Pensions Action Group

Questions and Answers

Many questions about the Financial Assistance Scheme are answered on the FAS webpage of frequently asked questions, so please try looking here first:

The following questions and many more are covered very well by the FAS website, at the above link.

  • Q: Am I entitled to FAS?
  • Q: How much am I entitled to, and can I get a forecast?
  • Q: If I die before my spouse, what will their FAS entitlement be?
  • Q: Can I take Early Retirement and receive my FAS award early?
  • Q: I have become quite seriously ill, can I take my FAS award early?
  • Q: How can I contact FAS?

Please remember, if you contact FAS, to quote your National Insurance Number, your full name and address, and your FAS reference number if you have one.

Below we will try to answer any questions not covered by the FAS website, or provide additional information.

Q: How much should I be able to claim from FAS? You will receive a firm forecast of your FAS award six months before your Normal Retirement Date (NRD). Before that you can register on the FAS website and enter your details, even if you are some years away from your NRD, to see your projected FAS award. You can register here.

Q: I have received my FAS forecast but I don't agree with the figures they are giving me. A: Contact FAS and explain your concerns using the FAS contact details shown on this page.

Q: When will I receive my FAS payments? See the FAS Q&A's, but in general you will start your FAS payments at age 65, unless your scheme had an earlier standard retirement date. Your monthly payments will be paid into your bank on the 21st of each month, this payment will cover the whole of that month. Any annual inflation you may be awarded will be added in January of each year, and will be the UK National Inflation rate, using the rolling year Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculated in September of the previous year, to a maximum of 2.5%pa but only for the part of your FAS award that has qualifying indexation years (currently the period between 1997 and the start of your scheme's wind up, or the date when you left the scheme if you left before the wind up commenced).

Q: Will I get a Tax Free Lump Sum? You may be offered a tax free lump sum which would therefore be followed by a reduced annual award depending on various individual and scheme circumstances. This will be made clear in your Forecast.

Q: Will I pay tax on my ongoing FAS award? Yes, if you receive more than your normal tax allowance from the total of all your incomes for any tax year.

Q: What documents should I keep? A: All documents relating to your pension, and remember to update all interested parties, eg FAS, regarding any change in your circumstances, such as a Change of Address, Email address, phone number or change in circumstances of your spouse (for instance if you have now got divorced, married or remarried, or now have dependent children).

Q: I have received a demand for an Overpayment, what should I do? A: Check the FAS website Q&A section and also read the PAG guide to overpayments.

Q: I have received an amount from FAS due to previous Underpayments, what can I do about this putting me into a higher tax bracket for this tax year? A: There is some guidance in the PAG guide to overpayments. Also refer to FAS and HMRC for guidance about spreading the tax over the relevant years.

Q: Our company pension scheme had a deficit and was only offering a Reduced Transfer out of the scheme before it started wind up. I took a Reduced Transfer but now can see that FAS will be paying more than I will receive from the Reduced Transfer. Can I now apply to FAS to make up the difference? A: No, once you left your scheme you would not be included as a scheme member at the date of commencement of the scheme wind up, so therefore you would not not eligible for any FAS award.

If you have a question that is not covered either by the FAS page, or this page, please contact us at and we will see if we can help.

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