Information about your pension when
This section covers the questions you
are most likely to want answered about your pension if you are made
Note: The information in section only applies to bankruptcies
where the petition was presented before 29 May 2000
bankruptcy affect my pension?
Part or all of your pension may be
claimed by your trustee in bankruptcy, whether you are receiving it
now or it is due in the future.
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of pension do I have?
There are basically four types of
pension that you may have already, or could be entitled to receive
in the future.
- State pension - This will include any payment from the State
Earning Related Pension Scheme - SERPS.
- Occupational pension - This is a scheme set up by an employer
to provide members with retirement and death benefits. Contributions
may have been made by the employer, you as an employee, or both.
- Personal pension - This is a personal pension policy you have
taken out with an insurance company to pay you benefits in later
life. (Retirement annuity contracts are similar to personal pension
plans. If you have a retirement annuity contract, it will be treated
in your bankruptcy in a similar way to a personal pension plan.)
- Group personal pension - This is a personal pension policy taken
out with a pension provider and often your employer or trade association
will have negotiated favourable rates and terms. Following a bankruptcy
order, a group personal pension is dealt with in the same way
as a personal pension.
You may have more than one type of
pension and you may have several pensions of the same type. For example,
you may have occupational pensions from your present and previous
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Will I lose
all my pension?
Whether or not you are currently receiving your pension, the trustee
cannot claim: your state pension or any payments from the State
Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS);
- any of your occupational pension if your occupational scheme
has a clause forfeiting pension benefits following bankruptcy
(the trustee could claim the benefit of a personal pension policy,
even if it has a similar clause); and
- any protected rights - these rights arise in any pension you
may have where you or your employer have contracted out of SERPS.
They represent the equivalent of the SERPS benefits within your
pension. In an occupational pension scheme, the protected rights
might be known as a guaranteed minimum pension or
benefits under the reference scheme test.
When he or she has all the information
about your pension, the official receiver or your trustee will be
able to tell you what part, if any, of your pension is being claimed
as an asset in your bankruptcy. Even if the trustee cannot claim your
pension, or any part of it, the amounts you receive may still be included
in the calculation of your income, if the trustee applies to the court
for an income payments order during your bankruptcy. (The court
may order you to pay part of your wages, salary or other income to
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to the lump sum payable under my pension?
If your trustee can claim your benefits
under an occupational pension scheme or personal pension, this will
include any lump sum that is payable as well as the regular payments
you are entitled to receive.
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will the official receiver and/or my trustee need?
You have a duty to co-operate with,
and to provide all the information required by, the official receiver
and your trustee (who will be an insolvency practitioner if he is
not the official receiver). The following details will be needed about
all the pensions you are receiving, or will be entitled to receive
in the future:
- the name of any occupational pension scheme which you and/or
your present or former employer have contributed to on your behalf;
- any documents given to you about the amount of your benefits
under occupational pension scheme(s) and the amount of contributions
to those scheme(s), particularly in the last two years;
- the policy document for all personal pensions that you have
taken out; q if you are receiving a pension, the amount of your
regular benefits. Also the date you received any lump sum and
the amount of that payment.
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contributions be paid after the making of the bankruptcy order?
Pension contributions can continue
under your existing pension arrangements or under new pension arrangements
made after the bankruptcy order. But it may not be in your interest
to continue to make payments, particularly to a personal pension,
because you may not receive the full benefit of them. You should seek
advice from your pension provider or an independent financial adviser
before making any payments.
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be done to stop my trustee from claiming my pension?
Pension rights and benefits cannot
be assigned (transferred). However, your trustee in bankruptcy may
consider giving up his interest in the pension, which would mean that
the benefits would come to you when they become payable. A relative
or friend of yours would have to be willing to provide a suitable
sum of money, based upon the current transfer value of your pension
fund (excluding protected rights), before your trustee is likely to
agree to this option. This is something you should discuss with your
trustee so that you have all the relevant facts about your position
and that of the person providing the money.
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If my trustee
has not collected my pension before my discharge from bankruptcy,
will it become payable to me?
Any part of your pension that is claimed
by your trustee will be collected by him when you reach the retirement
age under your pension arrangements, even if this is after your discharge
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