Frequently asked questions

Select a question below to see the answer:

1How do I join PensionBuilderplus ?

If you are in active employment with Lafarge you may join the PensionBuilderplus Plan at anytime,  unless you had opted out when originally joined the company. To find out how to join PensionBuilderplus Click> Here.

2Can I change my Contribution rate ?

Yes, you may increase or decrease your rate of contribution in April of any year, you will need to complete a Change of Contribution Rate Form and send it to the Pensions Team before your April contributions have been taken.

3Can I change my mind and change my investment choices ?

Yes. You’re in control and you have the freedom to choose how you wish your personal investment account to be invested. To change, you simply complete an Investment Switch Form and instruct the Pensions Team to move your investments, to any one or more of the funds made available by the Trustee.

4How will I know what my investments are worth?

Each year, the Trustee will send you a statement to show how much you and Lafarge have contributed, and the amount that the fund in your personal investment account is worth.

5What happens if I leave Lafarge?

The options open to you will depend on how long you have been in the Plan, for more information Click>Leaving employment.

6Must I retire at age 65?

No, your employer will be able to discuss with you the options to retire at any time after age 55. You may wish to consider early or late retirement.

7How does PenXchange work?

In a nutshell there are 3 steps:

  • Your contractual gross pay is reduced by an amount equal to your PensionBuilderplus contributions
  • Lafarge pays an additional amount into your PensionBuilderplus personal investment account equal to your contributions to make up the difference
  • You pay less National Insurance so your take home pay will increase

So, the same amount of money goes into the pension plan, and you save National Insurance.

Let’s give you an example of a member earning £22,000 basic pay with an annual contribution of about £1,000 to PensionBuilderplus using the same 3 steps.

1

Your contractual gross pay will reduce by the £1000 that you would otherwise contribute into the PensionBuilderplus.

 

2

Lafarge will pay an extra £1000 into your PensionBuilderplus investment account to make up the difference.

 

3

You’ll pay around £120 less NI for the year and the £1,000 will go into your PensionBuilderplus investment account *

 

 * This example is based on NI contribution rates applicable in the 2011/2012 tax year

For more information download the PenXchange factsheet.

8Will PenXchange impact the benefits I get from the State?

Your entitlement to some State benefits (e.g. statutory sick pay, incapacity benefit and job seekers allowance) is based on the amount of NI that has been paid.

Provided you continue to earn more than around £6,000 a year on a regular basis after the introduction of PenXchange, your entitlement to these benefits will not change. If you earn less than £6,000 (or fall below £6,000 at any time during the year) you will be automatically opted out of PenXchange to ensure that you do not lose out.

Although PenXchange could reduce the amount of statutory entitlement to parental payments, Lafarge will ensure that employees are no worse off by paying a top-up amount. PenXchange will therefore not reduce any maternity, paternity or adoptive payments you receive.

9Will PenXchange impact any pension I am entitled to from the State?

PenXchange will not affect your Basic State Pension.

However it could affect your State Second Pension (S2P) depending on how much you earn – further explanation is provided below.

Based on NI earnings bands in the 2015/2016 year if you earn less than £15,300 each year or more than £42,384 each year then your S2P will not be affected.

Based on NI earnings bands in the 2015/2016 year if you earn between £15,300 and £42,384 a year then your S2P will be reduced. However, it is possible that the NI you save will be greater than your lost S2P. For example, for individuals contributing 5% and a State Pension age of 65:

  • A member earning £20,000, will see a reduction in S2P of approximately £2 a year at age 65 in today's terms. However, participating in PenXchange will generate an increase in net pay of £120.
  • A member earning £30,000, will see a reduction in S2P of approximately £3 a year at age 65 in today's terms. However, participating in PenXchange will generate an increase in net pay of £180.


You must decide whether this is an issue for you and therefore whether you wish to participate in PenXchange or not.

You should note that from 2016/2017 there will be a single tier state pension scheme and the impact of PenXchange on your state pension will cease, providing, that by paying the contributions your earnings do not fall below £8,060.  Your employer is aware of this and will ensure those earning less than £8,500 will be taken out of PenXchange