My retirement options
Your retirement options will vary depending on your Plan membership.
The earliest you can take your pension is from the age of 55 (will be 57 from April 2028), known as the Normal Minimum Pension Age (NMPA).
If you have paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), then you will need to take this at the same time as your main Scheme pension.
Option 1 – Receiving an annual pension from the Plan
This option may appeal to you if you prefer a regular expected payment, much like a salary.
The pension you receive will increase each year in line with the Plan rules. The amount your pension will increase will depend on what section you’re in.
Option 2 – Receiving a Tax-free Cash Lump Sum and an annual pension from the Plan
At the point you retire you will have the option of taking a tax-free cash lump sum from the Plan, which will mean reducing the amount of regular pension you receive (unless you have paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) and use these to pay your lump sum).
You can take up to a maximum of 25% of your total benefits tax-free as a cash lump sum.
A lump sum could be used to handle unexpected expenditure such as, medical expenses or home improvements and can be passed on to your beneficiaries in the event of an early death.
Option 3 – Transfer your pension benefits to another arrangement
You have the option to transfer your benefits to another registered pension scheme.
Whilst transferring your benefits will potentially provide you with more flexibility, you really need to consider this option carefully and decide whether this is right for you.
If the cash equivalent value of your pension is £30,000 or over, there’s a legal retirement for you to obtain appropriate independent financial advice
If your benefits are less than £30,000, it’s strongly advised that you seek financial advice before transferring.
If you have reached retirement age, you can contact WPS Advisory Ltd (WPSA), the financial advisers appointed by the TotalEnergies Trustee. This advice will be paid for by the Trustee once, so you should make sure you take this advice at the right time for you.
You can of course appoint your own independent financial adviser, but this will not be paid for by the Trustee.
To appoint your own financial adviser, make sure they are registered on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website (register.fca.org.uk/s/)
If you decide to transfer out of the Plan
The benefits you receive will depend on the size of your cash equivalent transfer value (provided by the Administrator) and the arrangement you transfer your benefits to. Here is a summary of some of the options that may be available to you in the arrangement you transfer to, but this list is not exhaustive and you should seek more information from your financial adviser:
Drawdown is one of the most flexible ways to access your pension, available from age 55. You can usually take up to 25% as a tax-free cash lump sum and keep the rest invested for later. You’re in control of how much income you take (which is taxable) and can make withdrawals whenever you want to.
You have the freedom to choose your own investments, and if they perform well you could receive a growing income throughout retirement. Any money left over when you die can be passed on to your loved ones, often tax free.
If you choose this option, you'll need to consider carefully how you would like to take your benefits and when you want to take them and ensure that the receiving arrangement you choose will be able to provide the benefits you require.
You could buy an annuity to give you a different kind of pension from the one you would receive from the Plan.
You could have a choice of whether to have pension increases, or a higher starting pension with no increases.
You could choose to provide a pension for a dependant if you die before them (but this would make your pension smaller).
If you suffer from ill-health you may be offered a higher pension and provide relevant details, (as you are not expected to live as long as someone in good health).
You could elect for your pension to be guaranteed for to be paid for a number of years after it commences with the balance of that number of years’ pension paid to your dependants in the event of your death within the guarantee period.
You may be able to take all of your benefits as a one-off cash sum either immediately or at a future date. 25% would be tax-free and the rest would be taxed as income.
If you transfer out and don’t want to start receiving your benefits immediately, you’ll need to invest your pension savings. This means that any changes to your benefits will depend on the investments you choose and how those investments perform.
There is no guarantee if you transfer that the benefits provided will be equal to or higher than those from the Plan. They could be higher or lower than those that would have been provided by the Plan.
If you decide to transfer your benefits to another arrangement you need to be especially vigilant of pension scams. Visit the pension scams section of the website for more information.
If you need to retire earlier than your Normal Retirement Pension Age, due to ill-health, you may be able to start receiving your benefits.
If this applies to you, you’ll need to contact Buck, the Plan Administrators for an early retirement quote and to explore your options.
Early retirement reductions
If you decide to retire before your Normal Retirement Pension Age, your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid a retirement income for longer.
The Plan will use early retirement factors to calculate how much pension you will be due.
If you’d like to retire early and start to take your benefits, you should contact the Plan Administrators, Buck, for an early retirement quote to understand what this means for you.
Tax and taking my pension
When you receive your pension benefits through the Plan, they will be taxed through the PAYE system.
The tax code to be used will be advised to you and TotalEnergies UK Pension Plan by the HM Revenue & Customs. If you have any queries about tax codes, you should contact the tax office (shown below) quoting the reference and your National Insurance Number.
The address of HM Revenue & Customs dealing with the payment of TotalEnergies UK pensions is:
HM Revenue & Customs
Tel: 0300 200 3300
Tel from Overseas: + 44 135 535 9022