DB Deferred members

When can I receive my pension?
If you joined the Fund prior to 1 April 2002

Your normal retirement age under the Fund is your 60th birthday. 

Whilst this will be the case for the majority of members who joined the Fund prior to April 2002 there are some exceptions. If you have a different normal retirement age this will be shown on your annual pension increase statement. If you do not receive an annual pension increase statement from the Fund this may be because we do not hold a current address for you or because your deferred pension consists entirely of Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). GMP benefits are payable from age 60 for women and age 65 for men.

If you joined the Fund on or after 1 April 2002

Your normal retirement age under the Fund is your 65th birthday.

If you wish to start receiving your pension before your normal retirement date

Your pension would be reduced for early payment. Under current legislation the earliest age you can start drawing your pension is age 55 but the government has announced that the minimum retirement age will be increasing to age 57 from April 2028. If you are thinking of drawing your pension early you may request an early retirement pension quotation from the Imperial Pension Fund Office.

When will I hear from the Pension Fund Office ahead of my normal retirement date?

The Pension Fund Office will contact you 3 to 6 months ahead of your normal retirement date to provide you with details of your pension options. 

Will my deferred pension be increased?
Yes, your deferred pension will be increased annually between your date of leaving pensionable service with Imperial and your normal retirement date (or earlier date of retirement) in accordance with the Rules of the Fund for your section of membership.
Changes to your personal details
If any of your personal details have changed, for example if you have changed your name, moved house or have divorced, you should let us know.
What happens if I die before I draw my Fund pension?

If you are married or have a civil partner a spouse’s pension may be paid to your surviving husband or wife for the remainder of their lifetime.

(There are some exceptions to this, please see below*).


If you are not married the Trustee has discretion under the Rules of the Fund to award payment of the spouse’s pension to a common-law spouse or partner, which would normally be someone that you have been in a relationship and living with for a period of at least two years. You can nominate your partner  to receive this pension by completing a “Nominated Dependants Application Form”, which will then be submitted to the trustees for approval.


Child allowances may also be paid to eligible children in full time education.


If you do not leave any dependants a refund of any contributions you paid to the Fund whilst an employee member (plus interest) would be paid to your personal legal representative or to your estate.


*If you are a woman and your pension consists entirely of GMP earned prior to 6th April 1988 then, under legislation, the Fund is not required to provide a spouse’s pension. If you are in receipt of a small pension known as an EPB (Equivalent Pension Benefit) then no spouse’s pension would be payable on your death.

How do I transfer my pension to another scheme
If you wish to transfer the value of your deferred pension to another pension scheme you should write to the Imperial Pension Fund Office who will provide you with your current transfer value and the relevant documentation to effect a transfer. Please click below for more information.
Exchanging pension for cash
Can I exchange my pension for a one-off lump sum?

This may be possible if you have a small deferred pension that has a total cash value of £30,000 or less.


If your deferred pension has a cash value of £10,000 or less it is possible for it to be paid as a lump sum without any reference to other pension benefits you have elsewhere from your membership of other schemes. These pensions are often referred to as “small pot” pensions.


If your deferred pension has a cash value of between £10,000 and £30,000 then before it can be paid as a lump sum the Imperial Pension Fund Office would need to know about other pension benefits you have or that have been paid to by other pension schemes before confirming whether or not your Imperial pension could be paid as a lump sum.


If you are eligible to exchange your pension for a one-off lump sum then 25% of the value of the lump sum would be paid to you tax-free with the remaining 75% subject to income tax. Such payments are often referred to as “trivial pension commutations”.

Can I exchange part of my pension for a tax-free cash lump sum on retirement?

Most members should be able to exchange part of their pension for a tax-free cash sum on retirement but there will be some exceptions to this. For example, if your pension consists solely of Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) you will not be able to exchange any of it for a tax-free cash sum. Also, it may not be possible to offer you a tax-free cash if the pension payable to you from GMP payment age is not sufficient to cover the amount of your GMP.


Under current legislation the maximum amount of tax-free cash you could take on retirement is 25% of the total value of your pension. It is possible to take a lower amount if you wish.


When Imperial’s Pension Fund Office send you a pension quotation ahead of your retirement it will include details of any tax-free cash you can take (where applicable).


Early retirement quotations can only be provided within six months of your intended retirement date.

What are the Lump Sum Allowances?
The Lump Sum Allowances represent the maximum amount of tax free cash payable on retirement and death.
I think I may have a pension with Imperial, how can I find out?

Please contact the Imperial Pension Fund Office with the following information:-


  • Your full name (including old names you could have used whilst employed by imperial)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your National Insurance number
  • The rough dates you were employed by Imperial and the name of your employer within the Imperial Group


Please click here to: Contact us