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Home / Mis-Sold Pensions / Serps and Compensation

What is a SERPS pension?

A SERPS pension is a State Earnings Related Pension Scheme – a government pension arrangement that allowed people to make more provisions for retirement in addition to the state pension.

The ordinary state pension is available for every eligible citizen in the UK, but is generally considered to be insufficient by itself to provide people the live they want in retirement.

Beginning in 1978, SERPS began to be offered to people who paid full Class 1 National Insurance Contributions, up until 2002 when SERPS was replaced by the State Second Pension.

Why were SERPS pensions created?

SERPS were created as a reward for many workers, allowing them to have more in retirement in addition to the state pension.

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How did SERPs pensions work?

SERPS scheme members would receive an additional pension of 25% of their earnings (above an earning limit). The upper earning limit was around seven times the lower one. Later, the amount was gradually reduced down to 20% for those retiring in 2010 or later.

What was contracting out of SERPs?

Contracting out (sometimes called opting out) of SERPS meant that people partially or completely gave up their SERPS pension benefits in exchange for a higher private pension and paying smaller National Insurance qualifications (or redirected NI contributions).

What is SERPS compensation?

Some people received the wrong advice when it came to SERPS, and may be worse off in retirement because of it.

Usually, this is because they were told to Opt-Out of SERPS by brokers or financial advisers.

You MAY be able to claim for SERPS compensation if:

  • You were advised to contract out of SERPS by a Financial Adviser
  • The date of the advice you received was between 1 July 1988 and 5 April 1997
  • When you contracted out, you were above 45 years of age (for Males) or 40 years of age (for Women)
  • You were earning over £10k per year, every year.

Did I have a SERPS pension?

If you were an employee paying Class One national insurance contributions then it is possible that you have a SERPS pension, or that you opted out of SERPs.

One way to check if you have a SERPS pension is to login to your Personal Tax Account with HMRC which should show you your status. It may be that you need to create an account, in which case you will likely require your NI number, a recent payslip or P60, and a valid UK passport.

Can I cash in my SERPS pension?

If you are entitled to a SERPS pension, you can start drawing it when you reach pensionable age. Since April 2016, anybody eligible for a SERPS pension will receive is as a single payment combined with their State Pension.