Common questions

Wherever you are in your retirement savings journey, this is where you can find out more about the Centrica Savings Plan Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) section.

About the AVC Plan

 What type of top up is it?

It's a Trust Based Pension administered by Standard Life Assurance Limited (SLAL) that allows you to make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to help you bridge the gap between what you expect to receive from your main company pension, and what you need to attain the type of lifestyle you want in retirement.

 Who is the Trustee?

Centrica Pension Trustees Limited is Trustee of the Centrica Savings Plan.

Centrica Engineers Pension Trustees Limited is Trustee of the Centrica Engineers Savings Plan.

Centrica Pension Plan Trustees Limited is Trustee of the Centrica Pension Plan Savings Section.

 What’s the role of the Trustee?

The Trustee is responsible for:

  • Running the company pension in line with current law and the trust deed and rules
  • Looking after the members’ interests.

 Who looks after it?

Standard Life Assurance Limited (SLAL) has been appointed by the Trustee to provide administration and support for the company pension. In the UK SLAL offers products to help customers with their life savings. SLAL is owned by the Phoenix Group and uses the Standard Life brand under licence from the Standard Life Aberdeen group. SLAL is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority

 What are the charges?

There are a range of charges on your pension plan.

Find out more about the charges

Joining the AVC Plan

 Who can become a member of the AVC Plan?

When you join the main company pension, you’ll be asked you if you want to join the AVC section (as appropriate).

Find out more about joining the AVC section

 Can you leave the AVC Plan after you join?

Once you join the AVC Plan you can opt out at any time.

If you leave the AVC section, your payments can't normally be refunded and the payments from Centrica will stop. However, the payments that have already been made into the AVC section will remain invested until you retire, and charges continue to be deducted.

Payments

 What will you pay into your pension and can you change it?

How much you pay in is up to you. if you want to change the amount you're paying please go to MyPension Hub which can be accessed directly from Workday - External Benefits.

You can find out more about payments here

 Can you withdraw money from your plan?

Because your pension is set up to help you save for retirement, you normally can’t access any of your pension savings until you retire. This can unsually be from the age of 55 (may be subject to change) you can normally take some or all of your pension

You'll have several options about how you turn your pension savings into income.

If you have health issues though, you may be able to take your pension before you turn 55 (may be subject to change).

 How do you take your pension?

You may be able to take flexible income, guaranteed income, cash or a combination of these. The Trustee will decide what options are available to you from this plan, you may have to transfer to a new plan to take advantage of some options.

More about turning your pension savings into income.

We recommend you seek appropriate guidance or advice. See the question below for more details.

 Where can I get guidance on my retirement options?

Access to impartial guidance

We recommend you seek appropriate guidance or advice to understand your options at retirement. You can get free guidance over the phone or face to face with Pensionwise.

Go to www.pensionwise.gov.uk or call 0800 138 3944.

The Money Advice Service (MAS) guide is also available on the Pensionwise site.

Investments

 Where can you invest your money?

There are investment options available to you - and it’s worth taking the time to find out about them.

And even when you’ve made choices, they’re not set in stone - you can review your investments and make changes if you want to.

Find out more about changing your investments

 How do you choose investments?

Choosing investment options doesn’t have to be complicated – there are options to suit all levels of knowledge and to match the level of involvement you want.

Your investment options

What happens if you leave

 What if you leave the company?

Regardless of why you leave, your pension is yours for life. You can’t keep making payments into it if you change jobs but you may be able to combine it with a new pension from your new employer. Please refer to the 'What happens if I leave Centrica before I retire? section of your Centrica additional retirement savings booklet (PDF, 1MB) for further details about your options and benefit entitlement.

 What happens when you die?

When you die, any pot which remains can be passed on. Who receives it is at the discretion of the Trustees. You can let the Trustees know who you would like it to be paid to by nominating your beneficiaries. Please access Mercer OneView via MyPension Hub (Workday - External Benefits) to nominate or update your beneficiaries online.

For more information download the Information about tax relief, limits and your pension (PDF 145KB) guide.

If you die after you retire, your dependents may be able to continue to receive money from your pension. This will depend on how you set your retirement income up.

Taking your pension

 When can you take your pension?

You can normally take some or all of your pension from the age of 55 (may be subject to change) - but you may need consent from the Trustee to access your money before your retirement date. When you retire, you’ll need to turn your pension savings into income.

You'll have several options about how you turn your pension savings into income.

If you have health issues though, you may be able to take your pension before you turn 55 (may be subject to change).

 

 How do you take your pension?

You may be able to take up to 100% of your AVC savings as a tax free lump sum when you retire.

With the balance of your AVC plan after you take a lump sum, you can buy an income to live on in retirement.

You may be able to take flexible income or fixed income as well as cash. You may have to transfer to a new plan to take advantage of some options - and you can shop around to find the right plan for you.

More about turning your pension savings into income.

We recommend you seek appropriate guidance or advice. See the question below for more details.

 Where can I get guidance on my retirement options?

Access to impartial guidance

We recommend you seek appropriate guidance or advice to understand your options at retirement. You can get free guidance over the phone or face to face with Pensionwise.

Go to www.pensionwise.gov.uk or call 0800 138 3944.

The Money Advice Service (MAS) guide is also available on the Pensionwise site.

Your pension value

 How do you find out how much your pension is worth?

You can find this easily by logging on to MyPension Hub. The value of your pension is also shown on your annual statement.

If you are no longer employed by Centrica please register for online servicing to access your personal account by clicking the link below.

Log in to online servicing

Find out more about managing your pension online

 How do you find out what your pension might be worth at retirement?

You can find a projection of what your pension might be worth by logging in to MyPension Hub. You can also find this on your most recent pension statement.

It might also help to have an idea of how much you might need to retire. You can use this handy tool to pick the things you might like to do in retirement and work out how much it might all cost.

If you have more than one pension, you can see what they all add up to by using the retirement planner. The retirement planner can also give you an idea of what your pension could be worth, and show you how increasing your payments now can make a big difference when you retire.

Important documents

To help you make an informed decision we've provided you with important information that you should read. You should print or save copies of these documents for future reference.

Read this guide for more information on the Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) section of the Centrica Savings Plan and the Centrica Pension Plan Savings Section.

Centrica additional retirement savings booklet (PDF, 1MB)

Read this guide for more information on the Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) section of the Centrica Engineers Savings Plan.

Centrica Engineers Savings Plan AVC section booklet (PDF, 920KB)

Read this guide for more information on the different ways you can pay into your pension, and the tax benefits and tax charges which can apply.

Information about tax relief, limits and your pension (PDF, 190KB)

Complete this form to make an additional lump sum contribution to the Centrica Savings Plan.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (lump sum payments) (PDF, 85KB)

Please access Mercer OneView via MyPension Hub (Workday - External Benefits) to nominate or update your beneficiaries online.

Read this guide if you are thinking about buying an annuity.

The Open Market Annuity Service Limited  (PDF, 146KB)

These documents have been provided by the Trustee of the Centrica Savings Plan - Standard Life is not responsible for the content.