Following the closure of the Defined Benefit Section of the Sony United Kingdom Pension Scheme in March 2011, all active members became deferred members.
If you still work for the Company and you plan to retire either before or after your normal retirement date, you must inform the Company in writing, providing a minimum of three months’ notice.
If you plan to retire at your normal retirement date, the administrators will be in touch with details around six months before that date.
Taking your pension
DB members – all sites excluding Basingstoke
A deferred DB member can take their DB pension from age 60 - 65. If you defer taking your pension beyond age 65, this will result in an enhancement known as a ‘late pension payment’.
DB members – Basingstoke
The normal retirement age is 60, except men employed prior to 1st November 1987 who may retire between 60 to 65 with a pension based on their number of years’ service.
Flexible retirement if you still work for Sony
The Scheme Rules were amended in March 2014 to allow a current employee who is a member of My Sony Pension (the pension arrangement we have with Aviva), and who has deferred DB benefits, to take their DB pension without retiring from My Sony Pension. This option is available from age 55, and will be subject to consent from the Company and the Trustee.
Taking your pension early
With the Company’s agreement, you may take your Scheme pension from age 55. By taking your pension benefits in advance of your normal retirement date, you will receive a reduced pension, due to the earlier start date for payment.
If you were a member of the Scheme between 31 March 1990 and 30 June 1993, Company pension contributions for this period were paid into a Nest-Egg account in your name.
You may, if you hold an AVC account, and with the Trustee’s consent, transfer the credit value of your Nest-Egg account into your deferred AVC account.
Should you wish to do this, please contact the administrators.
If you do not take up this option, then proceeds of your Nest-Egg account will be included in the calculations of your DB pension when this comes into payment.
If you hold AVCs with Equitable Life and/or Clerical Medical, you should receive a statement of your benefits once each year.
You may also receive communications about information related to future performance prospects for both Equitable Life and Clerical Medical With Profits funds with the details of possible actions you may wish to consider.
Accessing pension freedoms
The changes introduced by the Government in April 2015 have the following implications for deferred members of the Scheme who are age 55+:
If your deferred DB pension is worth less than £30,000
You have the option of taking this as a one-off cash lump sum. Under current legislation you will be entitled to receive 25% of the value of your pension tax-free and the rest would be subject to tax at your marginal rate for the year.
If your deferred DB pension is worth more than £30,000
You have the option of transferring it to a Defined Contribution pension scheme so that you can access the full flexibilities that are available to DC members. However, you will need to consider the risks of this action carefully because, if the money in your DC account were to decrease due to poor investment returns, this would result in having less money to provide for your needs at retirement. The Government has made it a legal requirement that you must seek advice from an FCA-regulated adviser before the Trustee will allow a transfer out to take place. You can find one in your area on this website: www.unbiased.co.uk
If you paid AVCs
You may take the total value of your AVCs as a lump sum. The first 25% would be tax-free, and the balance would be treated as income, subject to tax at your marginal rate for the year. This would include any income earned and/or cash taken from other pension schemes in the year, so it could put you in a higher tax bracket. The balance of your pension would be paid as above.
The Lifetime Allowance is the overall level of benefits you can build up at retirement without incurring a tax charge. The Lifetime Allowance is currently £1,030,000 (2018/19) and it is expected to increase in line with the Consumer Prices Index every year.
If you think your benefits will exceed the Lifetime Allowance, you can apply to protect it against the tax charges. Find out more here.
If you think you may be affected by Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance charges, either now or in the future, you may wish to consult a financial adviser. You can find one in your area on this website: www.unbiased.co.uk
Get a quotation
There are a number of different options available to you. To help you decide which option is best for you, you should ask the administrators for a retirement or transfer quotation.