Please see below for brief answers to frequently asked questions ...
Am I eligible for the Scheme?
If you are a registered contract player for a club in the FA Premier League or the Football League you are eligible for the 2011 Section of the Scheme.
Have I joined the 2011 Section – and if not when will I join?
If you signed a new registered contract at any time from 1 January 2011, you will have been automatically enrolled into the 2011 Section with effect from the 1st of the following month. You may also have chosen to opt-in to the 2011 Section before your contract expired by signing an opt-in form. If you chose to do this and the Trustee received your opt-in form before 30 June 2011, your membership of the 2011 Section will have become effective from 1 July 2011.
If you signed a new contract or opt-in form after 1 July 2011 but before 31 December 2011, your membership will be backdated to 1 July 2011. If, however, you don’t sign until after 31 December 2011 your membership will only be backdated to 1 January 2012.
Do I have to join?
No, if you think that your personal circumstances mean that you should not join the 2011 Section you can opt-out. The Trustee strongly suggests that you seek financial advice before making that decision.
The one obvious circumstance where opting-out may be beneficial is where you have registered with HMRC for Enhanced Protection – if this is the case and contributions were made on your behalf to the 2011 Section, this could jeopardise the protection you have. Again you should seek financial advice in this matter.
How much will I pay to the 2011 Section?
You are not required to contribute to the 2011 Section as the Transfer Levy will be used to fund a contribution currently equivalent to £4,750 per annum for you.
You can choose to pay additional contributions to the Scheme to increase the level of benefits you will receive. If you wish to do so you can use the form provided in the “Library” section and take this to your Club Secretary.
Where will the contributions be invested?
The contributions from the Transfer Levy will be invested in the Footballers Retirement Fund (FRF). If you choose to pay additional contributions these will also be invested in the FRF as a default, but you can choose to invest in a wider range of funds. Details of both are found in the 2011 Section booklet in the “Library” section.
When can I retire?
If you joined the Scheme (i.e. the earlier Sections) prior to 6 April 2006 you can retire at age 35. If you joined on or after that date, your normal retirement date will be age 55 unless you have a different age individually agreed with HMRC.
There is also provision for retirement at an earlier age due to incapacity.
How will my benefits be paid?
You will typically be eligible to take up to 25% of the value of your fund at retirement as a tax free cash sum - although if you were a member of the Scheme before 6 April 2006 your cash entitlement may be higher. The remainder of your benefits must be taken in the form of income. You will be able to choose at that time whether to provide an income for your spouse/dependants on death and whether your income will be paid at a flat rate or will increase. Both of these options will reduce the starting level of your income.
What are my options if I leave the 2011 Section before my retirement age?
If you cease being a registered contract player after being a member for 12 months your fund will continue to be invested until your retirement date unless you choose to transfer it elsewhere in the meantime.
The options if your membership ceases before 12 months has elapsed differ and are found in the Professional Footballers Pension Scheme (2011 Section) Booklet.
If I have questions about the scheme who should I contact?
You should contact the Administration Team at the following details:
Address: Aon Hewitt, 5th Floor Fountain Precinct, Balm Green, Sheffield, S1 2JA.
Telephone: 0845 078 0096
Email: [email protected]
About the Scheme
January 2011 a new pension scheme was introduced with the aim of being more attractive and fairer to all to members.