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Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact if I wish to make a complaint?

The Trustee is committed to resolving issues raised by members and would wish to hear from you if you have a concern. If you have an issue that you wish to raise, please contact ICI Pension Services.

Why are some early retirement quotes lower than previous quotes I have received, even though I haven’t changed the date at which I retire?

When requesting quotes for early payment of your benefits, the amount of pension quoted reflects the value of your benefits at a particular point in time. In common with all other final salary schemes, this calculation is done using the actuarial factors in force at the time the quote was requested. The amount of pension quoted will also reflect the reduction applied to benefits paid before your normal retirement age, to take into account that they are expected to be paid for longer.

These factors take into account things like the level of return/profit the Fund may expect to receive on its investments and the estimated level of inflation and interest rates that may be applicable during the period until the member retires and the period that the member is expected to receive his or her pension (this will, for example, influence the increases made to that pension before and after it is paid). The Trustee is required by law to take advice from an actuary on these factors and to review them regularly, taking into account changes in the economic environment.

How soon can I take my pension benefits?

The majority of Fund members have a normal retirement age of 62. A change in legislation in 2010 increased the default minimum age for retirement to 55, but the vast majority of ICI Section members (excluding the Holden & Britag Sections) can still draw their benefits early, from age 50, in accordance with Fund rules.

What is Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)?

GMP is the amount of pension the Fund has to guarantee to those with service between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997, who were contracted-out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS). It is meant to be broadly equivalent to the pension you would have earned in SERPS, had you not been contracted-out of SERPS due to your membership of the Fund. GMPs are subject to Government Regulations.

Can I be sure that the Fund will look after my partner if I die first?

If you are married or in a civil partnership at the time of your death, your spouse or civil partner will usually be entitled to a pension based on your pension entitlement.

Any pension payable to your spouse or civil partner may be reduced at the discretion of the Trustee if:

  • your spouse or civil partner is more than 15 years younger than you; or
  • you are a pensioner and you married or entered into a civil partnership, while receiving your pension, to a spouse or civil partner who is more than 10 years younger than you.

If you would like to know more, contact ICI Pensions Services.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership but have a partner, they may still be able to obtain a nominated dependant’s pension. However, this is not payable automatically. Your partner will have to apply for this benefit and show that they meet all the relevant criteria. In broad terms, this means that they will have to show that they were financially dependent on you at the time of your death and also that they cannot meet their future living expenses without assistance from the Fund. Other eligibility rules also apply, so this means there is no guarantee that they would receive a pension. Where a nominated dependant’s pension is awarded, they may not receive the same level of pension as a spouse or civil partner.

Usually, we will pay a nominated dependant’s pension to the person listed on the Nominated Dependant’s pension – Nomination form completed by the member, if they meet the criteria. However, the Trustee has the power to pay this pension to anyone it considers appropriate and who meets all the relevant criteria.

Decisions regarding nominated dependants’ pensions are made based on your partner’s eligibility at the time of your death, so we cannot say in advance whether they would qualify.

Note: Benefits payable upon your death can vary and there may be other circumstances where the benefits that your spouse/dependant/ beneficiary receives are different to those described above.

What is ePA (electronic Pension Administration)?

The ePA system was introduced to allow members to view their pension details online. It is not intended to replace any form of postal communication. The ePA system will allow you to check that your personal details are correct. It is also able to provide:

  • pay and tax details for pensioner members;
  • a summary of transfers in and the current value of pension benefits for deferred members; and
  • pensionable pay history for contributing members, who can also request a retirement benefit estimate online using ePA.

Pensioner Frequently Asked Questions

This leaflet will help you find answers to questions you may have once you start receiving your pension.

1967 Deferred Members Frequently Asked Questions

This leaflet is for members of the 1967 Rules Section who are no longer building up benefits in the Fund but have yet to start their pension.