Leaving the Scheme

Can I leave the Scheme while I am still working for the Company?

You can leave the Scheme while you are still working for ABF but, once you have opted out of the Defined Benefit (DB) section of the scheme, you are not able to re-join this section. There is no specific period of notice, but you must advise your HR or Payroll Department in writing if you wish to opt out. It will depend on the payroll cut-off date how quickly this can be processed by your Payroll Department.

If you choose to opt out of the Scheme, your pension benefits will become deferred. Your deferred pension is calculated by taking your Pensionable Service and Pensionable Salary at the date you left employment to calculate your pension using the same formula as for Normal Retirement but using your service up to your date of leaving. 

If you opt out of the Scheme, you will have the same options as if you had left the Company. You can find more information about these options here.

If you are over the minimum retirement age (currently 55 but increasing to 57 from 6 April 2028), you can also apply to take your pension while remaining employed by the Company. This is called flexible retirement – click here for more information. The early retirement terms are better for active employees. For more information on the early retirement terms that apply when retiring as an active employee or as a deferred member please click here.

The Company has a statutory obligation to re-enrol you every three years. However, as the DB section of the Scheme is closed to new entrants, if you are re-enrolled after leaving the Scheme, you will join the Defined Contribution (DC) section. For more information about how the DC section of the Scheme works please click here.

If you decide to leave the DB Scheme, you will no longer be covered for the valuable death-in-service benefits and you will not build up any more pensionable service. You can read more about the death-in-service benefits under the DB section of the Scheme here. In order to have continuous death-in-service cover you would need to re-join the DC section immediately after flexibly retiring. If you choose not to re-join immediately, you would need to provide information on any pre-existing medical conditions, which may restrict this cover. You can find out more information about the DC medical declaration process here.