Understand your investments: Make sure they match your retirement goals and how you’d like to take your benefits from the Plan. You can check and manage your investments through MyWorkplace - the Aviva member portal. Learn about the myths around investments.
It's never too early to seek financial advice. Speaking to an independent financial adviser can help ensure you have the right investments to match your requirements.
Have you saved enough? As retirement approaches - check what you have by logging into the portal and review any other pensions you have. You should also use the online State Pension calculator www.gov.uk/check-state-pension and consider speaking to a regulated financial advisor.
Understand your retirement income options: Read up on your options for taking your pension in advance and how they might affect your tax and any State benefits.
You can start taking your benefits from the Plan when you reach age 55 (this will increase to 57 in 2028).
What benefits you receive at retirement depends on how you choose to use your Investment Account. Under the Plan, you can:
The value of your Investment Account can fall and rise in line with market movements. We recommend you take financial advice before making any decisions.
Through the Plan
If you want to take your savings as cash, or buy an Annuity you can do this through the Plan.
Take your savings as a single Cash Lump Sum.
Buy an Annuity
Up to 25% tax-free cash
You can take all your retirement savings, including any Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) you might have, as a Cash Lump Sum at retirement. 25% will be as tax-free cash and you will be taxed at your marginal rate on the rest and remember, you will be taxed at your marginal rate on the rest if you choose to take a lump sum at retirement
You will receive more information on this when you are 6 months from retirement.
Transfer out of the Plan
If you want to use Income Drawdown or take your retirement cash savings as a series of lump sums you will need to transfer your retirement savings out of the Plan into a different pension policy (this can either be with Aviva or to a provider of your choice).
Up to 25% tax-free cash
You can take all your retirement savings, including any Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) you might have, as a series of Cash Lump Sums at retirement. 25% of each lump sum will be tax free, and you will be taxed at your marginal rate on the rest. Remember, you may find that taking a Cash Lump Sum could push you into a higher tax bracket.
As well as having the option to take your retirement savings as cash, or buying an Annuity, you will have the option of using Income Drawdown. Under this you can access your savings flexibly, drawing down cash as and when you need it or at regular intervals, keeping the remaining savings invested.
Make sure that you consider any pensions you hold with other providers before making any retirement decisions. You may want to consider seeking financial advice on your options (such as consolidating them in one place).
As you approach retirement (in the 5-10 years before your targeted retirement date) you should start to consider how you plan to take your retirement savings (Cash Lump Sum, Annuity or Cash/Income Drawdown), as this will have a significant impact on your investment decisions in the run-up to retirement.
If you plan to buy an Annuity you will want to think about protecting the value of your retirement savings from sudden falls in value as you approach retirement. This will probably be more important than growing your savings.
If you choose to buy an Annuity, investments in bonds and cash are generally thought most suitable to protect, as far as it is possible, the value of the benefits your Investment Account will buy. Bond investments tend to go up when the cost of buying annuities is rising and go down when the cost of buying annuities is falling meaning that the pension you can buy remains relatively stable. Investments in cash are unlikely to fall in value and can match the tax-free cash sum that you are allowed to take when you retire from the Plan.
A series of Cash Lump Sums or Income Drawdown
If you are looking to take your savings as multiple instalments of cash or Income Drawdown, you will need to transfer your savings out into a different pension policy either with Aviva or an alternative provider (unless you want to take the whole of your pension savings as a single Cash Lump Sum) at the point you wish to access your pension. But here are a few points that you might want to consider.
If you choose to access your savings periodically, using Income Drawdown, it may be many years before some of this income is used. If left in low-risk, low-return investments in the run up to retirement you could miss out on valuable returns, meaning if your money doesn’t grow in line with inflation then it could be worth less in the future in real terms. So, you might want to consider keeping some of your savings invested in higher-return funds for longer to counter this effect.
If you are invested in one of the Plan’s four lifestyle programmes, then switching happens automatically. If you have chosen individual funds and want to aim to protect the value of your Investment Account, you can switch growth-type funds into bond and cash funds over a period of years in the run-up to retirement. Your attitude to risk will influence when you start to switch to bond and cash funds. If you have chosen individual funds and want to aim to protect the value of your Investment Account, you can switch from growth-type funds into bond and cash funds over a period of years in the run up to retirement. In the four lifestyle investment programmes, switching happens automatically. Your attitude to risk will influence when you start to switch to bond and cash funds.
