Different benefits apply to former Gas Scheme members. Please click here for more information.


If you are made redundant by the Company at age 50 or older, your pension and lump sum will be paid, based on your full entitlement up to your date of leaving.

If you are under age 50, you will have the same choices as if you had stopped work voluntarily, except you may draw your pension, unreduced, from age 50.

If you leave active service but do not take an immediate pension, you will be entitled to keep your benefits in the Scheme, and you will become a deferred member.

Alternatively, you may decide to transfer your benefits out of the Group to another pension arrangement, in which case you will take a ‘transfer value’. In this case, you will cease to be a member of the Group.

Can I opt out?

Please consider opting out of the NGE Group very carefully. If you choose to opt out, you will not normally be allowed to rejoin the NGE Group at a later date. You will also miss out on the valuable benefits you are currently entitled to as a member:

  • tax-efficient savings
  • NI savings
  • future pension accrual
  • death-in-service benefits
  • potential benefits if you become permanently unable to work due to ill health.

In addition, under the rules of the Government’s automatic enrolment policy aimed at encouraging people to save for retirement, National Grid must ensure all eligible employees are enrolled in a pension scheme.

This means that if you opt out of the NGE Group now, at a later date, you will be automatically enrolled back into the Company’s defined contribution scheme in order to comply with automatic enrolment legislation.

If (in the opinion of the medical adviser appointed under the Rules of the NGE Group) you become permanently incapable (because of ill health or infirmity) of working in your current post or on duties which the Company may reasonably ask you to carry out, you may be able to retire with an immediate pension.

In the first instance, ill-health pension decisions are made by the Scheme’s Medical Adviser who is appointed under the Rules of NGE Group. The Medical Adviser will agree to an ill-health pension being granted if satisfied that the ill-health definitions under the Rules are met.

You will be eligible to be considered for ill-health retirement if you are:

  • full time and you have been continuously employed by the Company for at least five years
  • part time and while you have been a Scheme member, you have worked as many hours as a full-time employee would have worked over a five-year period.

(For these eligibility purposes, employment with a previous ESPS Employer, whether whole or part time, can be taken into account.)

Each application is considered on its individual merits and the qualifying period conditions will be waived if, in the opinion of the Scheme's Medical Adviser, your ill health is a result of an accident or illness resulting from your employment.

Different benefits apply to former Gas Scheme members. Please click here for more information.

If you meet the ill-health conditions, you will receive a pension based on your completed contributing service plus the service remaining had you worked up to age 63* (or age 65 if you were a member before 1 April 1988), subject to a maximum of 40 years, calculated on your pensionable salary at the date you retire.

Your automatic lump sum will be three times your annual pension, although you may be able to take an additional lump sum.

If your claim for ill-health retirement is unsuccessful, you have the right to appeal under the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure. Ill-health appeals are considered by the Group Trustee Board or its delegates by sub-committee.

Different benefits apply to former Gas Scheme members. Please click here for more information.

Lump sum

The Scheme provides a death-in-service lump sum benefit equal to four years of your pensionable salary if you die whilst still employed by the Company.

If you are married or in a registered civil partnership at the time of your death, your spouse or civil partner will automatically receive a quarter of the lump sum immediately. However, they can opt to convert this lump sum to additional pension if they wish by notifying Railpen within three months of your death.

All members who joined the Scheme on or after 1 September 1986 have the balance (or all if unmarried or not in a civil partnership) of the death-in-service lump sum held under discretionary trusts for distribution by the NGE Group Trustee to their spouse, civil partner, children, relatives or other nominated beneficiary.

Any member who joined before that date must sign a Notice of Direction that these discretionary trusts should apply, or the money will be paid to the member's estate. Lump sums paid under discretionary trusts are not counted as part of your estate for inheritance tax or probate purposes so can be paid quickly and tax effectively.

In order to assist the NGE Group Trustee, please complete an Expression of Wish form (available in the library below). In the event of your death, the NGE Group Trustee will normally distribute the lump sum in accordance with your wishes. However, the Group Trustee is not legally bound to pay the lump sum to a nominated beneficiary and will take account of your circumstances at the time. It is important, therefore, that you keep your expression of wish up to date.

If you joined the Scheme under age 25 and chose to pay the lower contribution rate of 3%, the death-in-service lump sum will be reduced by 3% of your pensionable salary for each year, and part year, for which you paid the reduced rate, unless you chose to make up the contribution reduction before your death.

If you die after age 55 and have at least five years’ continuous employment, an additional lump sum may be payable based on your age at death and the length of time you have been a member.

Dependant's pension

If you die while still employed by the Company, your dependant will receive a pension of up to two thirds of the pension that would have been payable to you at normal pension age.

The dependant's pension is based on a formula that takes account of your pensionable salary and pensionable service to age 63*, subject to a maximum of 40 years. It is calculated as follows:

Up to 2/3 x 1/80 x pensionable salary x pensionable service to age 63* (subject to a maximum of 40 years).

*For members who joined the Scheme before 1 April 1998, contributing service will be calculated by reference to age 65.

Child's pension

The child's pension is one quarter of the dependant's pension for each child for up to four children. If you leave more than four children, the dependant's pension will be divided between the number of eligible children.

If you joined the Scheme before 1 April 1992, there is a minimum child's pension payable of £1,452.60 per annum (from 1 April 2009).

Maternity/Adoption leave

If you are absent on paid maternity leave or paid adoption leave, you will still contribute to the Scheme, but your contributions will be based on the actual pensionable pay you receive.

Your benefits during this time will build up as if you were still working and receiving the same pensionable pay as prior to your maternity or adoption leave.

If you would like more specific information about your personal circumstances, contact Railpen.

Other Absences

Any approved period of absence (apart from sick leave or maternity leave) on reduced or no salary that exceeds 30 days, counts as service for a proportionately reduced period. This means that if you are absent on half pay for one year, that year will count as half a year for pensionable service. If no salary is paid, the period of absence will not count towards your pensionable service.

You will receive full details of the options available to make up the contributions so that the whole period counts towards your pension. Sick leave up to two years (or a longer period if the NGE Group Trustee agrees) will usually count as pensionable service.

If you are going on a secondment for National Grid, you should speak to your normal HR contact in the first instance.

If you get divorced, your solicitor will need to take account of any pension benefits you and your spouse may have when arranging your divorce settlement.

This applies if you are a contributing member, a deferred member or are in receipt of your pension. It is essential that you or your solicitor contact Railpen for information on the value of your pension before finalising the division of your assets.

If you would like more information, please visit the MoneyHelper website (you will be directed to an external site).

Transferring in

If you were previously a member of another company pension scheme or if you have another pension arrangement, then you may have the option to transfer into the Group.

The transfer is used to ‘buy’ you extra pensionable service in the Group. This extra service is known as a back-service credit.

The Group Trustee has discretion to accept transfer values from certain types of pension arrangements and will normally accept transfer values, except where they prove insufficient to cover any State equivalent benefits included in the transfer. Please note however that acceptance of a transfer cannot be guaranteed. You should contact Railpen if you would like to transfer your benefits from a previous pension arrangement.


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