BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE FUND
This section of the member guide deals with the benefits provided by the Political Office-Bearers Pension Fund for its members. The next section covers some additional benefits for Fund members that are not actually provided through the Fund or specifically dealt with in the Fund Rules – these are included in this guide because the cost of these benefits is also part of the total contributions paid by the State for member’s retirement and related benefits.
The areas covered in this section are:
- The design of the Fund
- The contributions payable by you and by the State
- What benefits you will receive when your term of office ends (on retirement or resignation)
- What benefits your dependants will receive (from the Fund) if you die in office.
If you leave office and take benefits before age 50 (except if you retire early because of ill health), your benefits will be paid to you in the form of a resignation benefit. Similarly, even if you are 50 or over when you leave office, you have the right (at any age) to choose to take your benefits in the form of a resignation benefit, instead of a retirement benefit.
This section deals with:
- The benefit you will receive from the Fund if you resign
- The options you have with your resignation benefit
You have the following options in respect of the resignation benefit:
- You can choose to receive your entire benefit as a cash lump sum (subject to tax);
- You can preserve your benefit for your later retirement - i.e. transfer your Total Benefit Amount to an approved Preservation Pension Fund, Retirement Annuity Fund, or your new employer’s pension fund;
- You can choose to leave your Total Benefit Amount in the Political Office-Bearers Pension Fund – in other words you choose to become what is called a “deferred beneficiary” of the Fund. In this case you will only be able to receive a benefit once you retire, at age 50 or older. At retirement you will then become entitled to the retirement benefit as provided by the Fund.
Note: This option is not available to you if you have a housing loan (bond) in respect of which the Fund has to honour a guarantee given to the mortgage lender (the bank).
The issues to consider in deciding what to do with your resignation benefit are quite complex. The next section deals with these options in more detail.
This guide includes a summary of the Rules of the Fund and the insurance policies that provide certain benefits for members and their dependents. In the event of a conflict between this guide and the Rules or the insurance policies, the Rules or the insurance policies (as the case may be) will take precedence.
The information in this guide does not constitute advice by either the Board of Trustees or its professional advisors. Members are encouraged to seek expert advice from a personal financial advisor before taking decisions regarding their benefits from the Fund.
The Fund will try to ensure that the material in this guide is up to date and accurate, but this cannot be guaranteed at all times.