You should be aware that the value of the investment options can fall as well as rise, and that past performance is not a guide to future performance.
You may think you won’t fall victim for a scam, but fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated in their approaches, by producing professional looking brochures and websites promoting attractive but hoax offers.
In some cases, these fraudsters will target pension members offering the chance to convert pensions savings to an immediate cash sum before the minimum pension age (currently age 55 but rising to 57 from 6 April 2028). Using a transfer of your benefits to try and take them below age normal minimum pension age is usually against the law so that sort of an offer should ring alarm bells with you.
Please read the following information carefully to ensure you don’t let a scammer steal your pension.
Some of the key facts that apply to all of our pension savings include:
Reject unexpected offers and advice
If you’re contacted out of the blue about a pension opportunity, chances are its high risk or a scam.
If you get a cold call about your pension, the safest thing to do is to hang up - it’s illegal and probably a scam. Report pension cold calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Be wary if you’re contacted about any financial product or opportunity and they mention using your pension. This is dangerous for you and your money.
Be cautious of offers of free pension reviews. Professional advice on pensions is not free. A free offer out of the blue (from a company you have not dealt with before) is probably a scam. Also be wary of phrases such as ‘pension liberation’, ‘loan’ ‘savings advance’ one-off investment and ‘cashback’. Most of these are key phrases used by scammers.
Other common phrases or actions used by scammers include:
Don't be talked into something by someone you know, even a friend or family member. They could be getting scammed. Check everything yourself.
Get regulated advice and protect your money
If you are looking for financial advice, check that the Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), via the Financial Services Register, to protect you and your pension savings, as this will ensure that you have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
How FSCS protects your money:
Don’t be rushed
The last thing you need is to feel rushed or pressured into making a decision, this is how most scammers behave. Take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’.
Remember to do your research, and always check that the IFA, or product, are authorised by the FCA and it is protected by the FSCS. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, the FSCS may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.
For further information or queries about your benefits, please contact Buck.
0330 123 9687
(Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
Dun & Bradstreet (UK) Pension Plan
PO Box 319
The official UK Government website for citizens. Directgov is the UK Government’s digital service for people in England and Wales. It delivers information and practical advice about public services, including pensions and retirement planning bringing them all together in one place.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
HMRC was formed following the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise departments. It deals with taxation and National Insurance issues.
Local Professional Advice (register.fca.org.uk)
This website will help you find professional advice in your local area from locating an independent financial adviser, to a solicitor.
New State Pension
The State Pension changed for people who reached State Pension Age on or after the 6 April 2016. This link takes you to an introduction of the new State Pension.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
DWP is responsible for employment, equality, benefits, pensions and child support.
MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help. MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
The Pension Service
The Pension Service helps with State Pension eligibility, claims and payments.
The Pensions Ombudsman Service
The Pensions Ombudsman investigates and decides complaints and disputes about the way that pension schemes are run.
You now have more options available to you at retirement in terms of how you take your pension… view the video to find out more and to discuss any of this further, contact Friends Life using the details provided under the Contacts tab.
The Barber Judgment and the equal treatment of men and women
Generally speaking pension Plan’s used to have different retirement ages for Men and Women for example; 65 for men and 60 for women. This practice was challenged in the European Court of Justice in 1990 and it was ruled that Trustees must pay equal or comparable benefits to men and women from that date.
How this changed the Dun & Bradstreet Pension Plan
The Dun and Bradstreet Plan equalised normal retirement ages for men and women, before the Barber judgment, on 6 April 1988. Before this date men had a normal retirement age of 65 and women had a normal retirement age of 60.
Any person that joined the Plan after 6 April 1988 has a normal retirement age of 65 regardless of gender.
Any person that joined the Plan before 6 April 1988 has a normal retirement age of 60 for their service between 17 May 1990 to 31 March 2004; a normal retirement age of 65 for service after 31 March 2004; and a normal retirement age of 65 or 60 depending on gender for service before 17 May 1990.