I am a member of APS:
- If you have a single pension entitlement with us, your pension reference number will usually be your six-digit BA staff number preceded by “1”, for example if your staff number is 097132, your pension reference would usually be 1097132.
I am a spouse/partner or dependent of a member of APS
- If you are receiving a single pension entitlement from us, your pension reference number will usually be your spouse or partner’s six-digit BA staff number preceded by a “2”, “3” or “4”.
You can find your pension reference number at the top of any letter or statement you have received from BA Pensions.Close
To help us to give you the best possible service when calling the BA Pensions team, we ask you to enter your pension reference number. This ensures that we’ll have your pension records ready as soon as you are put through to one of the team.Close
Please let us know as soon as possible if you change your postal address or your email address.
If you have registered for Online Communications you can now inform us of address changes online rather than in the post. Simply login to Mybapension online. and click on 'Change of address' in the 'Your e-forms' panel on the home page of 'Your benefits online'. If you have not registered for online communications you can do so at any time by clicking on 'register' at the top of the screen. You’ll need to enter the password you received from us in the post. If you no longer have this, please call the Pensions Team on 020 8538 2100 (9am to 1pm, Monday-Friday).
Address changes can also be accepted in writing with a signature (our address is on the Contact us page). Please quote your pension number (which is the same as your old BA staff number) in all correspondence. For security reasons address changes cannot be accepted by email.Close
You should seek independent financial advice before making important decisions about your pension benefits. Neither BA Pensions nor the Trustee can provide financial advice but the following websites can help you find financial advisers in your area:
You should always ask your financial adviser questions to identify any increased risks associated with how you may be considering accessing their pension benefits. The Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) has provided a useful guide on what to ask an adviser.
Free guidance from Pension Wise
You can also take advantage of free impartial guidance which is available from Pension Wise. Pension Wise is a Government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance about your defined contribution pension options. An appointment with Pension Wise is free and will help you understand what your overall financial situation will be when you retire.
It’ll talk you through your options to help you make the right decision. You’ll also find out about the other factors you need to consider when deciding on your options before retirement.
If you have APS AVCs that you have not yet drawn and the advice you receive qualifies as retirement financial advice, you can ask the Trustee to pay part of the cost of your advice from your AVC fund under the Government's Pension Advice Allowance scheme.Close
Years of Pensionable service x your Retiring Pay
52 for Flying Staff or by 56 for Ground Staff
|=||Your basic pension|
If you have chosen a different Build-up rate we will use this Build-up rate for the period you have been paying for the different rate.Close
If you leave British Airways (BA) you will usually be entitled to a deferred pension which is due to be paid from your Normal Retirement Age under the rules of your Scheme.
Your deferred pension is worked out using a standard formula:
Retiring Pay x pensionable service
Divided by build-up rate
|=||yearly pension at Normal Retirement Age|
Retiring Pay - this is usually the average of your pensionable pay over the last two years (or three years in APS Part 5) of pensionable service.
Pensionable service - this is the total number of days which we have used to work out your pension. In some cases this will be straightforward, representing the period from when you joined the Scheme up to your leaving date. In other cases this total figure is more complicated. For example, the following events will affect the total amount of pensionable service:
- Transferring benefits from a previous employer’s pension scheme or from a personal pension arrangement, which meant you were granted extra pensionable service in the BA Scheme.
- Changing occupation from flying staff to ground staff, or vice versa, during your pensionable service period.
- Changing from the standard build-up rate to a faster pension build-up rate - see the definition for pension build-up rate below.
- Any periods of part-time employment.
- Any period of unpaid maternity leave, for which pension contributions were not paid.
Pension build-up rate - this is the rate at which your pension builds up for each year of pensionable service in the Scheme. In APS there are two standard rates. For ground staff the standard rate is 1/56 and for flying staff it is 1/52.Close
Yes, most people can exchange part of their pension for a lump sum when they retire. The Lump sum is tax-free under current legislation. The maximum amount is set by HM Revenue and Customs. We will write to you at retirement to let you know the maximum amount that applies to you. You can take any amount up to the maximum.Close
You can either choose to keep your pension with BA or transfer it elsewhere (you can choose to transfer at any time before your BA pension starts being paid to you).
