Can I pay more towards my pension?

Yes. If you want to pay more than 4% into your pension you will need to complete a ‘Contribution change form’ which can be found in your ABF Pension Scheme welcome pack or you can download one here.

Please remember, ABF will match whatever you contribute up to 10%.

What happens if I change jobs?

The great thing about saving for your pension is that it doesn’t just stop when you leave ABF.

  • Contributions to the ABF Pension Scheme do stop when you leave ABF; but
  • Your account can either be left in the ABF Pension Scheme or transferred to another pension scheme which is willing to accept it, and meets the requirements of the Trustees.
Do I have to stay in the Scheme?

No, you do have the option to opt out if you wish. You can find out how on the 'Opting out section'.

I am in my postponement period, why can't I tell you now that I don't want to be in the Scheme?

Unfortunately, although you may already have decided that you don't want to be in the Pension Scheme, we can't accept this instruction until you are actually in the Scheme. You will be assessed at the end of the 3 month period and you will only be put into the Scheme if you are classed as an Eligible Job Holder. Once you've received confirmation that you've been enrolled, you can then contact Group Pensions to opt out.

Does this affect my State Pension?

No, this will not affect your State Pension but the full Basic State Pension is currently just £175.20 a week (for the 2020/21 tax year). Auto Enrolment is designed to help you save more, with the help of ABF, to improve your income at retirement.

When can I access this Pension Fund and what happens if I die?

You can access the Pension Fund when you retire.

If you die before retirement, the Scheme provides various benefits under different circumstances to your nominated beneficiaries. You can find out more information here.

How do I find out how much I have paid in?

ABF will send you a yearly statement telling you how much has been paid into your pension account. You will also be given access to a secure online area where you can check up on your account whenever it suits you.

If I miss the "Opt Out Window", why can't I get my contributions back?

The Opt Out Window is different depending on whether you have been contractually enrolled, which affects all new Foods employees, or whether you have been automatically enrolled, which affects new Retail employees and anyone who has been Re-enrolled at the 3 year anniversary.

If you have been contractually enrolled - you have a 30 day window to opt out and receive a refund of your contributions. The refund is paid through the Scheme, and this process generally takes 2 - 3 months from the date that you opt out.

If you have been automatically enrolled - you have a window of 1 calendar month from the date of the letter confirming that you have been enrolled to opt out. If you opt out in this window, then your contributions will be returned to you through your pay and you will be treated as if you have never been in the Scheme. 

If you miss either window - Pensions legislation requires that your benefits remain in the Scheme and we are therefore unable to return them to you. This is the case regardless of whether you still work for the Company or remain in the UK. Your benefits can be transferred at any time to another approved pension arrangement, or you can leave them in the Scheme to take when you retire.