If you become too ill to work, you may be able to have your deferred pension brought into payment early on the grounds of ill health.

This will be subject to you having the five years’ service requirement and the Group’s Medical Adviser confirming that, in their opinion, you meet the criteria to receive an ill-health pension, as set out in the Rules.

In the first instance, you should contact Railpen, who will arrange for you to complete the necessary medical consent forms, so the Group’s Medical Adviser can obtain reports from the doctors or consultant treating you.

If your claim is successful, your unreduced deferred pension will be put into payment with effect from the date you applied for an ill-health pension. If your claim is unsuccessful, you have the right to appeal under the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure.

If you were to die before payment of your pension starts, a lump sum is payable.

This would be equivalent to five times your annual pension, plus the lump sum that would have been payable if you had started to receive your deferred pension on ill-health grounds on the day that you died.

All members who joined the Group on or after 1 September 1986 have the lump sum held under discretionary trusts for distribution by the Group Trustee to their spouse, civil partner, children, relatives or other nominated beneficiaries.

Any member who joined before that date must sign a Notice of Direction that these discretionary trusts should apply, or the money will be paid to the member's estate. Lump sums paid under discretionary trusts are not counted as part of your estate for inheritance tax or probate purposes so can be paid quickly and tax effectively.

In order to assist the Group Trustee, you are encouraged to complete an expression of wish form (available in the library below). In the event of your death, the Group Trustee will normally distribute the lump sum in accordance with your wishes. However, the Group Trustee is not legally bound to pay the lump sum to a nominated beneficiary and will take account of your circumstances at the time. It is important, therefore, that you keep your expression of wish up to date.

Dependants and children 

Your dependant will receive a pension of up to two-thirds of the pension you are receiving. The dependant’s pension is payable from the day after your death and is paid throughout the dependant's life.

The child's pension is one quarter of the dependant's pension for each child for up to four children, or if you leave more than four children the dependant's pension will be divided between the number of eligible children. If you joined the Scheme before 1 April 1992, there is a minimum child's pension payable of £1,452.60 per annum (from 1 April 2009).

Children's pensions are only payable to children born before you left service and are subject to reduction if other children’s benefits are payable as a result of your membership of a subsequent pension scheme or arrangement.

If you get divorced, your solicitor will need to take account of any pension benefits you and your spouse may have when arranging your divorce settlement.

This applies if you are a contributing member, a deferred member or are in receipt of your pension. It is essential that you or your solicitor contact Railpen for information on the value of your pension before finalising the division of your assets.

If you would like more information, please visit the MoneyHelper website here (you will be directed to an external site).


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