Pensions - Checking Your Company Pension

Before you leave your job it is as well to check how much your pension is going to be and that you are happy with the calculation. You have a right to a document (usually obtained from your employer) setting out how the scheme works and how your pension is worked out. If you belong to a union, it can often help you deal with any queries. In particular the civil service and local government unions are very good at dealing with pension problems.

If you have changed jobs, it is as well to check up on any rights you may have from the pension scheme of any job you have left. It is up to you to inform the people who administer the scheme if you change your address. If you can get no information from your previous employer or through your union, the DWP may be able to help.


Over the last few years the Government has introduced a lot of major changes in company and private pensions. Many are happening in 2006. Most of them affect only people who are not yet retired. And they will be of real interest only to younger people and the self employed.

From 1 July 2006 people in SERPS or a company scheme which is opted out of SERPS will be able to leave and join their own private pension plan instead. The DWP will pay into the scheme the earnings related contributions that would have gone to the SERPS or their company scheme. And they will get a 8% bonus paid in as well until April 2006. This option is not likely to be attractive to people in good final salary schemes or to older people.

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State Benefits - Effect on Social Security Benefits

Nowadays a pension from your job may affect your right to social security benefits. There are two ways it can do so.
Some social security benefits depend on your income. The main ones are income support, housing benefit (help with rates and rent), help with optical or dental charges, and legal aid. Any pension you have will increase your income and reduce your chances of help from these sources.
However, a pension from a job can also affect some other social security benefits directly.
Men and women aged between fifty-five and pension age who claim unemployment benefit will find it is reduced if they receive a pension from their job of more than 69 a week. For each 1Op above 69 their benefit will be reduced by 1Op. So . . . ... see: State Benefits - Effect on Social Security Benefits