COVID-19

The best way to stay up to date on matters affecting your BA pension is to visit the 'Latest news' page of our website regularly. If you have registered to manage your pension online, you can access your information 24/7. We'll also send you an email alert as soon as a new statement or news update is available on our website.

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Please use the 'Contact us' form on our website to get in touch. Please bear in mind that our response times for less urgent enquiries may be much longer than usual while we prioritise our essential services. Alternatively you can write to us at: British Airways Pensions, PO Box 2074, Liverpool, L69 2YL.

We currently have a reduced telephone service available between 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.

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My password is not recognised.
The on-screen message says, "Invalid reference number or password."
I have not received the confirmation email.
I received the email but saw an error message when I clicked the link in the email.

You can find answers to these questions, and more, in our registration FAQs, displayed at the bottom of the registration screen.

Can I use a shared email address?

We’d recommend that you register with a unique email address and not shared with anyone else. Our email programme automatically removes duplicate email addresses. So, if you use the same email address as another registered member, you may not receive email alerts about your pension.

If you cannot set up a personal account with your existing email provider, there are plenty of free email account providers available, including Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud mail that are quick and easy to set up.

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Active and deferred members

Yes, from age 55. Most members can log in to Mybapension Online and use the online pension modeller to check the amount of tax-free lump sum and yearly pension they can take at various retirement ages up to age 65.

If you wish to draw your deferred pension, simply contact us around three months before your planned retirement date.

If you are approaching your normal retirement age (NRA), we will write to you automatically with full details of your pension options about four months before you reach your NRA.

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Yes. We are continuing to make retirement lump sum and pension payments on time and we will usually send the payment on the first working day following your retirement date. Once we have made the payment, the money will usually be available in your UK bank account within five working days. Payment to an overseas bank may take longer.

If you have AVCs, and you are retiring before the last day of the month, we pay the portion of your tax-free lump sum relating to your APS pension on the first working day following your retirement date. We pay the portion relating to your AVCs at the end of the month, once we know your final AVC balance.

We will usually make your first pension payment at the end of the month after the month in which you start to draw your pension. For example, if you are drawing your pension from 21 April, we will make your first payment at the end of May, and it will include your pension from 21 April to 31 May.

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If you are over age 50, you can usually draw your pension immediately. If you are under your Normal Retirement Age (NRA) and you have registered to manage your pension online, you can use our retirement modeller to model your pension and lump sum options at different retirement ages.

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If you are considering retiring within the next 3-4 months, please use the 'Contact us' form on our website to request a quotation. Please bear in mind that our response times are likely to be longer during the Coronavirus outbreak.

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We are prioritising our work to ensure that we can pay out our new retirements on their due date. If you are taking a tax-free lump sum, we will pay this to your nominated bank account within five working days of your retirement date. If you have AVCs, we may pay your lump sum in two parts: the first part on your retirement date and the second part, relating to your AVCs, as soon as possible after the end of the month in which your retirement occurs. We will write to tell you as soon as we have set up your pension payments.

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Yes, with BA’s consent. Flexible retirement allows APS active members one opportunity, at any time from age 55, to permanently reduce their working hours and draw all or part of their pension benefits built up to that date while continuing to build up pension for future service. Any remaining benefits must then be drawn at final retirement.

Full details of the flexible retirement option are contained in the Flexible Retirement Information Leaflet (APS).

Active APS Members who chose to delay drawing their pension beyond their normal retirement age (sometimes called ‘crystallising’), can draw part of their pension under flexible retirement while continuing to receive late retirement increases on their remaining pension until final retirement. Full details of the flexible retirement option for members who have crystallised their pension are contained in the Flexible Retirement Information Leaflet (APS Crystallised).

The full terms and conditions for reducing working hours for flexible retirement are available on the BA intranet, together with the process for applying for line manager authority.

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Pensioners

Yes. We have a contingency plan in place to make sure that the Team can continue to operate our critical systems and processes remotely. The plan also ensures that we can continue to provide our primary services to our members (such as our pension payroll, urgent new retirement cases and pensioner death cases).

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If your pension payments are paid outside of the UK, they are automatically converted into local currency. So far, the financial system is working as usual and we’re not aware of any particular problems with our pension payments being received. However, if you have any concerns about your future pension payments, you can update your bank details at any time. Visit the ‘Forms’ page of our website and click on ‘Pension payment instruction forms’ to download the particular form for your country.

Note: Changes usually need to be received by the Pensions Team by the 15th day of a month to apply to the payment made at the end of that month.

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Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you are an active member currently saving AVCs, you can change or stop them from the 1st day of any future month. Fill in the online Smart Additional Voluntary Contributions (SmartAVCs) e-Form (after you have logged in to Mybapension online) or download an AVC Options form from the ‘Forms’ page and post it to us. Your instructions must reach us by the 20th of a month to take effect from the 1st day of the following month. Investment choices can also be changed monthly.

