SWR Pensions

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Hi, could anyone out there tell me what type of Pension SWR have for new starters please. Also what is the maximum % contribution you can make and what SWR/First contribute in return

Thanks
 
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greatkingrat

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SWR are part of the Railway Pension Scheme. The contribution rate will be fixed, you can't contribute more or less, although you can make additional contributions into a separate scheme (BRASS).
 

Horizon22

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Thank you, any idea what the contribution rate is for Commercial Guard?

Thanks again

It’s all a bit complex but you will get a detailed booklet outlining all of this when you start / shortly after you start from RPS, and/or you can ask Payroll.
 

Watershed

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The SWR (Defined Benefit) scheme has a normal retirement age of 62 (for non-protected members), with an employee contribution rate of 8.48%. Note that contributions (and benefits, ultimately) are calculated based your pensionable pay less 1.5× the basic state pension.

See here for the scheme guide which explains it all.
 
Joined
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Location
Portsmouth
The SWR (Defined Benefit) scheme has a normal retirement age of 62 (for non-protected members), with an employee contribution rate of 8.48%. Note that contributions (and benefits, ultimately) are calculated based your pensionable pay less 1.5× the basic state pension.

See here for the scheme guide which explains it all.
Thankyou Watershed, very helpful

Hi Nick hope your doing well, have you heard anything from SWR with regards to a start date yet?
Hi Danny,

I'm ok thanks and you?

Nope I'm afraid not but not really expecting to hear anything till next year or the end of this year at the very best for a start in Q2 next year. Fingers crossed.
 

whoosh

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You will receive information from the Railway Pension Scheme soon after joining the company. You can make Additional Voluntary Contributions in the form of BRASS2 (Which stands for British Rail Additional Superannuation Scheme 2).

There is a limit to how much you can pay into this, which is that your normal pension contributions and BRASS2 contributions COMBINED can be upto 20% of your pensionable salary or upto 15% of your pay including overtime and any enhancements (you really have to be caning the overtime to get near this though - it's really for people with a low wage and lots of enhancements for Saturdays/Sundays/Nights where their grade has never been restructured and is still like the old days.)

There are different funds for BRASS2 each with a different amount of risk, where you can assign how much % to put into different ones.

If you really want to save for your pension and have maxed-out your BRASS2 payments, there is something called AVC Extra for you to save even more aside.

I would recommend BRASS2 as something to save into - if you are a trainee then put some in at the earliest opportunity, and then when you pass out and go onto full pay for the role, whack it up then. It's a good time to as you won't miss the money if you never have it in your pocket to start with.
 

Watershed

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You will receive information from the Railway Pension Scheme soon after joining the company. You can make Additional Voluntary Contributions in the form of BRASS2 (Which stands for British Rail Additional Superannuation Scheme 2).

There is a limit to how much you can pay into this, which is that your normal pension contributions and BRASS2 contributions COMBINED can be upto 20% of your pensionable salary or upto 15% of your pay including overtime and any enhancements (you really have to be caning the overtime to get near this though - it's really for people with a low wage and lots of enhancements for Saturdays/Sundays/Nights where their grade has never been restructured and is still like the old days.)

There are different funds for BRASS2 each with a different amount of risk, where you can assign how much % to put into different ones.

If you really want to save for your pension and have maxed-out your BRASS2 payments, there is something called AVC Extra for you to save even more aside.

I would recommend BRASS2 as something to save into - if you are a trainee then put some in at the earliest opportunity, and then when you pass out and go onto full pay for the role, whack it up then. It's a good time to as you won't miss the money if you never have it in your pocket to start with.
Worth noting that the reason that BRASS2 is so attractive is that, on retirement, you can convert your money into an increased RPS pension at a ratio of 12:1, i.e. 8.3%.

Which is about 3 or 4 times better than current annuity rates (depending on your age and circumstances), and about 2.5 times better than the 'safe rate of withdrawal' (if you drawdown instead of getting an annuity) which is said to be ~3%.
 
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Thank you all so much for all the advice.

I'm gonna be 53 in January and hope I'll be out of the talent pool for commercial guard sometime next year.

