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FAQs

Got a question about the Fund or your benefits? If you can’t find the answer here, please contact us.

About the Fund

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What type of scheme is the Smith & Nephew UK Pension Fund?

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The Fund is an occupational final salary pension scheme. This means your benefit depends on your salary at the time you left the Fund (or when it closed to future accrual) and your length of Fund membership. As a member of a final salary scheme, you do not have a pension pot or a fund value for your Fund benefits and therefore there is no option to amend or switch any investments.

If you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions while you were an active member of the Fund, then these are held with an external provider such as the Prudential, Utmost Life (previously Equitable Life), Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical. It may be possible to switch or amend where those funds are invested with the provider. If you want to know more, please contact the Fund administrator, Mercer, who will enquire on your behalf with the AVC provider to find out how you can do this, together with details of the available funds.

Who should I contact if I have a question about my pension?

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Contact the Fund administrator, Mercer.

Who runs the Smith & Nephew UK Pension Fund?

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A board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of the Fund in accordance with legislation and the Fund Rules. Some of the Trustees are selected by the Company and some are nominated by the Fund’s members.

How can I make a complaint?

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If you’ve got a complaint, please contact the Fund administrator, Mercer in the first instance.

If your complaint can’t be settled by the Fund administrator, you can use the Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) procedure, which the Trustees have put in place to resolve complaints or disputes. Mercer will send you the forms needed to make an application along with a copy of the IDR procedure.

How do I report the death of a member?

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In the sad event that you need to tell us about the death of one of our members, please go to the Report a death page.

Can I transfer another pension into the Fund?

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No. The Fund is closed to future accrual, which means members aren’t permitted to pay in more contributions or transfer in benefits from other pension schemes.

Leaving

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Can I transfer my pension out of the Fund?

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Yes, as long as you are at least 12 months away from your normal retirement date then you have a statutory right to transfer your benefits out of the Fund.

The Trustees of the Fund will review requests for transfer values within 12 months or for members over their normal retirement age.

Please be aware that if the value of your benefits is over £30,000, you are required by law to take independent financial advice before a transfer can proceed.

You can get an idea of your transfer value at any time by logging into Mercer OneView and requesting a transfer quotation. However, the transfer value shown on OneView will not be a guaranteed figure. To request a guaranteed quotation, please contact Mercer.

Can I transfer my pension overseas?

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It is possible for members to transfer overseas to an approved overseas pension arrangement except to the United States (as explained below), and some other countries where financial embargos are in place.

The United States tax authorities still do not permit pension schemes in the United States to receive transfers of benefits from UK registered pension schemes. This is because UK schemes are not ‘qualifying’ US schemes and therefore a qualifying US scheme cannot receive a transfer from a non-qualifying scheme.

Do I need to take advice before I transfer?

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If you decide to transfer out any defined benefits (also known as safeguarded benefits) you have in the Fund to an arrangement that can provide you with flexible benefits, and the full transfer value of your safeguarded benefits in the Fund exceeds £30,000, you are required to take appropriate independent advice from an authorised independent adviser who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

You must provide a written statement from your authorised independent adviser containing the information specified in Regulation 7 of The Pension Schemes Act 2015 (Transitional Provisions and Appropriate Independent Advice) Regulations 2015.

How many times can I request a transfer quotation?

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Members are only entitled to one free cash equivalent transfer value in a 12-month period. If you have already received your free entitlement, a further free one cannot be obtained until 12 months have passed. However, you can run a transfer quotation free of charge via Mercer OneView. If you require another guaranteed quote within a 12-month period, please contact Mercer for further details as a charge will be payable

Retirement

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What options are available to me on retirement?

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The basic options for retiring from the Fund are as follows:

  • Pension only
  • Maximum cash and smaller (residual) pension
  • Some other amount of cash (up to maximum) and a higher residual pension.

If you have Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), these will be included in any calculations provided by Mercer. However, if you log in to Mercer OneView to request an immediate retirement quotation, the figures you see will not include details of your AVCs as the OneView system does not include up-to-date AVC fund values.

If you require a quotation that incorporates your AVC fund, please contact Mercer.

Can I take my whole pension as cash?

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It may be possible, depending on the value of your pension, under the rules of ‘trivial commutation’. His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) allows benefits to be exchanged for a cash sum on grounds of triviality in one of two ways.

Under the first route, the total value of all your pension benefits in this and any other registered pension scheme must not exceed £30,000. This route is referred to as a trivial commutation.

Under the second route, the total value of your benefits in the Smith & Nephew Fund and, in some cases, any other registered pension scheme connected to the same employment must not exceed £10,000. This route is referred to as a small trivial commutation.