If you leave your pension with BA your deferred pension can be drawn as a normal, early, late or ill-health retirement pension. Your deferred pension will usually be increased each year in line with the Pension Scheme rules between your date of leaving and the date you draw it.Close
Most pensions increase in some way under your Scheme.
We add increases in April every year from the date you left the Scheme. In the first year, increases depend on the date you left the Scheme. The increase is usually in line with the rate specified within the Government’s Pensions Increase (Review) Orders.
The APS Trustee has a power to pay increases on top of the standard Scheme increases. If the Trustee agrees that an extra increase is appropriate and adds it to your pension before we start to pay it, the value of any increase that is more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) may count towards your Annual Allowance.
Older parts of the Scheme, such as APS Part 5, may not qualify for annual increases. Under APS Part 5, the arrangements vary for different parts of your pension.
- Any part of your pension that you earned up to 5 April 1997 which is more than your guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) will increase in line with ‘statutory revaluation orders’ (a specific method of revaluing pension benefits set by the Government each year), up to 5% a year before you draw your pension. If you draw your pension early, we will still add the remaining increases up to age 65 for men or age 60 for women but we will reduce them to account for the early payment. We will not increase this part of your pension once we have started paying it.
- The portion of your pension that you earned between 5 April 1997 and 4 April 2005 will normally receive increases in April each year as set out in the statutory revaluation orders. The increases will be limited to 5% in any year.
- The portion of your pension that you earned after 5 April 2005 will normally receive increases in April each year as set out in the statutory revaluation orders. The increases will be limited to up to a maximum of 2.5% a year.
Your deferred pension will normally be payable in full from your Normal Retirement Date (NRD).
You may be able to draw your deferred pension before your NRD but it will be reduced if we pay it early (your Scheme's actuary will work out the reduction). However, this option is only available if the value of your reduced early retirement benefit is enough to cover your guaranteed minimum pension (GMP).
From 6 April 2010, the Government increased the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55.Close
At any time before you start to draw your deferred pension, you can ask us to transfer the value of some or all of your Scheme benefits to another registered pension arrangement.
This value of your benefits is called a 'cash equivalent transfer value' CETV. You can ask for a statement of your cash equivalent transfer value at any time (but usually not more than once in any 12-month period).
For further information visit `Can I transfer my pension out?`.Close
We may be able to pay your pension before the minimum retirement age if you become too ill to work or if the amount you are able to earn is seriously reduced by ill health. In these circumstances (and as long as you provide satisfactory medical evidence) you may be able to draw a reduced pension before age 50. You can only do this if the reduced pension is enough to cover your GMP.
We cannot predict how much your GMP will be or the future rates of reduction for taking an early pension, so we usually cannot tell whether you will be able to draw your pension early until quite close to the time you want to draw it. To find out if it will be possible to draw your pension early, you need to ask us for a retirement quotation about three months before the date you want us to start paying your pension. We will then be able to calculate the figures accurately.Close
Serious ill health
If you are suffering from a life threatening illness it may be possible to receive all of your pension as a tax-free lump sum (calculated on reduced terms) whilst continuing to provide a pension for your dependents should you die. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will only allow such payments if you have a short time to live. We will ask you to provide written confirmation from a registered medical practitioner that you have less than 12 months to live. Any lump sum must be paid before age 75, you must have part or all of your Lifetime Allowance available and you must not have previously drawn any of your APS benefits.
Alternatively, you have the option to transfer your pension benefits to another registered pension provider. If you want to explore this option, we recommend receiving appropriate financial advice.
Please contact us if you wish to learn more about these options.Close
You can delay receiving your pension until after your normal retirement date. If you do this, we will add late retirement increases to your pension, which will include an allowance for the standard pension increases you will not be receiving, to compensate you for the delayed payment. Your Scheme actuary will work out the increases, and we will add them instead of normal Scheme increases. When you start drawing your pension, normal Scheme increases will apply (as described in ‘Does my pension increase if I have left the Scheme?’).
Payment of your pension must normally begin before you reach your 75th birthday. If you delay payment beyond your 75th birthday no further increases are added to your pension until you draw it.
