Q: Do I have to pay tax on my pension?
A: You may have to pay tax on your pension – it depends on the total amount of income you receive and what tax code HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC – formerly the Inland Revenue) tell the Scheme to use for you.
If you have any questions about how your tax code has been calculated, or about the amount of tax you pay, you should contact HMRC – their details can be found on the links page of this website. The Scheme’s reference number is 083-MPS.
Q: How often will my pension be paid?
A: MPS pensions can be paid either on a four-weekly basis (two weeks in arrears and two weeks in advance), thirteen weekly (in arrears) and annually (in arrears).
Q: I am not receiving my pension, can I find out how much my benefits are worth?
A: Yes. The administration office will not be able to give you this information over the telephone, but they will be able to provide you with an estimate of your benefits in writing. You can contact the administration office either by telephone or in writing using the details on the Contacts page of the website. You will need to quote your Scheme reference or National Insurance number in all communications.
Q: Can I make sure my close family member receives any lump sum benefit payable when I die?
A: The MPS does not have a formal nomination process in place. In the event of your death, if there are any benefits payable, we will invite any individual who was financially dependent on you to apply for dependant’s benefits. If no dependant's benefit is payable, any benefits due but unpaid at the date of death would be paid to your widow, or next of kin.
Q: Can I transfer my pension out of the Scheme?
A: Yes, you can transfer your pension to any new employer’s scheme you may join (provided they can accept it) or any other HM Revenue and Customs (formerly the Inland Revenue) registered pension scheme. You should think very carefully and take financial advice before you transfer your benefits out of the Scheme.
Q: Can I take my benefits before I am 60 years old?
A: Yes, if your full Scheme benefits are payable from age 60, you can take your benefits at any time from age 50 (with the exception of any benefits reinstated after 6 April 2006).
If you do choose to take your benefits before you are age 60, they will be paid at a reduced rate – this is to take account of the fact that they are being paid early and also because your pension will be paid for a longer period of time than it would have been had you taken your benefits at age 60.
You should contact the administration office (details are on the contacts page of this website) if you would like to take up this option.
Q: I don’t want to take my pension at age 60, can I leave it in the Scheme until a later date?
A: MPS pension is payable in full at aged 60, and the Scheme Rules do not allow benefits to be left unclaimed in the Scheme after the members’ 60th birthday.
If members do not complete and return their claim form, the benefits will remain in the Scheme until this documentation has been received – if this is later than the member’s 60th birthday arrears of pension will be paid and back dated to age 60. Interest will not be paid on the arrears.
If any Government Body such as the Department for Work and Pensions asks the Scheme if you are in receipt of benefits after your 60th birthday, by law we must tell them the amount of benefit that you are entitled to receive.
Q: What happens to my pension if I get divorced?
A: If you get divorced your pension can be taken into account along with your other assets when working out a financial settlement. Your solicitor will advise you about this. There are three outcomes:
1 – you keep your pension in full and your ex spouse receives other assets; or
2 – your ex spouse can be awarded a proportion of your pension via an earmarking order. Your ex spouse’s proportion will only be paid when you choose to take your benefits; or
3 – your ex spouse can be awarded a proportion of your pension via a pension sharing order.
Your ex-spouse would be able to retain their share, known as a pension credit, within the Scheme, or alternatively transfer their proportion to a registered pension scheme of their choice.
Further information about divorce and the Scheme can be obtained from the Scheme’s divorce fact sheet on the Scheme Publications section of the website.