OMPS Section members

No matter if you are mid-way through your working life, approaching retirement or recently. It’s important to understand the benefits of long-term pension saving and managing your money.

What are my benefits in the OMPS Section?

The OMPS Section is a Defined Contribution Section of the Plan which you made contributions to. During your membership you accrued Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) and/a Reference Scheme Test (RST) pension which is known as your safeguarded underpin.

These savings are invested with Aviva and have to provide your safeguarded underpin as a minimum at retirement.

What is a safeguarded underpin?

In simple terms, when a member takes retirement, or transfers, their money purchase pension fund, the value of the benefits payable from the safeguarded element(s) is compared to their fund value. The higher amount is paid.

Why does my money purchase fund have a safeguarded underpin?

A GMP is a minimum pension that a workplace pension scheme provides to people who were contracted out of the Additional State Pension from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 1997. The GMP you get from a workplace pension scheme is usually the same, or more than, the Additional State Pension you would have got if you had not been contracted out Similarly, pension benefits accrued after 6 April 1997 under a scheme contracted out under the ‘Reference Scheme Test’ (also known as section 9(2B) rights) must guarantee a minimum level of annual income, calculated by reference to salary. Such benefits are therefore safeguarded

Please contact Buck if you require further information regarding your safeguarded underpin.

When can I retire?

You may be able to take your benefits from the Plan when you reach age 55 (this will increase to 57 in 2028) subject to meeting statutory minimums. It is common to not be able to take this type of benefit until you reach your Normal Retirement Age.

What are my options at retirement?

At retirement you must use your OMPS savings to purchase an Annuity that covers any safeguarded underpin you have. Buck’s At-Retirement Service will help you to purchase an Annuity for the safeguarded underpin. If there are surplus funds after purchasing the Annuity, you can use this to take tax-free cash (to a maximum of 25% of your fund) or purchase additional Annuity on the open market. If there is a shortfall in funds required to purchase an Annuity for your safeguarded underpin, you will be unable to take early retirement from the Plan. When you reach your Normal Retirement Age, if there is still a shortfall in funds, the Trustees will top up your fund to allow the Annuity to be purchased or for the Plan to self-fund your safeguarded minimum pension. If you have additional funds after an Annuity is purchased - you can use these in exactly the same way as any DC fund - i.e. Drawdown or Annuity. You can find out more about these options here.

Alternatively, you can transfer your benefits out of the Plan to access additional flexibility.

Receive an Annuity

An Annuity for your safeguarded underpin is a regular income for life (a pension in other words) from a provider on the open market, that increases in value each year, paid on a regular basis, a bit like a salary.

The Pensions Regulator believes, for most members, it’s likely in their best financial interests to not transfer out of the Plan. However, it acknowledges, that the flexible options accessed by transferring out may better suit the financial interests of some members given their particular circumstances.

Transfer your pension away from the Plan

You can give up your pension in exchange for a pot of cash (called a transfer value). You’d need to use this to secure a retirement income, tailored to your needs, outside of the Plan.

Your transfer being treated as Defined Contribution or Defined Benefit will depend on the value of your OMPS fund and the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) of your safeguarded underpin. If the CETV of your safeguarded underpin is higher than your OMPS fund, your transfer will be treated as Defined Benefit and, if the value is over £30,000, you cannot transfer out of the Plan without speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

You may be able to transfer some, or all, of your benefits out of the Plan to another pension arrangement and access the flexibilities available including Income Drawdown.

If you currently have funds in the Aviva DC section of the Dun & Bradstreet Plan or Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) then transferring to this policy may be an option to give you the flexibility of options available under the DC section.

As we already have a structure in place with Aviva, there may be advantages in this option for you over a transfer to another provider. We suggest you discuss this with an authorised IFA.

You can find more information in the DC Section on the website.

Paid for financial advice from the Plan

The Trustee has appointed Origen Financial Services (Origen), a firm of IFAs that are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to help you decide which option is right for you. You don’t have to use Origen, you can choose your own IFA, but you’ll need to meet the cost of their advice.

How to qualify for paid financial advice

The Trustee will pay for financial advice for eligible members to consider their retirement and transfer options.

You will be eligible if:

  • You’re 55 or over;
  • Your transfer value (excluding AVCs) is over £10,000;
  • You’ve not previously taken two paid-for financial advice sessions*; and
  • You’re a resident in the UK.

If you satisfy the above criteria you would be eligible for free advice (i.e. Trustee paid-for) on your benefits.

You will receive further information along with a consent form when you receive your retirement or transfer figures from Buck.

Please return all forms to Buck, who will forward to Origen. Origen will then contact you directly.

* Please note that the paid-for advice is only available twice and the sessions must be two years apart. If you take both paid-for advice sessions but then decide not to retire or transfer your benefits, you would need to pay for any advice at a later date.

Alternatively, you can also seek guidance from Pension Wise. You can contact Pension Wise by ringing 0800 280 8880 or 0800 138 3944 and making an appointment. Appointments are conducted over the telephone with The Pensions Advisory Service and face-to-face appointments take place at branches of the Citizens Advice services. You can visit the Pension Wise website for more details.

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:

  • The minimum age you can access your pension savings is currently age 55 (this will be 57 from 6 April 2028);
  • All legitimate UK pension schemes must be registered with HMRC and there are checks in place for overseas pension schemes; and
  • It is the law to seek financial advice if your transfer value is £30,000 or over.

Tips on how to protect yourself from pension scams

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:

  • Guarantees they can get better returns on pension savings;
  • Help to release cash from a pension before the age of 55, with no mention of the HMRC tax bill that can arise;
  • High pressure sales tactics – time limited offers to get the best deal; using couriers to send documents, who wait until they’re signed;
  • Unusual high-risk investments, which tend to be overseas, unregulated, with no consumer protections;
  • Complicated investment structures; and
  • Long-term pension investments – which often mean people who transfer in do not realise something is wrong for several years.

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
Buck (Bristol)
PO Box 319
GL14 9BF

Click the links below to access some general websites relevant to pensions.
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 (
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.

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Flexibility when you retire

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.