CONTACT : Tel: 0345 112 0025
Frequently-asked questions

Introduction to pensions

General pension queries

Check out the sections below to find answers to some of the most common questions about your pension.

If your question has not been answered here, please visit the Contact details page for ways to get in touch.


What is a workplace pension?

A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement organised for you by your employer. It is sometimes called a ‘company pension’, an ‘occupational pension’ or a ‘works pension’. 
Put simply, a pension is a savings scheme that you pay into while you are working to help make sure you have regular money coming in when you retire.
It’s tax efficient as the money you pay in (or ‘contribute’) is taken from your salary before tax is deducted, reducing the overall amount of tax you will pay on your salary. Your employer also contributes to your pension, so together you and your employer are saving for your future.
If you are hoping to retire at 60, or even 68, you could still be looking to support 25 years without the regular income you had when you were working. Many of us don’t want to have to compromise our lifestyles in retirement, so taking an interest in your pension planning is a great way to do something positive for the future.

How does a pension work?

A pension works by taking all the money paid in – by you, your employer and the government (in the form of tax savings) – and investing it for your future. Different schemes work in different ways, but the idea is that the investments will grow over time to give you money to support you when you retire.
With the Amey OS Pension Scheme, the amount you get when you retire depends on things like how long you've been a member and your salary when you retire. These types of pension schemes are commonly referred to as ‘defined benefit’ arrangements.

Watch the short animation below to learn more about how pensions work.



Who pays into my pension?

With the Amey OS Pension Scheme, both you and your employer pay into your pension.
The money paid in is known as ‘contributions’. 
Your pension contributions are tax-free (subject to Annual and Lifetime Allowance limits), making it an efficient way to save.


Who looks after my money?

Zedra is responsible for looking after the Amey OS Scheme and the money invested on your behalf. Their job, with the help of pension and investment specialists, is to regularly check how the scheme administration and investments are doing and let you know if any changes are necessary. 
Although investment decisions made by the Trustee are still subject to stock market fluctuations, their experience and expertise ensures that the scheme investments do as well as possible.

How do I know I'm saving enough?

Retirement is no longer seen as ‘the end of the road’, and most of us won’t want to change our lifestyles because of it. Take the time to think about what you want for your retirement so you can start planning for it today. 

The lifestyle calculator can help you get an idea of what your unique lifestyle costs and how much income you may need to afford it when you retire.

How much will I get when I take my pension benefits?

The amount you’ll get depends mostly on how much has been paid into it and:

  • the rules of your Scheme, if you’re in a defined benefit scheme; or
  • how well your investments have performed if you’re in a defined contribution scheme

The Amey, Accord and APS sections are defined benefit. 
You can also ‘top up’ your pension by paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). These will be paid into defined contribution arrangements. Your employer will be able to tell you more about AVCs.

You can request an estimate of your benefits from the Scheme's adminstrator, Railpen, by calling 0345 112 0025. Please note, you can only request two free estimates per calendar year.

What are Annual and Lifetime Allowances?

The Annual Allowance (AA) is a limit on the amount of pension savings you can make into your scheme(s) (you may have more than one) in any given tax year. If you exceed your AA, you may be charged tax on the excess. 
A lower allowance applies to high earners. If your taxable income is more than £200,000, you should learn more about the tapered annual allowance as it may affect you. 
You can carry forward any unused Annual Allowance from the past three years.
A lower allowance may also apply to any future pension savings you make to defined contribution pension arrangements if you’ve taken money out of your pension pot. This is known as the ‘Money Purchase Annual Allowance’.
The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is the maximum amount you can take in pension benefits during your lifetime from all the pension schemes you may be a member of without incurring additional tax charges. If the LA is exceeded, you will be subject to the LTA charge. The LTA is £1,073,100 for the 2021-22 tax year.
You can read more about the AA and LTA at
You are responsible for monitoring your AA and LTA and reporting any excess to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

How will I know if I have exceeded the AA?

You will be sent a Pensions Saving Statement if you exceed the AA.

Who is responsible for notifying HMRC of a liability to the annual allowance (AA) charge and how can the charge be met?

You are responsible for reporting any excess in your benefits over the annual allowance (after using up any carry forward) via self-assessment. The amount of annual allowance charge will be included in your tax calculation and you would normally have to pay any charges by the usual self-assessment payment deadlines.  
The Scheme also has a responsibility to notify HMRC via Event Reporting if someone exceeds the Annual Allowance.