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Welplan Pensions - Employee FAQs

Closure of Welplan Pensions and Selection of New Pension Provider

Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme closure letter dated 12 March 2020

Who is Welplan pensions?

  • Welplan Pensions is the name of the pension scheme that your employer uses for the pension contributions that you and your employer pay.

What is happening at Welplan Pensions?

  • Welplan Pensions is closing after contributions from your last pay day in May have been paid into the Scheme.
  • In the next two months (ie from 12 March), your employer will choose a new scheme for contributions from June onwards. The Trustee has chosen a new scheme for your employer, but your employer could choose a different scheme.
  • All the money from the contributions that have been paid into Welplan Pensions by you and your employer (your pension pot) will be moved to the new scheme,   which could be either the one chosen by the Trustee or one chosen by your employer unless you choose otherwise.  This will happen around September-November. 
  • We will write to you in May to explain your choices, including the option to move your pension pot to a different scheme.

What do I need to do now?

  • No action is needed now
  • Over the next 8 weeks, your employer will decide which pension scheme to use for your future contributions.
  • We’ll write to you again in May/June to let you know your employer’s decision.
  • At that point, you will also have a choice about where your current pension pot goes.

Your letter says that you have offered my employer the Trustee’s Default Scheme –What is the Trustee’s Default Scheme?

  • The Trustees have chosen a new scheme for you and your employer when Welplan Pensions closes.
  • The new scheme is called the Trustee’s Default Scheme and it is the Smart Pensions Master Trust.
  • By law, we need to give your employer 8 weeks to tell us whether they accept the Trustee’s Default Scheme for future contributions, or whether they want to choose another scheme.
  • Your employer should let you and us know their decision once it’s made.

We’ll write to you again in May/June to confirm your employer’s chosen scheme, at which point you will have another 3 months to decide if you also want your pension pot transferred to the Trustee Default Scheme (Smart Pensions) or another scheme of your choice.

How much does the Trustee Default Scheme cost?

  • The default fund in the Trustee’s new scheme, Smart Pensions, has a lower annual management charge than Welplan Pensions (0.45% pa of your fund value compared to 0.6% for Welplan. This is a significant reduction.
  • You’ll receive all the details you need to know about the Trustee Default Scheme when we next write to you which will be around May/June.
  • If your employer selects a different scheme to the Trustee Default Scheme, he/she will provide you with details about that scheme, including fees.

Will the transfer to the Trustee Default Scheme cost me any money?

  • The charges incurred by Welplan Pensions members will not increase and members will incur no charges for the transfer of their accumulated funds/ pension pot to the Trustee Default Scheme, Smart Pensions.
  • If your employer chooses to use another scheme, rather than the Trustee Default Scheme, there may be charges incurred by you. Your employer will explain these.

What investment options will be available in Smart Pensions, the Trustee Default Scheme?

  • Before you start your contributions and your pension pot is moved to the Trustee Default Scheme, Smart Pensions will write to you asking whether you want to choose your own investment funds. Smart Pensions offers a good selection of investment funds to choose from, including specialist funds such as the HSBC Islamic Global Equity Index.
  • Most members don’t choose their own investments and stick to the default fund, but you can make a change at any time after this using their online system

Can I get my money back now?

  • Once contributions have been paid into a pension scheme, your money must remain in that scheme for your future benefit until you are at least 55 years old, except in certain circumstances.
  • You may transfer your Welplan Pensions pot to another pension scheme.

I want my future contributions to be paid to a different scheme – can I do this?

  • The law states that it is your employer who chooses which scheme to use  for your future contributions

I want to transfer my Welplan Pensions pot to another scheme – how do I do this?

  • We have given your employer 8 weeks (until 4 May 2020) to decide which scheme they would prefer for their employees’ contributions in future.
  • We’ll be writing to you again in May/June to outline your options, including your right to transfer your accumulated funds/pension pot to another UK registered pension scheme.

When will my accumulated funds/pension pot in Welplan Pensions be transferred to the new scheme?

  • We currently expect the transfer of your current pension pot to take place between September-November.

