UKAEA Pensions

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Earlier qualification for benefits

Early Qualification for Death and Ill-Health Benefits

The Scheme will enhance the service on which your pension is calculated if you have at least five years service in the scheme and you are retired from scheme employment on medical grounds. Your spouse’s pension will also be based on enhanced service provided you have at least five years service in the scheme and die whilst still a contributing member of the scheme.

You are able to pay extra contributions to qualify for the enhanced service credit if you are ill-health retired or you die whilst you are still a contributing member of the scheme. Provided you are in good health and have a permanent contract of employment you can apply to buy Earlier Qualification for Benefits for enhanced Ill health retirement and death benefits. You can choose to pay either each month for the first five years of service, or by one single lump sum payment.

There are separate arrangements for members with fixed term contracts.

Early Qualification does not increase your scheme service once you have completed five years' service and other than in the event of your death or ill health retirement. Earlier Qualification for Benefits for enhanced Ill health retirement and death benefits could provide you with the reassurance that, if you die or are ill health retired during your first five years of scheme employment, you or your dependants would qualify for enhanced pension benefits.

Transfers in to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Pension Scheme

If you are in the process of transferring service to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme from a previous pension arrangement you can still apply to pay additional contributions for Earlier Qualification for Benefits so that you are immediately covered for enhanced benefits in the event of death or ill-health retirement.

Following your acceptance of a service credit in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority scheme, depending on the amount of the additional service credited, some or all of the contributions already paid for earlier qualification will be refunded to you immediately.

Cost of Purchasing Earlier Qualification for Benefits

The cost can be by way of one single payment or by periodical contributions payable over the payment period.

If you choose to pay by single payment the cost is based on your salary at the date of purchase. If you resign before the end of the period covered by the single payment you will receive a refund for the unexpired period i.e. you will only pay for the period for which you have been covered.

The cost of the monthly amount is a percentage of your salary and will increase as your earnings increase in the five year payment period.

For some examples of the calculations.

Application Form

If you wish to apply to purchase Earlier Qualification for Benefits, you should complete the attached form and return it to the Scheme administrators.

Fixed Term Appointees

If your contract is for a fixed term you do not have the option to pay additional contributions under these arrangements. If your employer subsequently offers you a permanent contract in the first five years of scheme service you may then take up this option if you wish to do so.

The scheme benefits for those on a fixed term contract will normally be enhanced by the amount of service left to the end of their current contract if they die or are retired early on medical grounds before the end of their fixed term contract.