The Pension Protection Fund

Oct 3, 2023 | Pensions

What is the Pension Protection Fund

In a world where financial security during retirement is paramount, there’s a safety net called the Pension Protection Fund (PPF that serves individuals who belong to Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes.

Established to provide compensation and peace of mind, the PPF has played a crucial role in safeguarding the retirement aspirations of countless individuals since its inception on 5th April 2005.

When Your Employer Faces Problems

Imagine your employer, who manages your pension, goes out of business or can’t pay anymore. That’s where the PPF steps in to help.

Date Matters

It’s essential to note that the PPF primarily covers employers that became insolvent on or after 5th April 2005. If an employer faced financial trouble before this date, a different scheme known as the Financial Assistance Scheme may provide coverage.

Understanding PPF Compensation

Levels of Protection

The PPF provides compensation at varying levels depending on several factors, including the member’s age and the type of benefits they receive:

  1. Full Protection for Certain Members
    • Members who have reached the scheme’s normal pension age.
    • Those receiving survivor’s benefits.
    • Individuals in receipt of an ill-health pension.

These members receive 100% of their pension entitlement.

  1. Partial Protection for Others
    • Members who haven’t reached the scheme’s normal pension age are covered at a slightly reduced rate.

They receive 90% of their pension entitlement.

  1. Caps and Changes
    • Before the 2022–23 tax year, members not yet at retirement age were subject to a compensation cap. For instance, the cap at age 65 was £41,461.07 (or £37,314.96 when considering the 90% rate).

However, thanks to a legal decision (Hughes versus the Board of the PPF), this cap is being phased out due to age discrimination concerns.

Inflation and Spousal Benefits

Once compensation is paid, payments relating to service after 5th April 1997 rise with inflation, up to a maximum of 2.5% per annum. Payments tied to service before that date remain constant.

Additionally, a spouse’s pension is provided, amounting to 50% of the member’s PPF compensation.

Special Consideration for Long Service

Members with 21 or more years of service in their scheme were subject to a long service cap. This cap increased by 3% for each full year of pensionable service above 20 years, up to double the standard cap.

However, the legal decision in Hughes versus the PPF has brought about changes, and the long service cap is no longer relevant.

SJB Global: Your Partner in Retirement Planning

As you navigate the complexities of pension protection and retirement planning, SJB Global’s team of financial experts is well-versed in the intricacies of pension schemes, including the evolving landscape of the PPF.

We’re here to offer guidance, answer your questions, and help you make informed decisions to secure your financial future.

The Pension Protection Fund is a vital component of the UK’s pension landscape, providing much-needed security in uncertain times. Stay informed, explore your options, and remember that SJB Global is here to support you on your journey to a secure retirement.

This communication is for informational purposes only based on our understanding of current legislation and practices which are subject to change and are not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

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Schedule an Obligation-free Call With an Adviser

By scheduling an appointment with an adviser they will reach out to you at your requested time. 
Personal advice, whenever it suits you.

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