Frequently Asked Questions
I have called the pensions helpline but I can’t get through, how can I speak to someone?
Since the start of the pandemic there has been a significant increase in the volume of work for the Pensions Team. This is largely due to the increase in pensioner deaths and general enquiries where members have become more engaged with their pension and lifestyle choices. This has meant that the Pensions Team may not be able to answer all your calls and we encourage you to email email@example.com. This enables the Pensions Team to ensure enquiries are prioritised appropriately in line with guidance from the Trustees and the Pensions Regulator.
How long will it be before I receive a response to an enquiry I’ve made?
The Pensions Team aims to respond to enquiries in 10 working days. However, responses have been taking longer due to the high volume of enquiries they are receiving.
Work is being prioritised in line with guidance from the Trustees and the Pensions Regulator which means Bereavements, Pensioners and timely Investment of Contributions are taking priority. We ask you to please be patient if your enquiry is not urgent.
Please check the website for the information you’re seeking before contacting the Pensions Team.
When will I receive my benefit statement?
There isn’t a statutory need to issue statements for this type of Scheme, unless requested by the member. However, we do issue our members with statements every year as we think it’s important that you know the benefits that are due to you. We aim to send your statements within the 12 months of the Scheme’s year end, which is 31 March every year.
How do I pay more into my benefits?
If you’re not already a Level A member of the Scheme, you could change which level you are in.
If you’re already a Level A member you can pay you can also make Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) to the My BOC Pension Plan.
How do I make a regular or one-off lump sum additional contribution?
If you are already in Level A, you can pay AVCs. If you would like to start, stop or change monthly AVCs, or if you would like to make a one-off lump sum contribution, please complete and return a 'BOC Pension Scheme Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) application form (DB Scheme)'. You can find this on the HR intranet site.
If you are not already in Level A, please consider changing levels first.
How do I report a death?
If a member has recently passed away, there are some steps you’ll have to take. We’ve made the process as easy to follow as possible – please visit our Life events page.
I need some financial advice on my pension – who can provide this?
The Pensions Team is not authorised to provide financial advice, however free and impartial advice is available through the government website MoneyHelper.
I’m thinking of transferring my benefits out of the Scheme
Leaving a defined benefit arrangement is a big decision and means forfeiting your right to any future benefits from it. To find out if it’s right for you, find an adviser at www.unbiased.co.uk.
You can find out more about transfers and transfer values on our transfer page.
If your transfer value is over £30,000, the law says you must take regulated financial advice before transferring out. However, if it is under £30,000, we still recommend that you seek advice.
Remember, if you transfer out of the Scheme, you won’t be able to transfer back in if you change your mind.
I have submitted my retirement form – when will I receive my pension?
You will normally receive your lump sum (if applicable) and initial pension payment approximately six weeks after the retirement date you selected on your benefit decision form.
What are the current tax and National Insurance rates?
You can find out more about HMRC’s tax codes, thresholds and rates for England, Scotland and Wales on its website.
Information about National Insurance can also be found on the website.