Where can I go if I need help about my pension?

  • Right now, there really is no need for you do anything, whilst we wait for your employer to decide which pension scheme they wish to use going forward.
  • You will get more information about where your Welplan Pensions pot is moved to in a few months’ time.
  • If you want more guidance, then we have provided links to further help in the letter we sent to you on 12 March.

Welplan Pensions – Non-Contributing (Deferred) Members:

Who is a non-contributing member?
If you have accumulated funds (also called a pension pot) in Welplan Pensions as a result of contributions from a previous job or simply do not continue to pay ongoing contributions to Welplan pensions, then you are a non-contributing member.  This is sometimes called a  being a deferred member.

Who is Welplan pensions?

  • Welplan Pensions is the name of the pension scheme you joined during your time at a previous job/employment with a previous employer or your current employer if you have chosen not to pay ongoing contributions. Since your employment with that employer has stopped or you opted out, you still have a pension pot in Welplan Pension from money you and your employer paid in.

What is happening at Welplan Pensions?

  • All the money from contributions that have been paid into Welplan Pensions by you (and your [former] employer) at your old job will be moved to a new scheme, called the Trustee Default Scheme.  This will happen around August-November. 
  • We will write to you in May to explain your choices, including how to move your pension pot to a different scheme.

What do I need to do now?

  • No action is needed now
  • We’ll write to you in May/June to let you know full details of the Trustee’s Default Scheme and outline the choices you have.
  • You’ll then have 3 months to decide and let us know

What is the Trustee’s Default Scheme?

  • The Trustees have chosen a new scheme for your pension pot when Welplan Pensions closes.
  • The new scheme is called the Trustee’s Default Scheme and it is the Smart Pensions Master Trust.
  • We’ll write to you again in May/June, at which point you will have another 3 months to decide if you also want your pension pot transferred to the Trustee Default Scheme (Smart Pensions) or another scheme of your choice.

How much does the Trustee Default Scheme cost?

  • The default fund in the Trustee’s new scheme, Smart Pensions, has a lower annual management charge than Welplan Pensions (0.45% pa of your fund value compared to 0.6% for Welplan. This is a significant reduction.
  • You’ll receive all the details you need to know about the Trustee Default Scheme when we next write to you which will be around May/June.

Will the transfer to the Trustee Default Scheme cost me any money?

  • While members of Welplan Pensions hold their funds in the Scheme, the ongoing charges incurred by members will not increase and members will incur no charge at all for the transfer of their accumulated funds/pension pot to the Trustee Default Scheme

What investment options will be available in Smart Pensions, the Trustee Default Scheme?

  • Before you move to the Trustee Default Scheme, Smart Pensions will write to you asking whether you want to choose your own investment funds.
  • Smart Pensions offers a good selection of investment funds to choose from, including specialist funds such as the HSBC Islamic Global Equity Index.
  • Most members don’t choose their own investments and stick to the default fund, but you can make a change at any time after this using their online system

Can I get my money back now?

  • Once contributions have been paid into a pension scheme, your money must remain in that scheme for your future benefit until you are at least 55 years old, except in certain circumstances.
  • However, you may transfer your Welplan Pensions pot to another pension scheme.

I want to transfer my Welplan Pensions pot to another scheme – how do I do this?

  • We’ll be writing to you again in May/June to outline your options, including your right to transfer your pension pot to another UK registered scheme.

When will my accumulated funds in Welplan Pensions funds be transferred to the new scheme?

  • We currently expect the transfer to take place between September-November. This will happen automatically unless you opt for another scheme.

I’ve recently left my employer – where do my past funds go?

  • We’ll write to you again in May/June to give you a choice about where your accumulated funds/pension pot are to be transferred – until then there is nothing you need to do.

Where can I go if I need help about my pension?

  • Right now, there really is no need for you do anything.
  • You will get more information about where your accumulated Welplan Pensions funds are moved to in a few months’ time.
  • If you want more guidance, then we have provided links to further help in the scheme closure notice we sent to you.