How does someone qualify for help from the FAS?
To be eligible for a FAS award as an individual member, you must belong (or have belonged) to a qualifying pension scheme and been a member of that scheme immediately prior to the scheme commencing wind-up.
For those scheme members who have died but had met (or would have met had they lived) these conditions, their survivor and their dependants may also be eligible for an award.
Payments to scheme members are made from the later of:
- your scheme normal retirement age (with a lower age limit of 60 and an upper age limit of 65); or
- 14 May 2004 when the FAS was first announced.
Payments can be made earlier than normal retirement age where a member is unable to work due to ill health and is likely to continue to be unable to work through to normal retirement age. See our guidance on Early Access to FAS Payments for Members in Poor Health.
Payments to members who are terminally ill and payments to survivors can begin at any age.
As an individual scheme member you will be eligible to get payments from the FAS if:
I think I may be eligible – what do I have to do to get a FAS payment?
If you belong (or used to belong) to a pension scheme that is currently being wound up, it’s very likely that the trustees of your scheme have already been in touch with the FAS. Check this website to see if your scheme has qualified or ask the trustees of your scheme. If your scheme has been wound up, check this website to see whether somebody has already notified us. If not then contact us.
We may ask you to complete a form called Notification and Qualification (FAS A1) form.
We will ask pension trustees for pension scheme records to assess the eligibility of individual members for FAS payments. We will write to individuals to confirm:
- their personal details;
- if they may be eligible.
How much will the FAS pay?
We call the amount that the FAS pays to individual scheme members an award. The FAS will pay an award of up to 90 per cent of what you would have received if your pension scheme had been able to pay in full the pension you had accrued before you left the scheme, or before the scheme started to be wound-up. We pay this award on top of any pension you receive from your scheme, up to a maximum of £31,873 a year for anyone whose entitlement begins between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. This means, for example, that if 90 percent of your ’accrued pension’ is £15,000 a year but you actually only get a pension of £10,000 a year, your FAS award will be £5,000 a year.
A FAS award is paid for life and pension accrued from service after 6 April 1997 will be linked to inflation (based on the Consumer Prices Index, up to a 2.5 per cent limit). We will deduct tax from the award before making your payment.
How the FAS works out your award
If you are eligible, we will work with your trustees of your scheme or – in the case of wound-up schemes – try to access your scheme records to work out your FAS award.
Generally, your pension scheme must be nearly wound-up or fully wound-up for us to work out your award in this way. If your scheme is still being wound-up when you reach your normal retirement age then we may top up any payment your scheme is making. These are called ‘initial payments’.
We will work out your final award when your scheme has been wound-up. When we work out your final award we will take account of any initial payments we have already paid to you, and we may ask you to pay back money if we find you are not eligible for FAS or that you are eligible for a lesser amount than has already been paid to you.