If you are employed by Unilever at 30th September 2021 there are two sections of the Unilever UK Pension Fund (UUKPF) that you can build up benefits in from 1st October 2021:
The DB Career Average plan
The DC Investing plan
You do not have to be a member of the DB Career Average Plan to save into the DC Investing Plan (and vice versa).
Prior to 1st October 2021 you could build up benefits in the Career average plan and have an optional "top-up" Investing Plan. You could not save into the Investing Plan without also building up benefits at the same time in the Career average plan.
The DC Investing plan explained
The DC Investing plan is a "defined contribution" arrangement.
You build up a "pot" of money in your own DC Investing plan account with your contributions from your Benefits Envelope plus any extra voluntary contributions that you choose to make.
You decide how much is paid into your Investing plan account and how you want the money in the account to be invested. The types of contributions that can be paid into your DC Investing plan account are:
Any contributions you choose to make from your Benefits Envelope, plus
Extra voluntary contributions from your pay, plus
Any extra voluntary lump sum contributions that you choose to make
It is your choice how much of your Benefits Envelope that you save into your DC Investing plan account.
If you want to opt out of the DB Career Average plan and make the DC Investing plan your main pension saving vehicle, the minimum you can contribute to the DC Investing plan is 11% of your Pensionable earnings.
If you choose to remain in the DB Career Average plan and also save into your DC Investing plan account, the minimum you can contribute to the DC Investing plan is £20 each month.
You can pay whatever you want as Extra Voluntary Contributions into the DC Investing plan and you receive tax relief on these contributions (up to limits set by HMRC).
Tax allowances - HM Revenue & Customs apply two allowances to your contributions and benefits. If you go over them, you must pay a tax charge on the excess. The lifetime allowance is the total amount of tax approved or "registered" pension scheme retirement benefits you can build up over your working life. It is currently £1,073,100 with effect from 6 April 2021. The annual allowance is the amount of registered pension savings you can make each year (over a 12 month period - known as the "pension input period"). It is currently £40,000 for pension input periods ending in the 2021/22 tax year.
Investment Returns - Any investment returns that you receive on your DC Investing plan account are credited directly to your DC Investing plan account. You will not pay any tax on any investment returns received on your DC Investing plan account.
Retirement - You then decide what benefits to take from your account when you retire from the Unilever UK Pension Fund.
You can get more information on the Investing Plan from the Unilever Pension Fund website
Investment choices in the DC Investing Plan
This 35 minute video is a recording of the webinar which was presented in July and August 2021. It explains the seven different fund choices in the DC Investing Plan and considers some key considerations for each of these available funds:
The fund objectives
The management style (active or passive)
Risk rating and your attitude to risk
This video provide detailed information on the investment choices available to you as a member of the DC Investing plan.
This handout provides a useful guide to the investment choices available in the DC Investing plan.
Videos on the options available in the DC Investing Plan
The series of videos below provide more detailed background information on how the DC Investing Plan works and the benefits available at retirement.
In this first video we explain what the Investing Plan is, how it works and the factors that will impact on how much you may have available at retirement.
In this video we look at the options you have for using your DC Investing Plan at retirement. We look at how tax free cash works and what this means for all your benefits in the Unilever UK Pension Fund.
In this final video we look at how you can manage your account using screenshots from your online system PlanViewer. We also provide some contact details for the Investing Plan manager, Fidelity.
Further information on the DC Investing plan
You decide how you want the Trustees to invest your DC Investing plan account. There are currently a range of 7 funds available in the DC Investing plan
Cautious Growth Fund
Emerging Markets Fund
Global Equity Fund
Moderate Growth Fund
Real Return Fund
Full details of all of these funds, and how you can make your choices, are set out in the DC Investing plan section on the Unilever Pension Fund website. You can also download the latest fund factsheets here.
You can also contact the Fidelity Pensions Service Centre, who manage these investment funds on behalf of the Trustees:
Fidelity Pensions Service Centre tel: 0800 3 68 68 68
When you approach retirement, the Unilever Pensions Team will contact you (or if you want to retire early, you may need to contact the Team yourself) and tell you what your options are. Generally you will be able to choose whether to:
Take some (or maybe all) of your account as a tax free cash sum
Use some (or maybe all) to buy an extra bit of pension
More information on your options is set out on the Unilever Pension Fund website.
If you choose to pay Extra Voluntary Contributions into the DC Investing plan you can choose to pay them in one of two ways:
Fixed Term - If you pay Extra Voluntary Contributions on a Fixed Term basis, you will pay them through the Unilever Contribution Arrangement. You must agree to pay Fixed Term contributions for at least 12 months - starting from 1 October in each year.
Variable - If you pay Extra Voluntary Contributions on a Variable basis, you do not have to agree to pay them for 12 months, and you can pay one off lump sums, or vary the amount you pay as often as you want. As with all contributions to the Unilever UK Pension Fund, you will not pay income tax on these contributions, but you will not save the National Insurance contributions that you would save if you paid on a Fixed Term basis.
This is only a summary. For details of Extra Voluntary Contributions, refer to the Investing plan guide.
We are not Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) and nothing on this website should be construed as independent financial advice. If you feel you would benefit from speaking to an IFA about your personal circumstances, you can find more information here.