Here you can find the answers to some common questions about your Somerfield pension. If your question isn’t answered here, please get in touch.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my pension?
It’s easy – just call the Co-op Pensions Department on 0330 606 1000 or email [email protected]
What happens to my pension if I die?
If you die after you’ve retired and taken your pension, the Trustee may pay a pension to your spouse or qualifying partner, subject to certain conditions.
Under certain circumstances, children’s pensions will also be payable in the event of your death.
You can ask the Co-op Pensions Department for more details about these conditions and circumstances.
Your pension is also guaranteed to be paid for at least five years. This means that, if you die within five years after your retirement date and before age 75, subject to certain conditions any balance of payments will be payable as a lump sum in addition to any survivors’ pension.
How do I report the death of a member?
In this event, you can either call Payroll on 0330 606 9449 or the Co-op Pensions Department on 0330 606 1000, or email [email protected]
What day of the month are pensions paid?
Pensions are paid on the 28th of the month. If the 28th falls on a weekend or bank holiday, then the pension is paid on the last working day prior to the 28th.
How do I update my bank details?
I think I’ve paid too much tax on my pension. Who do I speak to?
The Co-op Pensions Department isn’t able to help you with tax queries, as it is a personal financial matter. If you think there’s a problem with the amount of tax being deducted from your Somerfield pension, the details for the Tax Office that deals with your pension are listed below. Please remember to quote the Scheme’s reference, which is: 083/VZ53029
Pay As You Earn
PO Box 1970
Telephone: 0300 200 3300 (weekdays, 8am to 8pm)
Does my pension get annual increases?
Yes, pensions in payment are increased annually on 1 February. The increase that is applied depends on the section you were in when you built up pension in the Scheme. Your pension is made up of different elements, and the way increases are applied to these different elements can differ, too.
Most members will have an element of their pension which is called ‘Guaranteed Minimum Pension’ (GMP), which increases each year as directed by the Government. GMPs from before 1988 don’t increase in payment, and GMPs earned after 1988 will increase in line with the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), to a maximum of 3%.
The majority of most members’ pension is known as ‘excess’ pension – this effectively covers anything that’s been built up in the Scheme that’s not GMP. The increase applied to your excess pension may be at a fixed rate, or in line with the annual increase in the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Following an amendment to the Scheme Rules in 2020, increases in RPI-linked pensions in payment were linked to the increase in the RPI over the year to the preceding 30 November rather than the year to the preceding 31 December. The increase may also be subject to a minimum or maximum percentage increase.
When can I retire?
Your pension is payable from your normal retirement date from the Scheme. Your normal retirement date depends on which section you were in.
You can also retire before or after normal retirement date in certain circumstances; your benefits will be reduced if taken early, and increased if taken late.
Currently you may apply to receive a reduced pension for any reason from age 55* but Trustee consent may be required. This age limit will not apply if you have to retire due to ill health.
*The Government has confirmed that the minimum pension age at which people may ordinarily access their pension benefits will increase from 55 to 57 from 6 April 2028, alongside planned increases in the State Pension Age. Depending on when you joined the Somerfield Pension Scheme and the benefits that you have in the Scheme, you may be protected against this change and may still be entitled to access your benefits before age 57 after 6 April 2028.
Does my pension get annual increases?
Yes, pensions in deferment increase between your date of leaving and retirement. The increase applied depends on the section you were in and when you joined and left the Scheme.
Once your pension is in payment, it will receive annual increases on 1 February. The increase that is applied depends on the section you were in when you built up pension in the Scheme. Your pension is made up of different elements, and the way increases are applied to these different elements can differ, too.
Can I transfer my pension to another scheme?
Yes, you can transfer all your pension benefits, including any AVCs, to another registered pension scheme or policy. If you are interested in this option, you should ask the Co-op Pensions Department for a transfer value. Please note that if you wish to transfer to a defined contribution (DC) scheme, you will be required to take independent financial advice before doing so. You will then need to provide to the Trustee written confirmation from your adviser that you have taken appropriate advice from an adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority before the transfer can go ahead.
Financial advisers are able to provide impartial and personal advice about your pension options, such as when to retire or whether to transfer benefits. The Co-op Group, the Trustee and the Co-op Pensions Department are all prevented by law from giving you financial advice; therefore you may find it helpful to talk to a financial adviser. You may be charged a fee for any advice you receive which the Trustee will not pay for. Neither the Co-op nor the Trustee can take responsibility for the advice you receive or any action you may take as a result. You can find out about choosing a financial adviser by visiting MoneyHelper at: www.moneyhelper.org.uk. MoneyHelper is an organisation that provides guidance free of charge on issues relating to money and finances.
What can I do online?
You can update your address and contact details to ensure you receive communications regarding your pension. You can also access copies of documents that have been previously sent to you. You can also update nomination information regarding your pension benefits in the event of your death. You can register here. If you have any difficulties registering, please email [email protected]