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Member Benefits


The Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme is a career average scheme which provides deferred benefits on retirement and also on death. This means you build up benefits based on your salary for each year you are a contributing member, and each year your benefits are revalued until you retire.

The Scheme aims to increase pensions in payment each year in line with price inflation when there are sufficient funds to do so. Protection is also given to those who leave contributory membership, with their benefits being treated no less favourably than those who continue in membership.

View our Online Guide to the Scheme Guide or our Summary of the Scheme’s Benefit Scales for more details.

The option to transfer retirement savings from other pension arrangements into the Scheme will be withdrawn after 5 April 2017.


Membership

The Scheme is closed to new employers.  However, those employers already operating the Scheme can use the Scheme for new employees or auto-enrolment.


Although originally set up for plumbing operatives and apprentices, membership of the scheme is not restricted. The Scheme is open to ALL employees within the industry including office staff and other trades employed by a plumbing company. It is not open to the self-employed although it can include directors of a "limited" company.

If you are employed in the Plumbing Industry and are aged 16 or over but are under age 65 and your employer currently participates in the Scheme then you are eligible to join the Scheme.

Should you wish to take up scheme membership you should approach your employer in the first instance. As the scheme is a group arrangement contributions must be made by both employer and employee, as such membership can only be confirmed if your employer is willing to contribute also.

Contribution Levels

Members contribute a fixed percentage of Earnings.  The contribution rates vary between Benefit Scales. Members receive tax relief on their pension contributions.  Employers contribute twice the member contribution rate.

The Scheme's contribution rates will be increasing in April 2017 and April 2018.

2017 Scale

Please find attached a summary of frequently asked questions which has been collated to assist with the introduction of the 2017 Contribution scale.

This scale will become operative with effect from 6 April 2017. New 2017 Scale FAQs

Pension Benefits

Benefits start to accrue from the date of joining the pension scheme, there is no waiting period. The date the members first contribution is effective from will be the date pension credits start to accrue.

At the end of each scheme year members will be granted pension credits equal to a certain percentage, in most cases 1.25% equating to 1/80th salary for each year of service. These credits will then have bonus additions added annually which effectively “inflation proof” their value. On retirement a pension equal to the total value of credits + bonuses accrued throughout service is then payable. For a member with 40 years service this will give an annual pension equal to half (i.e. 40/80ths) of average salary.

A personal Certificate of Pensions Credit is issued annually to all members detailing benefits accrued to date. An example certificate can be viewed at Your Certificate Explained.

The Benefits Department will contact you about 6 weeks before your Normal Retirement Date to explain your pension benefits and options.

Lump Sum Retirement Benefits

On retirement members have the option to “give up” some of their pension in return for a lump sum cash benefit. Depending on the value of potential benefits held elsewhere, all or part of this lump sum, would be tax-free.

Some members with small pensions may be able to exchange all of their pension credits for a single cash lump sum.

Death Benefits

If a contributing member dies in service before retirement there will be a lump sum payment made based on a multiple of the member's pensionable earnings before they died. This will be paid at Trustee discretion to entitled beneficiary or beneficiaries. There is also the facility for members to complete an Expression of Wish Form advising the Trustee who they would like to receive any lump sum benefit due. Although not binding, the Trustee will take this into account when deciding and will make every effort to meet members' wishes where possible.

Should a deferred member die prior to Normal Retirement Age the benefit payable will be equal to the total member contributions paid, with interest at the rate of 4% compound added for each complete scheme year from date of payment to date of death.

Spouse’s, Civil Partner’s, Dependants’ and Children’s Benefits

Also payable on death are pensions to spouses or civil partners, these will be equal to 50% of the pension the member would have received had they attained NRA the day before date of death.

Should there be no surviving spouse or civil partner the Trustee may decide to pay a pension to one or more dependants. The amount payable would be at the discretion of the Trustee.

Should the deceased member leave a dependant child (or children) then a pension benefit equal to 1% of the lump sum benefit payable to an Advanced Plumber will be payable to a maximum of four children. Payment will continue to each child until they attain the age of 18.

No spouse's, civil partner's, dependant's or children's pensions are payable following the death of a member on the 2017 Benefit Scale.


Full details of all Member Benefits can be found in our online Scheme Guide.


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