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If you have an AVC account that you have not yet drawn, our 'AVC Plan - information leaflet' provides details of our three funds (you can find this on the 'AVC funds' page of our website). The leaflet explains how AVCs are invested and how you can switch between the funds.

The value of AVCs invested in the Short-dated Gilts Fund(SGF), or Equity-Biased Fund (EBF) cannot go down. However, money held in the Mixed-Portfolio Fund (MPF) can rise and fall according to market movements. If you have AVCs, you do not have to draw them when you take your Scheme pension. You can delay drawing them up to age 75. You can also transfer your AVCs to another pension arrangement independently of your Scheme pension.

If you wish to change your existing AVC saving amounts or the investment choices for your AVCs, you can use the online SmartAVC form to change your AVC investments (changes submitted by the 20th of the month will take effect from the first day of the following month).

You should always seek independent financial advice before making important decisions about your pension benefits.

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You can change your AVC investment choices from the first day of any future month. Your instructions must reach us by the 20th of the previous month, and the effective date of any change will be the 1st day of the following month. The MPF unit price is always declared in arrears. The unit price for February 2020 was £203.43. The March 2020 unit price will be announced in early April and will apply to all money switched into or out of the MPF on 1 April 2020. The unit price in the coming months could be higher or lower than any unit price declared in earlier months.

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Pension benefits if you die

Active members

If you die while still working at BA (unless you have opted out of the Scheme):

A lump sum which is broadly three times your pay at the time of your death (before any adjustment for SmartPension amounts) plus the value of your Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), if you have AVCs. The lump sum is free of inheritance tax

PLUS

An adult survivor's pension (if you have paid contributions towards this cover)

OR

If no Adult Survivor's pension is payable, your contributions (including your SmartPension contributions if these apply), with interest at 3.5% per year up to the date of death.

Deferred members

A pension of two-thirds of the pension you earned while paying the higher contributions towards an Adult Survivor's pension

OR

If you die before you draw your deferred pension and there is no Adult Survivor's pension to pay (either because you have not paid for the Adult Survivor's pension cover or because there is no-one we can pay the Adult Survivor's pension to) we will pay a lump sum of the value of your contributions with interest. The lump sum is free of inheritance tax.

Pensioner members

A pension of two-thirds of the pension you earned while paying the higher contributions towards an Adult Survivor's pension (before any adjustments to your pension such as taking a tax-free lump sum or any early retirement reduction) will automatically be paid to your husband, wife or civil partner. The normal Scheme increase arrangements apply to Adult Survivor's pensions, and they are payable for life. You can check your latest pension statement to find the amount of your Adult Survivor's pension if you have paid for this.

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APS’ Funding and the security of the Scheme

On our Scheme Documents page, you can find:

  • the latest summary funding statement for APS as at 31 March 2019
  • the most recent APS valuation report as at 31 March 2018
  • the Scheme's Annual Report and Financial Statements as at 31 March 2019
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The pension scheme monies are held in trust. The trust for APS is entirely separate from British Airways and is managed by the APS Trustee. BA has no control over the funds.

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If BA becomes insolvent, then insolvency practitioners would likely be appointed to see if BA can be rescued so it can continue trading as a going concern. The insolvency practitioners would trigger an assessment period by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to see if APS would be eligible for the PPF. However, the APS’ funding position is substantially strong enough to more than meet the level of compensation provided by the PPF, so it’s highly likely that APS would not be eligible for entry into the PPF as it would instead be able to continue as a closed scheme, paying Scheme benefits which members are entitled to as they fall due.

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The PPF is a government-backed insurance scheme. It was introduced to protect members and pensioners of defined benefit pension schemes that are in deficit in scenarios where the employer responsible for funding the Scheme becomes insolvent (i.e. goes bust). If a scheme doesn't have enough funds to pay the pension it promised, the PPF will provide compensation to members. The PPF will only take on schemes that cannot afford to pay the same amount of benefits provided by the PPF.

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If a scheme has enough funds to pay at least the level of benefits provided by the PPF, it isunlikely that it would be accepted into the PPF. The PPF Board would decide what action would be appropriate; whether the Scheme should be wound up (i.e. the benefits should be secured via insurance companies) or continue to run on as a closed scheme.

As mentioned above, even if BA were to become insolvent, the funding level of APS is expected to be sufficient such that benefits well above PPF levels are affordable. So it is very unlikely that the Scheme would need the support of the PPF.

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All occupational defined benefit pension schemes pay a levy to the PPF as a form of insurance premium. The levy is made up of two parts: a scheme-based levy payable by all schemes, worked out according to the size of the Scheme, and a risk-based levy worked out according to the Scheme's funding level and investment risks. It is the APS Trustee’s responsibility to make sure the levy is paid each year.

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Further information and guidance is available on the PPF website at www.ppf.co.uk or write to the PPF at The Pension Protection Fund, Renaissance, 12 Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey. CR0 2NA.

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