WMT Pension Scheme and BRASS

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JasonD

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Hi there,

I will starting with WMT in September as a trainee driver and just wondered if anyone had any info on the Pension scheme and the term BRASS?

what are the monthly contributions for the pension, and as Pensions go, just how good is it? Is it comparable with the Police Pension?

For BRASS, is it something that most opt into?

any info would be great fully received.

thanks,
Jason
 
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Birmingham36

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4 Aug 2021
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Hi there,

I will starting with WMT in September as a trainee driver and just wondered if anyone had any info on the Pension scheme and the term BRASS?

what are the monthly contributions for the pension, and as Pensions go, just how good is it? Is it comparable with the Police Pension?

For BRASS, is it something that most opt into?

any info would be great fully received.

thanks,
Jason
What depot will you be driving from?
 

Horizon22

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The RPS is one of the best pension schemes still around - its very rare to still have Defined Benefit (DB) pensions schemes still open to new starters in any industry.

Monthly contributions vary by TOC, although someone from WMT may be able to advise. As for BRASS again it varies, generally older staff utilise it more than younger staff but it's very flexible (it's a minimum of £2/week or £8 per pay period) so you can choose how much to put in from a very low level and would suggest everyone puts at least something in. BRASS is managed via your own payroll who take the additional deductions and then forward that onto RPS.
 

Red Devil

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Here’s a link to BRASS.

https://member.railwayspensions.co.uk/in-the-scheme/brass/join-brass

It is your choice. All I can say is an ASLEF rep at Stratford depot 40 years ago told me to look after my pension and save as much as I could afford (not easy when you are young). I joined BRASS.

Fast forward to today and for me it was the best advice I ever received.
Echo those sentiments. Was told many years ago by one of our depots more "financially careful " old hands to put in,no matter how much or how little. Looking at my funds now,best advice ever given.
 

ggbrf

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BRASS aka AVC.

Additional Voluntary Contributions​


Tax efficient way to top up your pension.

Echo those sentiments. Was told many years ago by one of our depots more "financially careful " old hands to put in,no matter how much or how little. Looking at my funds now,best advice ever given.
Every time u get a payrise up your BRASS
 

Bald Rick

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Here’s a link to BRASS.

https://member.railwayspensions.co.uk/in-the-scheme/brass/join-brass

It is your choice. All I can say is an ASLEF rep at Stratford depot 40 years ago told me to look after my pension and save as much as I could afford (not easy when you are young). I joined BRASS.

Fast forward to today and for me it was the best advice I ever received.

Agreed. I didn’t put into BRASS. If I had, I’d be retiring very soon. Sadly I can’t.

People I know who started at the same time did, and even with relatively modest contributions of £25/week, (which is effectively a net £15/week for a higher rate taxpayer) they will be sitting on the best part of £250k after 40 years. And that’s on top of the normal pension.
 

Red Devil

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BRASS aka AVC.

Additional Voluntary Contributions​


Tax efficient way to top up your pension.


Every time u get a payrise up your BRASS
That's what I do. Don't miss what you've never had. The tax benefits alone make it a no brainer
 

Watershed

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what are the monthly contributions for the pension
Most TOCs pay 4 weekly actually ;)

Your contribution percentage is 7.77%, but that is only paid on your pensionable pay, less 1.5× the basic state pension. So actually more like 5-6%, and even less than that when you consider the tax relief.

as Pensions go, just how good is it?
It's an excellent pension, but...

Is it comparable with the Police Pension?
...the Police Pension (even the CARE scheme introduced in 2015) is a bit better. Essentially with the RPS you pay in less (as the state pension is taken off when calculating your contributions) but you also get less (the state pension is also taken off when calculating your benefits).

It's now a CARE scheme, with an annual accrual of 1/60th of your pensionable pay less 1.5× the basic state pension (as compared to a straight 1/55.3 on the Police Pension). When you're a higher rate taxpayer (as you will be as a driver) paying less for lower benefits isn't a great tradeoff, particularly since overtime doesn't count towards your pensionable pay. Therefore...

For BRASS, is it something that most opt into?
...many people go for BRASS to top up their pension, and that's a very wise move. You can 'trade in' your BRASS investment for an increased RPS pension at a ratio of 12:1, which is extremely advantageous.

The WMT Section guide is here to answer further questions.
 

JonathanH

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You can 'trade in' your BRASS investment for an increased RPS pension at a ratio of 12:1, which is extremely advantageous.
Technically you use the BRASS to provide a lump sum but can convert your scheme lump sum to pension. BRASS can only be converted to pension to the extent the amount of the fund exceeds the lump sum permitted under tax restrictions.
 

JasonD

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Thank you so much all of you for your input, it’s really appreciated. Always better to get opinion of those who’ve used it as opposed to when I’m being inducted.
 
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