New tool to estimate your pension pot

Mar 1, 2021, 13:25 PM by User Not Found
If you’re a member of the Defined Benefit arrangement, there’s a new way to get a glimpse into the future and see what your pension might be worth when you retire.


We listened to your feedback to develop a useful pension planner for you as quickly as possible. It’s now in the final stages of development and we’ll be launching an early access version for members over the coming weeks, starting Monday 1 March.

The planner is designed to show you what your annual income could be when you stop work and how much you may be able to take as a tax-free lump sum.

It also lets you see what it might look like if you decide to start taking your benefits before claiming your State Pension and then level your income out afterwards. This is known as the ‘level pension’ option. 

The planner is a quick and easy way to take control and make your pension work better for you. And we’ll be making even more improvements to it in the future.

This planner is for anyone with a Defined Benefit pension.  If you are a member of the Industry-Wide Defined Contribution (IWDC) Section, you should use the DC retirement planner instead. If you’re unsure which type of pension you have, please check your member’s guide. You can find a copy in the My Library section of your myRPS account.  

How can I try the pension planner?

An early access version of the planner will be rolled out to members in phases over the coming weeks.

This will give us time to check its performance and stability ahead of the full launch. And make any necessary improvements as we go.

You may already be able to try the pension planner by logging in to your myRPS account and visiting the ‘Planning for your Future’ section or using the link on the dashboard page. If not, it should appear there very soon, so please keep checking.

For those who do have access, the planner is fully functional and you will already see the improvements we’ve made in comparison to the previous legacy planner. This includes the use of real-time data to calculate your benefits.

While this will give you a more accurate result, it might also take a little longer to perform the calculation.  Please be patient and if it looks to be taking a little longer than expected, this is probably because your real-time calculation is a little more complex.  

We will be checking in on the planner’s performance regularly, and may have to take it down temporarily if changes need to be made.  Please bear with us as we work to give you the best service possible.

What does the pension planner do?

Like the old one, the planner:

  • works out what your annual pension is likely to be
  • shows your BRASS (if you have it) fund’s current value and the projected future value
  • shows how much of a lump sum you might be able to take when you retire and how, it would then affect your annual pension. If you have BRASS it shows how your BRASS fund works as part, or all of, your lump sum depending on the amount of BRASS you have and the size of lump sum you want

The improved planner also

  • lets you see what it might look like if they go for a ‘level pension’ option
  • uses the latest salary data your employer has sent us, rather than the data from your last Annual Pension Estimate, to give you the most accurate results

The planner’s estimates are based on:

  • your salary
  • retirement age
  • BRASS contributions made to date
  • weekly BRASS contributions going forward

How can I experiment with the pension planner?

By simply using the plus and minus buttons in the planner, you can experiment with increasing or decreasing your:

  • retirement age
  • weekly BRASS contributions
  • lump sum

This lets you see what might happen to your annual pension and lump sum if you’re considering making any changes. And lets you model different scenarios to see what your annual pension could be as a result.

Don’t worry, the planner won’t make any changes to your record. But it will show you what could happen if you did make the changes.  

It’s all about giving you the information you need to make the right decision for you. It's also a great way to see your pension benefits come to life and get a better view of what the future might hold.

Will the pension planner tell me if I’m saving enough?

The planner will show you how much your annual income is likely to be when you retire.

You can then compare this to the Retirement Living Standards (RLS) and decide for yourself whether it’s likely to be enough for you. 

As a guideline, the RLS shows that an individual will need between £10,200 and £33,000 per year when they finish work.

You can find out more by visiting retirementlivingstandards.org.uk

We’re busy building another new calculator using this RLS data to make it easier for you to judge how much you might need and compare that to the results in the DB planner.

What can I do with my pension planner results?

Once you have your pension planner results, you can decide whether to take any further action.

For example, you may choose to:

  • change your target retirement age (TRA)
  • change your weekly BRASS contributions
  • make a one off BRASS contribution

Before making any changes, you may want to get advice from an Independent Financial Adviser. You can find one in your area using unbiased.co.uk Remember to show them your pension planner results.  

Please remember this planner has been designed to show you what your retirement benefits could be based on the information we currently hold for you and the options you have selected.

The results shown by the planner are for illustration and comparison purposes only and do not guarantee any future outcome or entitlement. The results should not be relied upon for retirement planning. Your actual benefits in retirement could differ from the estimated figures shown.

Why wasn’t the planner live before now?

We know that many members really valued the planner on the old website and we wanted to reinstate it as soon as possible after the new site launched in September/October last year.

The main delay came from making sure we improved the planner and give members what they wanted most.

Based on survey results, thousands of members told us there were clear priorities for us to deliver on the new site:

  1. Online estimates
  2. See more periods of membership under one log-in
  3. Use more up to date salary data in the planner
  4. Improve the planner to be able to model a level pension

We put the new site live as soon as we had the online estimates ready and we’re really pleased that more than 30,000 of you have already used the estimate tool.

You can now also see other periods of membership without having to log in with a separate ID.

Improving the planner did take a little longer than points 1 and 2 but we’re pleased to say:

  • it’s now based on the latest salary data your employer has sent us, rather than on your last Annual Pensions Estimate as previously
  • it also lets you model what a level pension might look like.  You can learn more about level pensions here 

Thank you for your patience. We’ll be keeping the planner under review and making additional updates and tweaks based on its performance and member feedback moving forward.