If trivial commutation is possible in either form from the Fund, you will be informed of this option in your retirement quotation paperwork. This does not guarantee that a trivial commutation will be paid from the Fund, as it partly depends on what other pensions you have and various additional conditions that you must meet.

I have received a retirement quotation – are the figures guaranteed?

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No, a number of different actuarial factors are used in the calculation of a member’s retirement benefits, which are subject to review from time to time by the Trustees. As the factors are subject to change, it may impact the values quoted in your retirement quotation.

The retirement quotation statement is based on the information held by Mercer at the time of the calculation and is produced for information only. It is not proof of entitlement and confers no right to benefits. All benefits must be calculated and paid only in accordance with the Trust Deed and Rules of the Fund and UK and European law, and are therefore subject to review before payment.

If you log into Mercer OneView, you can use a retirement calculator that allows you to see how your pension amount changes if you choose different retirement dates. The site also has lots of other useful documents/guides in the ‘Fund materials’ area.

Am I able to take my benefits flexibly from the Fund?

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As the Smith & Nephew Fund is a final salary pension scheme, it is not subject to the pensions freedom legislation that came into effect in 2015. You are unable to take your pension in its entirety as a cash lump sum (except via trivial commutation if your pension is below the current threshold) and any form of flexible drawdown is also not possible. All of your pension benefits must be taken at the same time on retirement.

If you are interested in accessing your benefits in a flexible method, then you may be able to achieve this by transferring your benefits away from the Fund to another arrangement that offers these options. We strongly suggest you seek independent financial advice before you decide to transfer your benefits out of the Fund.

How do I find out how much my deferred pension is worth?

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This information is available online through Mercer OneView once you have completed the registration process. You can see this each time you log into OneView. This will show your pension at date of leaving (or Fund closure date, if you still work for Smith & Nephew).

When can I retire?

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Your normal retirement age in the Fund is 65.

Can I retire early?

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Yes, you can retire at any time after age 50 (unless you left the Fund before 3 June 1997, in which case your earliest retirement age is 55 – although please note that this minimum pension age is increasing to 57 in April 2028). Your Fund pension will be reduced if you take it early because it will be paid to you over a longer period of time. It is also worth knowing that, if you transfer your benefits out of the Fund, you will lose the right to take them from age 50.

Can I retire later?

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Yes, with Company and Trustee consent, you may draw your pension after your normal retirement age. In this case, your pension will be increased because it will be paid to you over a shorter period of time.

What if I’m ill?

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If you have to retire early because of ill health, you may be able to draw your pension early, but this will be at the discretion of the Trustees, based on the medical evidence provided.

Will my pension increase in value?

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Yes, your pension will increase annually in line with inflation and the Rules of the Fund.

Death

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I would like to nominate my partner to be considered for any possible spouse’s pension from the Fund, in the event of my death. How do I do this?

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Please note that pensions are only paid to the legal spouse or the dependants of retired Fund members who can show that they were financially dependent on the member at the time of their death. A partner who is not financially dependent on the member would not be eligible to receive a dependant’s pension.

In the event of a deferred member’s death, the only benefit payable would be a lump-sum refund of contributions plus interest (see below).

What benefits are payable on my death as a deferred member?

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A lump sum is payable on the death of a deferred member of the Fund, equal to a refund of your contributions (including any paid via salary sacrifice), plus interest, plus the value of your AVC account (if applicable).

Who will receive the lump sum payable on my death?

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If you die as a deferred member of the Fund, Mercer would pay the lump sum to your estate. However, in some cases, the executor has been able to provide a Grant of Probate or similar, which names the beneficiaries and so Mercer makes the payment direct to them.

Once you have retired from the Fund, a lump sum may become payable if you die within the first five years of drawing a pension. In this case, the lump sum is paid at the Trustees’ discretion, so it does not form part of your estate. You should complete an Expression of Wish form, which lets the Trustees know to whom you would like this money paid.

State Pensions

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Will I get a State Pension?

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The amount of State Pension you get will depend on how many years of qualifying National Insurance (NI) contributions you have. The State Pension system has changed, so in order to receive anything at all under the new system you will have to have at least 10 years of NI contributions. You can find out more here.

Do I pay tax on my State Pension?

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Although tax is not deducted from the State Pension when you receive it, the State Pension is taxable. HMRC will take into account your State Pension, your Smith & Nephew pension and any other income that you receive for the purpose of calculating your tax liability. Any tax which is due on your State Pension may be deducted from your Smith & Nephew pension.

Where can I find out how much State Pension I have built up?

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Visit the government website where you can check your State pension entitlement and other benefits.

When can I take my State Pension?

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Visit the government website where you can check your State pension age.

Keeping in touch

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How can I access Mercer OneView?

