Through the Fund you’ll get a guaranteed regular income (or ‘pension’) for the rest of your life that normally increases every year. Your loved ones will also receive some benefits when you die.
How much you’ll receive
For every year that you’re a member of the Fund while working for the bank, you’ll build up pension benefits. How much you’ll receive is based on the number of years you’ve been a member, and your pensionable salary when you left or retired from the Fund.
How is this worked out?
How much annual pension you’ll receive is usually worked out like this:
How long you’ve been an active member (an employee of the bank and a member of the Fund).
Final pensionable salary
This is worked out based on your earnings at or near to when you stopped work.
Accrual Rate (1/nth)
The portion of your earnings you’ll build up as a pension for each year of pensionable service – commonly but not always 1/60th.
You’d need to check your Schedule factsheet for what these terms specifically mean for your benefits.
What if I work(ed) part-time?
Generally speaking, the pensionable income you built up while working part-time will be based on your final full-time pensionable salary. But your years of pensionable service are scaled down to reflect your part-time hours. This only applies to periods of time you worked part-time at the bank.
When you come to take your benefits, you’ll have options:
- you can choose to take your benefits any time from age 55
- you can choose to take a tax-free cash lump sum upfront, but this will reduce your annual pension
- you can choose to take your additional contributions as a pension, as part of your tax-free lump sum, or to invest these in a drawdown account and withdraw from them as and when you need.
When you can take your benefits
Usually members take their pension when they reach their Normal Pension Age (NPA) which, in most cases, is either 60 or 65. You could take your benefits earlier or later than this, which may affect the benefits you’ll get. The earliest you can start taking your pension is usually 55 but if you become too ill to work, you might be able to take it sooner.
Providing for your loved ones
When you die, your loved ones could get some money from the Fund. The amount they’ll get depends on which Fund schedule you’re in (check your Schedule Factsheet) , and whether you’d already started taking your money when you die, but broadly:
Income for life (pension)
- This will go to your spouse, civil partner, or partner if they qualify. We may also pay a pension for any dependent children.
Cash lump sum
- If you’re still building up benefits in the Fund when you die, we would pay a cash lump sum of up to four times your salary to the person or people you choose.
- If you die and haven’t yet started to take your benefits (but have left the bank and/or Fund), we may pay a lump sum to the person or people you choose.
- If you die within five years of retiring, we’ll pay a lump sum to the person or people you choose. To check exactly how much any lump sum would be, go to the NatWest Group Benefits Hub.
Your other savings
- If you saved any Additional Pension Contributions (APeCs), these will be paid as a tax-free lump sum to anyone you nominate.
- PLUS: If you have opted out of the Fund but still work at the bank and are a member of the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan, this plan may also pay money to your loved ones when you die. To find out, check your benefit selection confirmation statement in the NatWest Group Benefits Hub.
Do we know your wishes?
Tell us who you’d like to receive money if you die by completing an expression of wish (and keep this up to date if your circumstances change, like you get married or have children).
In most cases, benefits will go to the people you’ve listed. But, while the Trustees will always consider your wishes, they’re not bound by them.
How to boost your benefits
There are 2 ways to increase your benefits:
Pay money in as Additional Pension Contributions (APeCs)
You can save a separate pot of money in addition to the benefits you’re building up in the Fund. This is called making Additional Pension Contributions (APeCs). With APeCs you choose:
- how much to contribute – you can change this at any time through the NatWest Group Benefits Hub
- how to invest them
- how to take these savings. For example, you can use these towards a tax-free cash lump sum, or you can transfer these savings out of the Fund to take them more flexibly.
Could you save more? Every little bit helps, and by investing your savings, and with the benefit of time, these savings could be worth more in the future than they are now.
Take your benefits later
Usually members take their pension when they reach their Normal Pension Age (NPA) which, in most cases, is either 60 or 65.
If you want to, you could take your pension after reaching your NPA, which might mean you get a higher regular income. How much higher depends on your NPA, which Fund schedule you’re in (check your Schedule Factsheet), and how much pensionable service you have. If your NPA is 60, you may also have the option to increase your NPA to 65.