I've got 9 years Royal Navy pension, 12 years Royal Mail and the pretty diabolical one I'm on now so with the state pension and hopefully 15 years RPS and BRASS I'm hoping I'll be comfortable enough.

Thank you again for your time and advice.
 

whoosh

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Worth noting that the reason that BRASS2 is so attractive is that, on retirement, you can convert your money into an increased RPS pension at a ratio of 12:1, i.e. 8.3%.

Yes, you can get £1 per annum pension for every £12 lump sum you surrender - it's £1p.a. for every £20 lump sum you surrender in most other pension schemes, so very attractive.
 
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That's really good. So I'm assuming that I will be paying RPS 8% and can top up a further 7% with BRASS. Can I ask what percentage SWR pay in on the RPS, is it matched or enhanced at all

Thanks again
 

the sniper

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That's really good. So I'm assuming that I will be paying RPS 8% and can top up a further 7% with BRASS. Can I ask what percentage SWR pay in on the RPS, is it matched or enhanced at all

Thanks again

As per the document here:
The SWR (Defined Benefit) scheme has a normal retirement age of 62 (for non-protected members), with an employee contribution rate of 8.48%. Note that contributions (and benefits, ultimately) are calculated based your pensionable pay less 1.5× the basic state pension.

See here for the scheme guide which explains it all.

SWR will contribute 12.72%.
 
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Excellent. Thank you all, that's all my questions answered.

Sorry I'm back, does this mean I will have to retire from SRW at 62?

Thanks
 
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Class2ldn

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No you don't have to retire , its just the minimum age you have to achieve to get the full pension amount without any penalties.
 

Watershed

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That's really good. So I'm assuming that I will be paying RPS 8% and can top up a further 7% with BRASS. Can I ask what percentage SWR pay in on the RPS, is it matched or enhanced at all

Thanks again
Your maximum BRASS contribution is likely to be quite a bit more than that - the maximum contribution is as set out in the 'Read as you need' guide:
The most you can contribute to BRASS each tax year is the higher of either 15% of your gross pay or 20% of your pensionable pay, less the amount you already contributed in normal contributions to the Scheme.
Normal contributions are calculated based on pensionable pay less 1.5× the basic state pension, hence that "8%" would be closer to 5-7% depending on your exact salary. So you could pay in somewhere up to 13-15% of your pensionable pay.

Given that you'll be able to claim tax relief at your marginal rate (20/40%), and the generous 12:1 conversion factor as discussed above, it's worthwhile putting in as much as you can into BRASS.



Employers in the RPS match your normal contributions on a 1.5:1 ratio, so as you are paying in 8.48% they'll be paying 12.72%. In a way this is a bit of a meaningless figure as ultimately, by paying your contributions you are building up your entitlement, hence the amount that SWR are paying shouldn't matter.

Excellent. Thank you all, that's all my questions answered.

Sorry I'm back, does this mean I will have to retire from SRW at 62?

Thanks
Any automatic retirement age would be role specific (e.g. down to medical requirements), not from the pension side of things. If you want, you can stop contributing to your pension before you retire, and can even start taking it whilst still in employment.

The 'normal retirement age' (NRA) being 62 means that that's the age at which you'd be entitled to 100% of the benefits described in the section guide.

If you decide to draw your benefits sooner than 62, your benefits will be reduced in accordance with the Cost Neutral Early Retirement Factors (CNERF) stated in the section guide. There are also factors which increase your benefits if you decide to postpone taking them.

There's two things to be aware of though - firstly, you must take all of your benefits at once (you can't take your main pension before your BRASS pension or vice versa).

And secondly, if you assume an average life expectancy, the early or late retirement factors tend to favour retiring at the NRA. For example, retiring at 60 instead of 62 would mean receiving 11% lower benefits (on top of a lower entitlement to begin with, as you'd have fewer years of service), which is quite a reduction.

There's a lot of nuance to these pensions, so if you have any questions it's absolutely worth asking RPMI (who manage the RPS) for clarification on exactly what you're entitled to etc. But if you need advice on what to do or choose, you should speak to an independent financial advisor.
 
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