2019
6th January 1954 to 5th February 1954: 6th May 2019
6th February 1954 to 5th March 1954: 6th July 2019
6th March 1954 to 5th April 1954: 6th September 2019
6th April 1954 to 5th May 1954: 6th November 2019
6th May 1954 to 5th June 1954: 6th January 2020
6th June 1954 to 5th July 1954: 6th March 2020
6th May 1954 to 5th June 1954: 6th January 2020
6th July 1954 to 5th August 1954: 6th May 2020
6th August 1954 to 5th September 1954: 6th July 2020
6th September 1954 to 5th October 1954: 6th September 2020

Any person born after 5th October 1954 but before 6th April 1960: age 66

Any person born between 6th April 1960 and 5th March 1961:

6th April 1960 to 5th May 1960 Age 66 years and 1 month
6th May 1960 to 5th June 1960 Age 66 years and 2 months
6th June 1960 to 5th July 1960 Age 66 years and 3 months
6th July 1960 to 5th August 1960 Age 66 years and 4 months
6th August 1960 to 5th September 1960 Age 66 years and 5 months
6th September 1960 to 5th October 1960 Age 66 years and 6 months
6th October 1960 to 5th November 1960 Age 66 years and 7 months
6th November 1960 to 5th December 1960 Age 66 years and 8 months
6th December 1960 to 5th January 1961 Age 66 years and 9 months
6th January 1961 to 5th February 1961 Age 66 years and 10 months
6th February 1961 to 5th March 1961 Age 66 years and 11 months

A person born after 5th March 1961 but before 6th April 1977: age 67

Any person born between 6th April 1977 and 5th April 1978:

6th April 1977 to 5th May 1977: 6th May 2044
6th May 1977 to 5th June 1977: 6th July 2044
6th June 1977 to 5th July 1977: 6th September 2044
6th July 1977 to 5th August 1977: 6th November 2044
6th August 1977 to 5th September 1977: 6th January 2045
6th September 1977 to 5th October 1977: 6th March 2045
6th October 1977 to 5th November 1977: 6th May 2045
6th November 1977 to 5th December 1977: 6th July 2045
6th December 1977 to 5th January 1978: 6th September 2045
6th January 1978 to 5th February 1978: 6th November 2045
6th February 1978 to 5th March 1978: 6th January 2046
6th March 1978 to 5th April 1978: 6th March 2046

Any person born after 5th April 1978: age 68.

The supplementary pension does not have a dependant’s pension attached to it and so it will not be paid to your spouse/civil partner in the event of your death before State Pension Age. Please note: if there are any further changes by the Government to SPA, so for example if SPA increases, the date your Supplementary Pension is paid to will not change.

The amount of State Pension you get will depend on how many years of qualifying National Insurance (NI) contributions you have. The State Pension system has changed, so in order to receive anything at all under the new system you will have to have at least 10 years of NI contributions. You can find out more here, on the gov website.

Although tax is not deducted from the State Pension when you receive it, the State Pension is taxable. HMRC will take into account your State Pension, your SNPP pension and any other income that you receive for the purpose of calculating your tax liability. Any tax which is due on your State Pension may be deducted from your SNPP pension.