The main purpose of this section is to address the questions most often asked by members about their pension benefits. Obviously, answers will be of a general nature and cannot possibly cover every scheme as the rules of all schemes are different. It is essential that you get specific information before you decide on any course of action or on any option which you may be entitled to exercise. In particular, you should not take any action, defer any action, agree to exercise any option, or fail to exercise it, solely on the basis of information contained here. You should always ask your scheme trustees or administrators for any information or explanation you need in order to come to a decision. In general trust law and under the Regulations governing disclosure of information to scheme members under the Pensions Act, you are entitled to that information.
Even when you have the information to which you are entitled, it may be advisable for you to seek individual financial advice before coming to certain decisions - such as making or increasing voluntary contributions or exercising the various options that may be available to you at the time of retirement or leaving service.
All information in this section is extracted with kind permission from the publication 'Understanding Pensions - The Friendly Guide to Pensions' by Paul Kenny, the Pensions Ombudsman. Copies of this booklet can be obtained from The Office of the Pension Ombudsman. Phone +353 1 647 1650 or email email@example.com.