Latest news

 Last updated: 7 June 2023 

Members ill health guide

Scheme members sometimes contact us seeking help and guidance on the pension benefits due should they have to leave their employment due to ill health. To assist members, we have a dedicated ill health webpage. The webpage provides members with a step-by-step guide which includes:

  • What is the ill health pension criteria?
  • What level of ill health pension can be awarded?
  • How to apply for an ill health pension.
  • Medical assessment process.
  • Employers’ decision.
  • The process if an ill health pension is approved.

State Pension Age Review

On 30 March 2023, DWP published its 2023 review of the State Pension age. The Government is required to undertake a regular review of the State Pension age in accordance with the Pensions Act 2014.

State Pension age (SPa) is currently age 66 and will rise to age 67 between 2026 and 2028 before rising again to age 68 between 2044 and 2046. At the first review in 2017, the Government accepted the recommendation that the State Pension age should rise to age 68 over the period 2037 to 2039; however, it outlined this would be subject to further review.

The 2023 review confirms the rise to age 67 between 2026 and 2028 is still appropriate. However, the Government does not intend to change existing legislation to implement the recommendation of the 2017 review at the current time. It plans to have a further review within two years of the next Parliament to consider whether the rise to age 68 should occur earlier. The Government must publish the report no later than 29 March 2029.

Spring Budget 2023 – announced changes to the Pension Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance

The Finance (No.2) Bill 2022/23 was published on 23 March 2023. With effect from 6 April 2023, the Bill proposes to enact some of the changes announced at the Spring budget. In particular:

  • increasing the annual allowance (AA) from £40,000 to £60,000
  • increasing the adjusted income level for the tapered AA from £240,000 to £260,000
  • abolishing lifetime allowance (LTA) charges arising in relation to benefit crystallisation events (BCE) occurring on or after 6 April 2023
  • allowing members to accrue new pension benefits, join new arrangements or transfer, without losing enhanced protection or fixed protection where the protection was applied for before 15 March 2023
  • changing the taxation of the LTA excess lump sum, so that it is taxed as pension income (ie taxable at marginal rate rather than 55 per cent)
  • ensuring that payments of (or any part of) serious ill-health lump sums defined benefit lump sum death benefits or an uncrystallised funds lump sum death benefits that would have incurred an LTA charge remain taxable payments, with the excess taxed as pension income (ie taxable at marginal rate rather than 55 per cent).
  • the maximum pension commencement lump sum that can be taken has been frozen at £268,275 which is 25% of the current Lifetime Allowance. Scheme members with existing Lifetime Allowance protections retain their protected right to take a higher pension commencement lump sum.

The LTA will be abolished completely from the 2024/2025 tax year. This will be done through a future Finance Bill.