Please contact us at least three months before your planned retirement date to ask for a retirement quotation.Close
If you have a small pension currently around £500 a year or less and you are a man aged at least 65 or a woman aged at least 60 you can elect to exchange your pension for a one-off cash lump sum. If your pension does not include a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) entitlement, you can exchange it for a one-off lump sum from age 50. For more details, visit the Can I take my whole deferred pension as cash lump sum? page.Close
Generally speaking, you must claim your deferred pension by contacting us around three months before your planned retirement date. We will write to you at the latest address we have for you on our records about four months before your Normal Retirement Age. If we cannot contact you and you leave your pension unclaimed for a long time after your normal retirement date, you may lose all or part of it.
Please make sure you tell us in writing if you change your address. This is important not only for the reason mentioned above but also because we may need to send you information about changes to your Scheme. If you lose track of us, or if you think you may have benefits from another pension Scheme you have lost track of, you can contact The Pension Tracing Service through the GOV.UK website or direct at Whitley Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1BA (phone: 0845 6002537).Close
Various survivors’ benefits are available from the Scheme when you die, depending on your circumstances at that time and whether you have paid the relevant pension contributions towards the Adult Survivor’s pension cover. More information is on the ‘When I die’ page.
It is important that we are notified of your death as soon as possible, either by completing the ‘Death notification form’ or by calling our Customer Service Team on 020 8538 2100 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 1pm). We can then arrange to pay any survivor’s or dependant’s benefits without delay.Close
Every time your personal circumstances change you should notify your pension scheme in writing.
You should also send us original birth and marriage certificates. These will be returned by Royal Mail recorded delivery.Close
In the event of a member's death, a civil partner will automatically qualify for an Adult Survivor's pension.
If you have a common-law spouse, or have a same-sex partner that you have not entered into a civil partnership with, your partner will not automatically be entitled to an Adult Survivor's pension. They can however apply to be considered for a discretionary Surviving Dependant's pension. For more information, refer to the 'Surviving Dependant Registration Form'. Your partner would need to demonstrate that they were 'financially interdependent' with you (i.e. living in a relationship similar to marriage) or 'financially dependent' on you to a substantial extent in order for the Trustee to consider paying the Adult Survivor's pension to them. It is important to note that if you die leaving a legal spouse or civil partner, any Adult Survivor's pension can only be paid to them (e.g. if you die having separated from your legal spouse or civil partner but had not legally divorced, the Adult Survivor's pension cannot be paid to any person other than your legal spouse or civil partner).
Registering your civil partner or spouse on your pension records
If you have entered into a civil partnership or recently married, you should send us your original civil partnership or marriage certificate along with your partner's original birth certificate now. We return original certificates immediately by Royal Mail recorded delivery.Close
Every time your personal circumstances change, you must complete a new Notice of Wish form. This is to give the Trustee a guide when distributing any death Lump sum benefits.
You should consult a solicitor for full details. However, brief details of the ways divorce can affect your pension are provided in the following leaflets:
Your husband or wife will continue to automatically qualify for any Adult Survivor's pension from the Scheme until or unless the marriage is legally dissolved.
Please note: The information provided is relevant only for divorces under UK law.Close
A civil partnership ends only on formal dissolution or annulment, or on the death of one of the parties. The process for dissolution is court-based. Your partner will continue to automatically qualify for any Adult Survivor's pension from the Scheme until or unless the civil partnership is legally dissolved.Close
The pension Scheme monies are held in trusts. The APS trust is entirely separate from British Airways and BA has no control over the funds. That control is left to the Trustee. There are separate boards of Trustee companies for APS and NAPS to reflect the fact that the monies are held in separate funds and the membership profile of each Scheme is different.
The Trustee board consists of 12 APS Trustee Directors, 6 of whom have been elected by the membership.Close
The Pension Scheme is managed by the Trustee for the benefit of the members.
There are 8 APS Trustee Directors, 4 of whom have been elected by the membership and 4 have been appointed by British Airways.
In June 2021, following an in-depth review of our investment management business, we announced the appointment of BlackRock as the new investment manager of the assets directly under management for APS and NAPS. The assets were previously managed by our in-house team at British Airways Pension Investment Management Ltd.Close
The responsibility for controlling the pension fund lies with the Scheme's Trustee.
To help it to invest all of the monies, the Trustee relies on the expertise of independent advisers. A separate company, BlackRock, manages the funds on a daily basis. The Trustee sets targets for the types of investments to be held based on the expected income from them.Close