It's important to understand your pension is a long-term investment so its value can go down as well as up and you could get back less than was paid in.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future. Your own circumstances and where you live in the UK have an impact on tax treatment.

Plan details

Your employer is offering you the opportunity to join the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS) - a Group Flexible Retirement Plan provided by Standard Life Assurance Limited.

The BTRSS is BT Group's pension scheme, and all references to your employer, BT or BT Group refer to the BT group company that employs you: either BT plc or Openreach Limited.

It's important you make an informed decision so you should read the key documents at the bottom of this page.

And you can find answers to common questions in our FAQs

 

Joining as part of your employment contract

 

BT offers this pension plan as one of the benefits of working there.

You will be automatically joined to the BTRSS, if you:

  • Have just joined BT
  • Transferred to BT under TUPE and earn over £10,000
  • Are transferring to work for BT in the UK and earn over £10,000

 Download the BTRSS New Joiner Checklist

BT will let you know when you’ll join the plan - but there may be a waiting period from when you start working before you’re enrolled.

 

What you need to do

 

  1. Make sure it's right for you

    Paying into a company pension can be a great way to save for the future - especially since your employer pays in too. But you may decide it's not right for you. Once you've joined, you'll have a month to opt out. And you can stop or change your contributions in the future if you need to by going online  .

  2. Decide how much to pay in

    It's up to you how much you pay in as long as you meet the minimum amount set by your employer. 

 

Joining manually

 

You may still be able to join this plan, even if you aren’t automatically joined. The options depend on your age and how much you earn. You may be enrolled automatically if your circumstances change.

 

If you’re aged between 16 and 74: 

If you earn £6,240 a year or more with your employer you can join this plan manually and benefit from payments made by your employer. Just tell them you want to join.

If you earn less than £6,240 a year you might still be able to join this plan.  Your employer needs to give you access to a pension scheme but it could be different from this one and they might not pay in.  Speak to your employer if you’d like to join.

 

What you get if you join

You’ll be set up with a company pension. You’ll get tax benefits on any contributions you make, but your employer might not pay in if you earn less than £6,240 a year.

 

What you need to do

 

  1. Make sure it's right for you

    Paying into a company pension can be a great way to save for the future - especially since your employer may pay in too. And you can stop or change your contributions in the future if you need to. If you decide you want to join, speak to your employer about next steps.

  2. Decide how much to pay in

    It's up to you how much you pay in as long as you meet the minimum amount set by your employer. 

Contribution options for this plan

You'll be able to change your contributions once you've joined this plan.

BT will contribute up to 10% of your pensionable salary. This could depend on how much you pay in - see the table below.

Please note: The information below applies to core BT and Openreach employees. If you transferred to BT from EE, or were a BTPS closure member your contributions may be different. You can find more details about your contribution options, and how much BT will pay into your pension on the Your Rewards site 

Your contributions Your employer’s contributions Total contributions
5% (minimum) 10% 15%
6% or more 10% 16% or more

If you're paying into BTRSS on the above standard rates, BT guarantees a minimum employer payment of £2,210 each year. This will be applied pro rata for part time employees or people who are only in the BTRSS for part of a year.

When you're first enrolled in this plan you'll pay in 5% of your salary. You can change this amount after you join by going online  .

There are two ways that you can make contributions into your pension plan. Both give you tax benefits but work in different ways. Please speak to BT to find out how your contributions will be taken.

 

  • SMART Pensions (also known as salary sacrifice)

    This means contributions will be taken from your salary before tax and National Insurance (NI) are calculated. You and your employer will pay less NI and you won't need to reclaim any tax relief from the government manually. It's important to remember that SMART Pensions (also known as salary sacrifice) isn't right for everyone. It's a change to your terms of employment and could affect your entitlement to state benefits or your ability to borrow.

  • Payment from after-tax earnings

    This means BT will deduct your contributions from your after-tax earnings and pay them to Standard Life on your behalf. The government then adds tax relief on top of your contributions - boosting the amount that gets paid into your pension plan. Tax relief will be applied at the basic rate of income tax so if you normally pay more tax, you'll need to reclaim this from the government manually.

You might be able to change the way you make contributions into your pension plan - please check on the Your Rewards site to find out what your options are.

Increasing your contributions

You can increase your contributions beyond 5% but BT will contribute a maximum of 10%. However, increasing your contributions could still make a big difference to your lifestyle in retirement.

Find out more about boosting your pension plan

Pension allowances

There's a limit to the amount that can be paid into your pension plans each tax year without paying a tax charge - for most people this is normally 100% of your earnings, capped at £40,000. But in some circumstances it could be lower.

There's also a lifetime allowance on the total value of your UK pensions. It's not a limit though - you can save more if you want to. You will only start paying the extra tax when you take more than your allowance from your plan, not just when your pension pot reaches it. At the moment, the lifetime allowance is £1,073,100.

These allowances aren't an issue for most people, but it's a good idea to check. For more information download our Guide to tax relief, limits and your pension (PDF 359KB)

Opting out

A company pension is one of the most rewarding ways to save for the future. But it's your choice and you can opt out if you want to.

You can't opt out until you join

You can only opt out once you've been enrolled into this plan by your employer. This is a government rule to encourage people to save into their pension plan. You'll be notified once you've been enrolled and will receive details about how to opt out at that point.

If you opt out you can still join later

Government rules may mean that you get auto-enrolled back into your company pension plan in the future. This normally happens every three years, but you can ask your employer if you'd like to join sooner. Though you may have to wait before you can join again. 

The downsides of opting out

If you opt out, you won't receive any contributions from your employer. You may also lose some of the tax benefits if you put your money somewhere else.

Investment choices and charges

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Understand how the money in this plan is invested, the options you have and the charges you'll pay.

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Important documents

These documents will help you understand how this plan works, so you can decide if it's right for you. It's a good idea to keep or save a copy of each one.

A guide to your pension

A "Welcome" guide to the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS) and the available investment options.

The Smart Pensions guide is provided by BT - Standard Life is not responsible for the content.

Product Information

Read these documents to understand the features of your employer's pension plan in detail.

Useful forms

You can download a form to help manage your plan.