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You can access OneView at www.merceroneview.co.uk/smith-nephew

If you have any trouble registering for OneView or logging in, please contact the OneView helpline on 0345 600 0229. They can also provide you with more information regarding browser compatibility if you have difficulties accessing the site or activating your account.

I would like to receive a copy of my latest annual benefit statement.

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We are unable to provide copies of your previous annual statements, but information about your pension entitlement can be found on Mercer OneView. By logging into OneView, you can use a retirement calculator that allows you to run your own calculations, using different retirement dates.

How can I inform you of a change in my contact details?

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Please log into Mercer OneView, where you can update your contact details online.

I have a change in my name or marital status. What do I need to provide for my records to be updated? 

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In order for Mercer to update their records, they will need to see either an original or certified copy of evidence of your change of name, from your previous name to your current name.

If you have been divorced, it may be difficult to provide certification demonstrating the history of your change of name from birth to your current name, in which case they are happy to accept either the original or certified copy of your passport or UK photo card driving license as an alternative. Mercer recommends that any original certificates are sent recorded delivery, and they will return the certificates to you by recorded post.

Crown copyright laws mean Mercer is only able to accept your original birth and marriage (including civil partnership) certificates. They can accept copies of passports or driving licences as proof of identity as long as they have been certified by a person in a position of responsibility, such as:

  • a regulated financial adviser
  • a solicitor
  • an accountant
  • an officer of a regulated bank (usually your own branch)
  • a civil servant
  • a mortgage broker
  • a teacher
  • a minister of religion, or
  • a postmaster or postmistress (or sub-postmaster or postmistress).


Other positions of responsibility include doctor, dentist, hostel manager, social worker, care home manager, prison governor, probation officer, police officer, Member of Parliament, Member of the Scottish Parliament or Northern Ireland Assembly, Justice of the Peace, local or county councillor, staff on the register of a higher or further education institution, or a district nurse or midwife who has visited you in your home.

To certify a copy of a document the following words should be used: ‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original document and any photograph bears a good likeness of the applicant’. The certifier must then print their name, title and phone number on the document, sign their name, and include their company stamp or job title or occupation and date it. The wording can be on the back or front of the copy of the document as long as the content of the document is still clearly visible.

Can Mercer provide me with financial advice?

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Mercer is unable to provide members with financial advice as they are not authorised or qualified to do so. You can find a local independent financial adviser (IFA) through www.unbiased.co.uk, and Mercer will happily provide your chosen IFA with relevant information about the Fund and your benefits.

Mercer OneView

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I’ve been googling OneView but I can’t find the link.

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The OneView web address must be typed into the address bar at the top of your web page: www.merceroneview.co.uk/smith-nephew, or follow the link here.

Please do not use a search engine (for example, Google) as this will not locate the direct link to the site.

Where can I get help with OneView?

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If you need extra help, you can phone the Mercer OneView Helpdesk on 0345 600 0229. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, except weekends and bank holidays.

What can I do if I forget my login details?

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If you forget either your User ID or Passcode, you can follow these steps to gain access to Mercer OneView:

Forgotten User IDs

  • Go to the Smith & Nephew OneView link: www.merceroneview.co.uk/smith-nephew.
    Select the ‘Forgot my User ID?’ link.
  • Enter your User ID and your email address.
  • If your details match the information Mercer holds for you, you will receive an email within the next 60 minutes containing a temporary link. The link is valid for four hours.
  • Select the link and follow the online instructions to create your new User ID. 
  • You will be returned to the login page where you will need to re-enter your login details before you can access the site. 

Forgotten Passcodes 

  • Go to the Smith & Nephew OneView link: www.merceroneview.co.uk/smith-nephew.
  • Select the ‘Forgot my passcode?’ link. 
  • Enter your User ID and your email address. 
  • Your User ID needs to be the one you created when you registered to use the site.
  • If your details match the information Mercer holds for you, you will receive an email within the next 60 minutes containing a temporary link. The link is valid for four hours.
  • Please note you can only reset your Passcode once every 24 hours.
  • Select the link and follow the online instructions to create your new Passcode. 
  • You will be returned to the login page where you will need to re-enter your login details before you can access the site.


How do I activate my OneView account?

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You will need your default User ID to register for OneView. This was provided in your Mercer OneView welcome letter. If you don’t have one, contact the OneView team through their dedicated form at https://www.contactpensionsadmin.com/OneView or call them on 0345 600 0229 or email [email protected]

  • Once you have a User ID, go to the OneView registration page.
  • Enter your User ID.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts and enter your email address. We need this in case you forget your login details in the future.

The first time you log on, you will be asked to change your User ID and create a Passcode. You will use these security details each time you log in, so make sure they are memorable and keep these details safe.

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