Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Find answers to frequently-asked questions about the coronavirus here.

chris hannon 2
Dear all
 
We find ourselves in the most challenging of circumstances. The impact of the Coronavirus is being felt by individuals, families, businesses, services and pension schemes around the globe. It is no different for the close community that is our British Transport Police Force.  

First, please let me reassure our pensioners on behalf of myself and my colleagues on the Trustee Board – your pension will continue to be paid. 
 
This is our top priority. The British Transport Police Force Superannuation Fund has good levels of liquidity, cash available, to continue to pay pensions without interruption and RPMI has isolated the key individuals and teams essential to pensioner payroll. 

RPMI will continue to operate as normal a service as possible in supporting the Fund. They have responded incredibly quickly to the current situation, enabling many of their services to continue, even though the administration offices have now closed. The investment teams are all working remotely to ensure we defend the Fund's assets during this time and make the right investment decisions, and increasingly the administration teams are doing likewise. 
 
There are a number of things you can do during this time to help:
 

  • Register on this website. The website is your single and best source of news regarding the Scheme during this difficult time.

    You can carry out many transactions which are important in a time where RPMI’s ability to support paper forms is likely to be compromised, so please register as soon as possible.
     
    We have added new, frequently asked questions and answers to the websites to help you and will continue to update these.
  • Only call the member Helpline if it is truly urgent.

    The Helpline is moving to remote working to ensure it can continue to provide support. But please only phone if the matter is very urgent to enable those with the greatest need to be able to get help and support.

    Before calling please check the member website to see if the information you need is there or whether you can conduct the transaction you need to do online.

    We may need to add initial messages to our phone system to reduce the need for callers to speak to agents, so please be patient if it takes you a little longer to get through to an agent or leave a message.

  • Please be patient.

    RPMI will be working to strict priorities during this time that are in the best interests of the Fund and its members and pensioners. This may mean, if staffing levels are low, or some processes are less urgent, that it will take them longer than usual to come back to you or process your request.

    We’re all in this together, so please give them your patience and support.

I will continue to provide updates via the member websites as time goes on. In the meantime I hope you and all your loved ones are well, safe and managing as best you can.

Best,

chris hannon sig

Chris Hannon
Trustee Chair

Questions and answers

RPMI and its services 

How is RPMI responding to the situation?

We have had very detailed plans in place for a long time that enable us to act quickly and decisively to ensure we can continue to provide services, as well as look after our people. We continue to follow all advice from the authorities and have put our plans into action.

Our priority is the wellbeing of our people and the services we deliver to support the Scheme and its members. We will give priority to the most essential of those services. We hope you can understand any slowing or reduction of services, given the current situation and ask for your patience and support.
 
Any updates relating to the Coronavirus, the Scheme and RPMI’s services will be on this website.  

Is there anything I can do to help myself?

Yes. If you haven’t already done so, please register to create a secure personal account on the website if you are an active or deferred member.
 

If RPMI has to close offices, we will not be able to support paper forms for a period of time. Creating an account on the member websites will enable you to do lots of transactions from your home, as well as send and receive messages and documents to and from RPMI. A small sample of the things members and pensioners can do on the websites includes:

Members (active and deferred):

  • Update nomination forms
  • Change contact details
  • Switch investment funds

Why is my case taking so long?

At the moment we are focusing on critical areas of member support including deaths in services, retirements and of course, paying pensions. We will be processing other transactions and cases as quickly as we can. We’re sorry for any inconvenience or frustration the delay is causing you, but we hope you understand. 

How will you will us know if RPMI's or the Fund's situation changes?

We know that this is a worrying time and we want to make sure we give you as much information as we  can, as soon as we can. This website should be your first port of call for information.

Will my pension continue to be paid?

Yes, please be assured that our priority is paying pensions to our pensioners. We have put extra measures in place to support this.  

I’m thinking of transferring my pension savings; what should I do?

If you’re considering transferring your pension savings, please read this guidance from The Pensions Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Money and Pensions Service. It contains important information on points you should consider before making a decision and where you should go for impartial guidance. It is always important that you get independent financial advice if you are considering a transfer.

You should think about your options carefully before agreeing to any transfers. Pensions scams are an increasing risk as fraudsters look to take advantage of members’ uncertainty and lure them into transfers that may be illegal.
 

BRASS / Defined Contribution members

Why are the investment fund values going down so much?

Stock market investments are typically designed for longer-term investment. They can experience rises and falls in value over time, which can be triggered by any number of events around the world. That is what we are seeing at the moment.

Will my fund value keep going down?

Stock market investment returns are not guaranteed and we can’t predict what will happen. Prices change daily and may go down as well as up over time.  

Is RPMI liable for any losses I suffer because the investment funds have gone down?

No, RPMI is not liable for reduced fund values due to market conditions.

Should I switch my funds?

We don’t want to sound unhelpful, but it is your decision as it is your money. Neither the Trustee nor RPMI (nor your employer – if relevant) can give you financial advice.  
 
Decisions about your fund choices are very important as they could have a big effect on your benefits. You may wish to speak to an independent financial adviser (IFA) before making any decisions. You can find a list of IFAs in your local area at www.unbiased.co.uk.  
 
There’s a number of helpful articles and videos on this website about investment risk. Type ‘risk’ into the search box at the top of the page to quickly find them.  

Where can I find more information about the funds?

The best place to look for more information is on this website. It has a lot of information, guides and videos about investments. This includes details about fund performance and prices, and the range of funds available to you. Type ‘risk’ into the search box at the top of the page to quickly find them.     

I’m retiring in a few months, should I move to funds with less risk?

This is up to you. A consideration can be how long you will remain invested in them.   
If you are in one or more ‘self-select’ funds, you are responsible for deciding whether or not to ‘de-risk’ or move your pot into funds with less investment risk as you approach retirement. If you are in a ‘lifestyle’ fund, there is an automatic ‘de-risking’ mechanism which usually starts 5 years from your chosen Target Retirement Age and follows a set de-risking profile.  

I can’t remember / how do I find out which funds I am invested in?

The easiest way to find out is to log into or register to use your personal account on this website.