Family leave and your pension
If you’re expecting a new child into the family, it’s an exciting and busy time, so it’s easy to ignore your pension. But it’s important to know what you’re entitled to, and how your leave might affect your pension arrangements.
Under the same rules as Statutory Maternity Pay, you are entitled to two weeks’ Statutory Paternity Pay. The weekly rate is £151.20 or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
If you’re adopting or having a child through surrogacy, you’re usually entitled to paid time off work. This is subject to the same rules and requirements (as above) for Maternity Pay and the pay structure is identical.
If you’re adopting as a couple, only one person can get adoption leave. The other might be able to get paternity leave or shared parental leave.
Shared Parental Leave
Your pension during family leave
Your pension Scheme membership will be continuous while you are off, unless you have an agreement with your employer for this to be different.
Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)
During your family leave, if you’re still earning enough to cover AVC contributions, then they will continue. But if you wish, you can change or stop these extra contributions while you’re receiving lower wages. You can easily do this if you log in to your myRPS account, go to the ‘My Pension’ section of your home page and click on ‘Funds’.
Nominate your new family member
Once your new child has joined you, make sure he or she is looked after in the event of your death.
This will depend on the benefits you have built up in your pension plan and is not a fixed amount, but it could be a substantial sum. And it won’t cost you a penny!
To make sure the money is paid in line with your wishes, it’s important to let us know where you would like this money to go. We then inform the Trustee.
If your circumstances change after you have completed your nomination, you can change your choice simply by updating your wishes in your online account.
The easiest way to nominate is by logging in to your online pension account at railwayspensions.co.uk. You’ll find the nominations page in the ‘My Pension’ section of your account.