- Joining the pension
Get the most from your pension
- Use the tools
- Boost your pension
- Approaching retirement
- Contribution options
- Investment choices
- Documents and FAQ
Why are contributions changing?
Watch our short video to find out more
In line with the Government's auto-enrolment legislation, the minimum pension contributions that members are required to make to their retirement savings are increasing from April 2019.
If you are currently contributing 3% or 4% and receiving a corresponding 3% or 4% matching contribution from Centrica you will be affected by these changes.
Please watch our video below to find out more and help you to prepare for this change.
Hello and welcome to this session for members currently contributing 3% or 4% of their salary each month into the Centrica Savings Plan (and receiving matched contributions from Centrica).
In April 2019 there are some important changes happening to what you and Centrica pay into your pension plan each month which you can benefit from, and we’ll be covering these changes over the next 10 minutes.
Please note that this session is only for factual information on the upcoming changes to your contributions and is not Financial Advice. We recommend that you seek Independent Financial Advice if you’re still unsure about your options.
If you’d like to refer back to any of the information contained in this session or if you would like to find out more information on the Centrica Savings Plan, you have access to this website which has been created by Standard Life Assurance Limited and Centrica to provide you an extra level of support with your pension plan.
You can access this website via www.centricasavingsplans.com/csp and you don’t need log-in details to access this. On the right hand corner of this website is a secure online section that you’ll need log-in details for called online servicing. You can also directly access the secure online section via Workday > External Benefits> Benefits Plus > Flexible Benefits > Pensions, clicking on the Employee zone link.
From February you will be able to access EmployeeZone directly from the MyPension Hub.
A pension is a way of you saving for later life and Centrica are helping you to do this. Every month you make a contribution into your pension pot and so do Centrica. Contributions are most likely to be taken from your salary through the default Smart pay method. This means you’re saving on both Income Tax and National Insurance. Smart Pay won't be right for everyone, it depends on your own circumstances. Please be aware that if you have opted out from Smart Pay you will not benefit from reduced National Insurance contributions.
The contributions you and Centrica make into your pension pot are then invested each month to give your money an opportunity to grow. You can access your pensions savings from age 55 onwards (although this is subject to change) through a guaranteed income (also known as an Annuity), Flexible Income or a Cash Lump Sum or even a combination of all of these options. You can find out more information on how you can access your pension savings through the website mentioned on screen just now.
So let’s take a look at what you’re currently paying into your pension and what the changes mean to you.
Currently, each month you’re paying 3% or 4% of your salary into your pension and Centrica are paying in a further 3% or 4% giving you a 6% or 8% total monthly pension contribution being invested into your pension plan.
The upcoming changes mean that from April 2019 your contribution levels will automatically be increasing and you will be making a 5% monthly pension contribution and Centrica will also be making a 5% contribution each month giving you a total of 10% monthly contribution into your plan. Remember when considering your plan, while we expect pension investments to grow over the long term it is important to note that investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you paid in.
Now, why are these changes being brought in next April 2019? Well, in 2012 the Government introduced legislation called Auto Enrolment which meant that all workplaces had to ensure eligible employees were being provided with a pension plan. To help encourage people to pay into their pension plan the Government set minimum levels that both you and your employer have to be contributing into your pension, and those minimum levels have increased incrementally over time with the next change taking place in April 2019. In-line with these legislative changes Centrica will be increasing all members currently contributing 3% or 4% and receiving a corresponding 3% or 4% matching contribution from Centrica.
Remember you will also be eligible to receive double matched pension contributions from Centrica after 2 years membership in the Centrica Savings Plan too. Some sections of the CSP receive immediate double matched contributions from Centrica. You can check the centricasavingsplans.com website to see which section you are a member of.
You will also continue to receive a Life Assurance Cover Lump Sum for your dependants at no extra cost.
You can get more information on your employer’s Life Assurance Cover from the Scheme booklet which you can find on the Centrica Savings Plan website using the address on the screen just now. Your employer’s Life Assurance Cover is not provided by Standard Life.
You can always pay in more, if you wish, but you will just need to check that what you pay is within the HMRC limits. You can make changes to your contributions by downloading a ‘Change of Contribution Form’ also from the Centrica Savings Plan website on screen just now or by selecting Additional savings - AVCs via Benefits Plus once you are paying the maximum you can.
You do have the option to opt-out if you don’t feel the pension plan is right for you though be aware this could impact your income in retirement along with some associated benefits such as your employers Life Assurance Cover. If you want to Opt Out you can speak with Centrica Pensions helpline on 0345 600 1710.
With the Centrica Savings Plan and Standard Life there are a lot of ways you can keep track of your pension.
This is your Centrica Savings Plan homepage, accessible from www.centricasavingsplans.com/csp. From here you can access a wide range of information on the Centrica Savings Plan and you don’t need log-in details to access this information.
The link to the CSP website can also be found on your pension page within Benefits Plus. From here, you also have direct access (with no need for any log-in details) to Employee zone.
As mentioned before, within Employee zone you can view your own personal pension account, find out the size of your pension pot and make changes to your investments.
On this website you can also access a range of retirement planning tools to help you understand how much money you might need in retirement, how much you might get based on current savings and tools to allow you to compare the different income options available when accessing your pension savings.
There is a specific section of the Centrica Savings Plan pension website where you can find out more information on your contribution options and the different sections of the Centrica Savings Plan.
To make things easier in the future we will be launching a new pension platform, the MyPension Hub, in February this year. Through the Hub you will be able to make all your contribution changes online, it will also make it easier for you to access your pension information and update your beneficiaries. We’ll send you further information on the new MyPension Hub in the coming weeks.
To recap what we’ve covered in this session:
- From April 2019 your and Centrica’s contributions will automatically increase to 5% per month if you are currently contributing 3% or 4% and Centrica are matching these contributions
- You can opt-out if you don’t feel the pension plan is right for you. If you want to Opt Out you can speak with Centrica Pensions helpline on 0345 600 1710
- You can log-into your online servicing platform, Employeezone, at any time as a member of the Centrica Savings Plan to see how your pension is performing. You can directly access Employeezone through Workday, External Benefits, Flexible Benefits, pensions or through the new MyPension Hub from February
There’s further support to help you with your pension plan regardless if you’re just starting to save or if you’re planning for retirement. Some key areas you may wish to look at following this session for more support includes:
- Gov.uk for a range of information on your State Pension and general pension information. You can request a State Pension forecast via gov.uk/state-pension
- PensionWise offers free impartial pension guidance over the phone or face to face for people aged over 50 and considering retirement. Appointments can be made via 0800 138 3944
- The Money Advice Service can provide some useful tips to help you understand your wider finances a bit better
- 1825 is Standard Life Aberdeen’s financial planning arm where we’ve brought together qualified, experienced professionals from across the UK
- Unbiased.co.uk can help you find local Independent Financial Advisers, you may already have access to an Independent Financial Adviser
- Standard Life can provide you support either over the phone or online
- If you have any queries relating to employment with Centrica you can contact the Centrica People Services on 0800 032 7013
Thanks for listening, don’t forget that if you have any questions on your Centrica Savings Plan you can get in touch with Standard Life on 0345 271 9503 or your Centrica People Services on 0800 032 7013.
Do you have more questions?
You can read Centrica's auto-enrolment FAQs (PDF, 78KB).
(Standard Life is not responsible for the content of this document)