changes to workplace pensions

Employer changes that affect my pension



Posted on: 31st January 2020

When a business comes face to face with a major event such as a restructure, sale or insolvency, it would be unsurprising if you have concerns. If your workplace is making adjustments which may result in changes to workplace pensions in your sector, read on.

My employer is proposing to make changes to my pension scheme and has started a consultation process

If changes to workplace pensions are under review, your employer will advise the trustees/administrator of your pension scheme accordingly. They will then contact you in writing and the correspondence from them will formally set out the proposed changes.

The trustees of your scheme or employer will speak with a range of stakeholders about your pension and how to secure the best way forward. This will include professional advisers, trustees and, if applicable, a union or their representatives. These discussions will likely involve the closing of your scheme. As such, the trustees of your pension provider will formally speak with you about the proposed change and how it will affect you. This may coincide with correspondence from your employer/former employer.

The trustees or administrator of your pension scheme/employer will propose the changes to your scheme before speaking with you. When they do speak with you, they should explain the following:

  • Pros and cons of your options
  • Risks of scams
  • Levels of contribution
  • The current value of benefits
  • Benefit flexibility
  • Whether the scheme could enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF)

I’ve been formally notified of the outcome after the consultation

After the consultation and things become clearer, it is important for you to understand how you will be affected. There is plenty of help out there, but we highly recommend you seek professional advice.

When a decision has been reached on the future of your pension scheme, you will be formally notified on what is happening and when. If you do not hear anything but your colleagues do, be sure to check that the scheme has your correct details.

If your scheme is moving into the PPF (who will contact you about the next steps), this process can take a while. So, until they have completed their required assessments, it is unlikely that they can provide any exact information regarding your retirement benefits. During this time, you will not be able to transfer your pension to another scheme.

What if I’ve been approached directly about my pension by another company?

There is a chance that during the consideration process that they will let you know they are looking at options. During this time of sensitivity, some may take advantage to try and tempt you into joining new schemes or enterprises. However, these may not be in your best interest. Be wary of any direct approaches that are not endorsed by your scheme. Please note that cold calling is now illegal. If you do receive a call, we advise you to hang up.

Seek expert advice

Remember, if you do find yourself unsure or overwhelmed with these changes, it helps to speak with an independent financial adviser. This is where Haven IFA can help. Get in touch to speak with a member of our team and learn more about our financial services.