Leaving the Fund, or ‘opting out’

While you are still working for the bank you can choose to ‘opt out’ of the Fund. You can opt out at any time and there are some good reasons why you may want to, but you should get independent financial advice before you do. That’s because if you opt out, you’d be giving up valuable benefits and would not be able to re-join the Fund. You can find a trusted adviser yourself or, if you’re over age 50, you can take advantage of the competitive charges with Liverpool Victoria Financial Advice Service Limited (LVFAS) that the Trustee has arranged.

A step-by-step guide to opting out

Here’s an idea of the typical steps that need to be taken – you can also see what you’d need to provide, and when and how to provide them.

  • Actions for you
  • Actions for us, the administrator

See timeline

  1. See how much you’ve built up in the Fund

    See the value of the Fund benefits you’ve built up to date.

  2. Get advice

    Get advice from an independent financial adviser. This may take a few weeks or months to arrange, so start this process as soon as you can.

  3. Opt out (if it’s right for you)

    Log into the NatWest Group Benefits Hub to opt out. You will then have a one-month notice period. If you change your mind during the notice period, please contact us.

  4. NatWest will tell us your opting out date

    This is the date when you’ll stop building up future benefits in the Fund. This means you will become a deferred member.

  5. We’ll update your pension record as soon as possible

    You should contact us to request your log in details.

  6. Check your pension record

    You’ll be able to see that your record has been updated one month after your notice period ends.

How long will it take?

You’ll need to give at least a month’s notice when you opt out, so it normally won’t happen until the month after next. For example, if you opt out on 15 April, your last day of active membership will be 31 May. The whole process can take up to 2 months.

What else you should know

  1. If you opt out while still working for the bank, you’ll automatically join another savings plan

    Depending on your reason for opting out, the bank may automatically enrol you into its Defined Contribution pension arrangement, the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan.

    • How the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan works. You build up a pot of money that you can use when you decide to stop work. You put in some money every month, the bank puts in some for you too, and you’ll get tax relief on top. This money is invested to help it grow. How much you’ll get when you stop work depends on how much you put in, how the investments perform, and how you choose to take your money when you come to use it.

    • You’ll start by automatically saving 8% of your ValueAccount. You can choose to save more than this if you like, up to certain limits.

  2. Your pay will be affected

    Opting out of the Fund may mean your take-home pay goes up, but not always, and you may not be better off overall. That’s because the value of the Fund pension you’d be giving up is usually greater than the extra take-home pay you’d get.

    Currently you pay a percentage of your basic salary into the Fund. If you opt out of the Fund, you’d no longer be paying this percentage, but you would contribute to another savings plan instead, such as the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan.

  3. The income you would receive (when you retire, for the rest of your life) would be affected

    The amount of pension income you’ll get will be calculated using your pensionable service and final pensionable salary at the date you opted out.

    Between the date you opt out and the date you start taking your pension, it should increase a bit every year to help keep up with the cost of living (inflation). For more detailed information about how your pension is increased between leaving service and retirement, check your Schedule Factsheet and the Increases Factsheet.

Leaving the bank

If you stop working for the bank, you’ll automatically leave the Fund and stop building up further benefits. You can then choose to keep your benefits in the Fund until you’re ready to take them or transfer some or all of your benefits to another pension arrangement.

What changes if you keep benefits in the Fund?

  1. You’ll become a deferred member

    While you are working at the bank and a member of the Fund, you are an active member; building up future benefits each year. When you leave the bank, or if you remain at the bank and opt out, you stop building up benefits and defer your Fund pension until you decide to take it.

  2. You’ll need a password to log into your pension record

    Once you’ve left the bank, you’ll need a User ID and password to log into your pension record. Get in touch so that we can send you these details.

  3. Your income would be affected

    The amount of lifetime income you’ll get will be calculated using your pensionable service and final pensionable salary at the date you left. Shortly after you’ve left the Fund, we’ll send you a statement of benefits which confirms the value of your benefits at the date of leaving. You can also log in and request an updated value of your deferred pension.

  4. Death benefits may change

    Pensions paid to loved ones would be based on your deferred retirement income and any lump sum payment would be calculated differently compared to if you were an active member. Your Schedule Factsheet shows what’s paid if you die when you’re a deferred member.

Stay in touch

Before you leave the bank, make sure we have your up-to-date personal email, phone and address details, so you don’t miss out on important information about your benefits. You can update these online once you log in.