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Frequently asked questions

CARE Sections

CARE questions

The following questions and answers are suitable for members within the CARE Sections.
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What are my options if I want (or need) to stop paying into my Scheme.

In order to stop paying into the Scheme, you must opt out. If you opt out, you are no longer covered by death in service benefits, and you will not build up any additional pension during the period you are opted out.
 
If you do decide to opt out, there may be several options available to you, including transferring your benefits to another registered scheme, leaving them deferred in the Scheme or claiming a refund on your contributions if you’ve been a member for less than two years.

 

Your Member guide will explain more about the options available to you. You can find a copy of this in the Active members section of this site and following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

I'm transferring to CARE, are my Final Salary benefits protected?

Many MPs will find that they have two sets of PCPF benefit.

As well as building up benefits in the new CARE scheme, these MPs will have final salary benefits that continue to be governed under the old rules and benefit from the following protections.

  • Your final salary benefits will continue to be calculated with reference to your future final pensionable salary.
  • On your death, your spouse/partner/civil partner will still receive 5/8ths of the value of your final salary pension (as well as a proportion of your CARE benefits). 
  • Any dependent children would receive pensions in respect of your final salary pension (as well as a proportion of your CARE benefits).
  • If you are contributing to Added Years before you move into the CARE scheme, you can continue contributing to this contract while a member of the CARE scheme.
  • Your final salary benefits are payable from age 65, as long as you are no longer a serving MP.
  • On retirement you are able to exchange some of your final salary pension for a tax-free lump sum, using the age related factors from the old rules. 

What is my Normal Retirement Age (NRA)?

The Normal Retirement Age for members of a CARE Scheme matches the current State Pension Age.

State Pension Ages are currently under review but you can use the calculator on the GOV.uk website to work out your State Pension Age.

What are the benefits of membership?

Your membership provides valuable benefits, the most important of which is a pension for life.

You will build up CARE credits of your pensionable salary in each year you are a contributing member. Together, these credits will form your pension.

Benefits of membership include:

During your service

  • A lump sum if you die while contributing to the Scheme
  • Pension benefits for your dependant(s) if you die while contributing
  • Options to retire earlier or later than the Scheme’s Normal Retirement Age
  • Tax relief on your contributions
  • The Exchequer paying contributions towards your pension
  • The ability to proactively increase your pension benefits
  • The option to transfer previous pension benefits into the Scheme
  • Provision under the Scheme Rules covering early retirement due to ill-health

When you retire

  • A pension for life, or
  • A tax-free cash lump sum and a reduced pension for life, plus
  • A pension for your dependant(s) when you die, and
  • Annual increases to your pension

 

How do I tell the Trustees who my chosen beneficiaries are?

Please complete a Death benefit nomination form to inform the Trustees who you'd like to receive any payments that may be due.

You should send your completed form to:
PCPF Administration
RPMI 
PO Box 193 
Darlington
DL1 9FP

You can find a downloadable copy of the Death benefit nomination form in the Active members section of this site and following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

 

 

Can I purchase additional pension?

You can buy Added Pension to increase your overall future benefits. It is important to note that you can only apply to buy Added Pension once a year, either in April or within one month of joining the Scheme.

You could pay for this either by making monthly contributions or a lump-sum payment.

You can learn more about this topic in your Member guide. You can find a copy of this in the Active members section of this site by following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

 

Can I transfer other pension benefits into my Section?

If you have pension benefits from previous providers or employers, you may be able to transfer these into the Scheme if your previous scheme was classed as a UK registered pension scheme. This will buy additional CARE credits (units of Scheme membership), which will be calculated at the date the transfer is received by the Scheme, in accordance with guidance from the Government Actuary’s Department.
 
You can learn more about this topic in your Member guide. You can find a copy of this in the Active members section of this site and following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

 

What is an Effective Pension Age?

You can reduce your Normal Retirement Age (NRA) by up to three years to a revised Effective Pension Age, by paying additional contributions to the Scheme, provided this does not take your NRA below 65.

It is important to note that you can only apply to do this once a year, either in April or within a month of joining the Scheme.

You can learn more about this topic in your Member guide. You can find a copy of this in the Active members section of this site and following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

What is an Early Retirement Reduction Waiver?

If you decide to retire before your Normal Retirement Age or purchased Effective Pension Age, your pension will be reduced because it is being paid early.

You have the option at retirement to apply to make a one-off payment so your retirement benefits are not reduced. The Scheme administrator will calculate the cost of this, if requested, and the payment must be settled before your pension is calculated.

You can learn more about this topic in your Member guide. You can find a copy of this in the Active members section of this site and following the links to the correct information for your type of membership.

How can I request more information?

Please send all requests for information about your pension entitlement to RPMI, which has been appointed by the Trustees to administer the Scheme.

PCPF Administration Team
RPMI
PO Box 193
Darlington
DL1 9FP

Telephone: 0845 555 3377 (calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)
Email: PCPF@rpmi.co.uk

Can I arrange a meeting to discuss my pension?

If you require a meeting to discuss your pension, please contact:

 

 

Pensions Unit
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Telephone: 020 7219 2106
Fax: 020 7219 2554
Email: pensionsmp@parliament.uk

What if I get divorced or dissolve a civil partnership?

If you face divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, your pension is likely to be considered along with your other assets when financial settlements are worked out.

 

A court order can be made to transfer part of the value of your benefits as part of the divorce or dissolution proceedings. If this is the case, it would mean your benefits will reduce to provide benefits for your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. Any order made by the court must be applied to your pension benefits.