Information for IFAs
The information provided on this page is designed to provide financial advisers with relevant information required in conjunction with the provision of independent advice to members of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS).
The information is subject to the provisions of the Scheme's Trust Deed and Rules. In the event of there being a difference between the Trust Deed and Rules for the Scheme and the information provided on this page, the Trust Deed and Rules will prevail. The Trust Deed and Rules for the Scheme are on the Scheme documents page.
- The Airways Pension Scheme (APS) is an occupational final salary scheme. The Scheme is a Registered Pension Scheme approved under Chapter 2 of the Finance Act 2004. The PSTR number is 00302323RH.
- The Scheme was contracted-out of S2P by the GMP test until April 1997 and subsequently under the Reference Scheme Test until 5 April 2016. ECON and SCON numbers are E3800146P and S0301443W.
- The Scheme is closed to new entrants but is currently open to further accrual.
- The standard build-up rate for active members is 1/52 (Flying Staff) or 1/56 (Ground Staff). Active members currently under State Pension Age (SPA) can choose to build pension at slower rate of 1/54 (Flying Staff) or 1/58 (Ground Staff) for future service. The option to switch is available twice a year, on 1 April and 1 October. More information about this can be found on the ‘How much does it cost?’ page of our website.
- The Normal Retirement Age (NRA) is 55 for Flying Staff and 60 for Ground Staff.
- There is no money purchase underpin.
- The Scheme is in deficit.
- Further information, Scheme booklets, The Scheme’s Trust Deed and Rules and Scheme valuation reports can be found on the Scheme documents page of our website, www.mybapension.com
- When a member leaves British Airways or opts out of the Scheme they will usually be entitled to a deferred pension due to be paid from their NRA.
- Once members leave the Scheme they cannot re-join but while they are still employed by BA they have the option to join the British Airways Pension Plan (BAPP) which is a defined contribution arrangement administered by Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited (current BA employees can access information about BARP via the ‘Reward@BA’ pages of the BA Intranet).
- APS deferred pensions increase as a right under the Rules of the Scheme up to NRA. The increase is in line with that specified in the Government’s yearly Pensions Increase (Review) Orders. These Orders currently reflect the increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) but the method of measurement is determined by the Secretary of State and may change from time to time. The APS Trustee has a power to pay increases in addition to those set out in the Pensions Increase (Review) Orders if, after taking professional advice, it agrees this to be appropriate. Discretionary Increases may apply to deferred pensions and pensions in payment in APS from April 2019 if a proposed settlement is agreed by the High Court. Please visit the Other News page of our website for the latest updates about this.
- APS increases Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) up to GMP Age (age 60 for women and 65 for men) in accordance with S148 Orders.
- The Scheme complies with current anti-franking legislation.
- The Scheme does not currently allow partial transfers (e.g. a transfer of the member’s excess pension over the GMP, leaving behind the GMP). However, members can transfer out their AVCs independently to their main Scheme benefit, subject to certain statutory conditions being met.
- APS is not a member of the transfer club.
- Members are entitled to a maximum of four Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) quotations per year. CETV’s in respect of deferred pension entitlements are guaranteed for a period of three months. Further CETV quotations will not be provided during the guarantee period.
- If a transfer out is to be made, all required CETV forms (transfer out packs are available to download from the forms page of our website) must be completed and returned within the three-month guarantee period. No discretion will be allowed in respect of CETV forms returned late.
- Death-in-service cover of three times pensionable pay is provided for active members of the Scheme.
- In the event of the member’s death before the pension commences, if no Adult Survivor’s pension is payable, a refund of the member’s own Scheme contributions, plus interest at 3.5% a year up to the date of death, would be payable. If the member has an AVC account the value of the account at the date of death would be added to any lump sum death benefit payment.
- The Adult Survivor’s pension shown on the Benefits Summary would be payable to the member’s legal spouse or civil partner. If there is no legal spouse or civil partner at the date of death, the Trustee has a discretionary power to pay this benefit to a ‘surviving dependant’. A surviving dependant is someone who is, in the opinion of the Trustee, financially dependent on the member to a substantial extent at the date of the member’s death; or who, to the Trustee’s satisfaction, is financially interdependent with the member and will need the extra income to sustain the same standard of living that previously depended on joint income, e.g. someone who lived in a relationship with the member that closely resembled marriage.
- Pensions in payment are not guaranteed to be paid for a minimum period.
- APS members who have left BA employment can draw their pension at any time from age 50 up to a maximum age of 75. All their pension benefits must be drawn including any AVCs and Scheme benefits from previous BA Schemes. This does not apply for those who have opted out of the pension scheme and remain in employment with British Airways, the earliest that pension benefits can be drawn is the earlier of: a) the date employment with BA ends or, b) the member’s 55th birthday.
- At retirement, members normally have the option of a one-off tax-free lump sum up to 25% of the value of their benefits. Lump sums are payable by exchanging pension (commutation).
- We do not provide pension projections beyond NRA. Equally we cannot provide future lump sum projections as commutation factors are regularly reviewed by the Scheme’s Actuaries and may be subject to change.
- The Scheme does not offer a bridging pension option at retirement.
Any element of the members deferred pension paid earlier than NRA will be actuarially reduced (or actuarially increased if paid after NRA). The current APS Part 6 Scheme factors with effect March 1 March 2020 are below. These factors are regularly reviewed and may therefore change at any time.
Male factors Female factors Male and Female factors (unisex) Age Factors
55 1.000 0.896 (E) 22.619 56 1.052 (L) 0.914 (E) 22.193 57 1.108 (L) 0.934 (E) 21.758 58 1.167 (L) 0.954 (E) 21.314 59 1.230 (L) 0.976 (E) 20.860 60 1.297 (L) 1.000 20.396 61 1.369 (L) 1.056 (L) 19.922 62 1.446 (L) 1.116 (L) 19.438 63 1.529 (L) 1.181 (L) 18.946 64 1.617 (L) 1.250 (L) 18.446 65 1.711 (L) 1.324 (L) 17.940 66 1.814 (L) 1.406 (L) 17.429 67 1.925 (L) 1.493 (L) 16.914 68 2.045 (L) 1.588 (L) 16.395 69 2.174 (L) 1.691 (L) 15.872 70 2.313 (L) 1.802 (L) 15.344
(E) = Early retirement reduction
(L) = Late retirement uplift
- Pension increases are a right under Scheme rules and are in line with the government’s Pensions Increase (Review) Orders. The increases over the last five years have been as follows:
- Pension increases are applied to the whole pension inclusive of GMP liability before GMP Age (age 60 for women and 65 for men). After GMP Age the increase is only applied to the excess pension over the GMP. Post '88 GMPs are increased in accordance with legislation up to a maximum of 3% in any year after GMP Age or before GMP Age for spouse's/civil partner’s benefits. Scheme increases are generally applied in April each year and apportioned in the first year according to the date of leaving. The Rules do provide for Discretionary Increases. There is no minimum guarantee period for payment of the pension. There is no bridging/supplementary pension provided.