Updated 3 April 2020
Following Government advice to restrict the spread of the virus, National Grid has instructed its employees to work from home where possible. This measure has been implemented and will continue until we are advised further.
UK Pensions Operations is fully set up to operate remotely and everyone is working to minimise any impact to our service. Please be assured that the team will continue to process and pay members’ monthly pensions as usual and are treating this as a priority along with supporting colleagues, past and present, who are retiring and ensuring death benefits are paid without delay.
Some of our processes have been altered while we are following government advice to work from home including how to contact the Pensions team and this is outlined below.
More information can be found here..
Contacting the team during this time
There are some small changes to the way we’d ask you to contact the team during this time so we can make sure queries are picked up and dealt with quickly.
If you need to contact the team during this time and your enquiry is urgent, or if you need to report the death of a member, please email the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t use email you can call the team on: 0800 279 3407. Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Sending in items by post
We’d urge you NOT to send items in the post to UK Pensions Operations at Wokingham until further notice. The office is closed and we are unable to accept post until it reopens.
We’d strongly encourage you to register to receive your pension communications online.
Details of how to register appeared in the recent Pensions Update newsletter and are available on the Scheme website. To register, visit My Online Services and follow the instructions.
Clearly the situation is fast moving, unsettling, and unprecedented, and we will continue to keep you updated via this website.
Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that UK Pensions Operations will still be able to process and pay members’ pensions as usual if the current situation with Coronavirus in the UK worsens or if there is a significant outbreak.
The Pensions team has robust business continuity plans in place that will allow us to continue to operate in the event of a crisis or disaster. We will still be able to process members’ retirements as normal, and pay pensions as usual on the 15th of each month, even if measures are introduced to close offices to prevent the virus from spreading. We have also confirmed with the Scheme’s investment and other providers that their business continuity plans are equally robust and won’t impact our ability to pay members’ pensions.
We are taking every step to proactively manage the situation and reduce any disruption of service that may potentially be caused by Coronavirus. We’ll provide updates via this website as the situation continues to progress.
In the meantime, please keep safe and follow NHS advice.
The latest Pensions Update has recently been mailed out and is also now available on My Online Services.
The Trustees are moving pension information online and from April 2020 Active and Deferred members, along with Pensioners who have registered with My Online Services, will be issued information online instead of by post.
Pensioners who do not register with My Online Service will continue to receive information sent by post.
To understand more or to change your communications preference, please click here.
Pensions payable from the National Grid UK Pension Scheme are reviewed in April each year and increased in line with the percentage increase in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for the 12 months up to the previous September.
This year the main annual pensions increase will be 2.4%, which is in line with the increase in the RPI for the 12 months up to September 2019. This will be applied with effect from Monday 6 April 2020.
If you are a man under age 65, or a woman under age 60 at the increase date, your whole pension will be increased by this amount and you will receive details in your April payslip.
However, if you are a man over age 65, or a woman over age 60, your National Grid pension is likely to include what’s known as a Guaranteed Minimum Pension or GMP. Different increases apply to the GMP part of your pension, and depending on when you reached or will reach State Pension Age, some increases to your Scheme pension may be paid by the State.
A new investment for managing risk within the Scheme – November 2019
You may have seen a further announcement in the press recently that we have purchased an insurance policy from Legal & General. This investment is known in pension terms as a ‘buy-in’ and is part of the Scheme’s investment strategy.
A buy-in is a prudent way of managing risk within the Scheme. The Trustees have used some of the existing assets of the Scheme to buy a policy from Legal & General, which provides future income for the Scheme. This kind of insurance policy is increasingly common for many schemes, especially for schemes as well funded as ours. A similar buy-in arrangement was completed with Rothesay Life plc earlier this year.
How does it work?
As with the previous buy-in which was in respect of Section A, the insurer will make payments to the Scheme which broadly reflect the pensions being paid to a sub-section of members, this time within Section B. Effectively it provides the Section with an income that will match its payments to these members even if members live longer than we have allowed for in our current funding projections.
How does this affect me?
Please be assured that this doesn’t in any way affect any member’s pension entitlement - whether you’re a member of Section A, B or C, there is no change to the way your pension is calculated or paid as a result of this investment. The Scheme is still responsible for paying your pension. If you’re retired, your pension payments will continue to be paid in exactly the same way as they are now – normally on the 15th of each month through UK Pensions Operations’ payroll team based in Wokingham.