As part of our Trustee role, it’s one of our key responsibilities to look after the best interests of UKRF members. As well as safeguarding your benefits, this also includes making your experience as a member as simple and fuss-free as possible. This is particularly important in the run-up to taking your retirement benefits which is likely to be one of the biggest life changes you’ll make.

We’ve been talking to members

We want to make sure that the steps you need to take to start receiving your UKRF pension are clear and easy. With this in mind, we put some questions to a panel of recently retired UKRF pensioner members. We wanted to find out how they found the experience, and how we could improve the process.

We’d like to thank those who took part for their thoughts and insights.

Here’s a round-up of what they told us. We hope you’ll find their comments interesting and useful, especially if you’re thinking about taking your own retirement benefits.

The response was positive

We were encouraged to find that most of the pensioners on our panel had found arranging to take their UKRF benefits a positive experience, with comments like:

“Very smooth”

“Fairly straightforward”

“Keep doing what you’re doing”

We were also pleased to hear that the panel appreciated the support they received during this time. We take care to make our communications to you as useful and user-friendly as we can, so it was good to hear confirmation they were “helpful and easy to read”.

Most of the panel had checked their UKRF account online to help with their retirement planning, and all had followed our prompts to look at wider sources for further guidance. These ranged from booking an appointment with Pension Wise, to seeking individual help from an independent financial adviser.

We also identified areas where we could improve on the support provided to members, in particular where a member has benefits in more than one section of the UKRF, and expectations about how quickly each part of the process will be completed.

We’ve got ideas to improve

While most of our panel were happy with the support they received, they raised a couple of practical points which could help improve the member experience.

  • Timing: A few pensioners felt that some parts of the process could’ve been dealt with more quickly.
  • Consistency: Some suggested ways for making the process smoother – for example, having a dedicated administrator to deal with the whole process.

We are taking these comments on board and will explore them with our administrators.

Handy tips? The voices of experience.

We asked our panel “What advice would you give to a member about to retire?”

The voices of experience…

“Get the ball rolling as early as you possibly can.”

“Read everything you receive carefully, so you’re fully informed.”

“Try to make your own mind up and get comfortable with what you want to do. Then get further advice or support if you need it.”

Are you getting ready to retire?

Depending on the stage you’ve reached in your working life, reading the panel’s responses may prompt you into thinking about your own retirement – it is best to start planning sooner rather than later.

For your defined benefits, our My Retirement Timeline tool makes it easier to see what steps you need to take to retire through the UKRF. This tool also shows you when you need to complete these steps by, if you want to receive your benefits by a certain date. (click on the Retirement Planning tab) to see what your retirement timeline looks like.

Retire online coming soon…

To help make the retirement process clearer and faster, later this year we expect to launch an online system that allows most members to complete their defined benefit paperwork electronically. We will let you know when this is live.

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