Advice

Looking for common pension information?

Here’s a list of common tasks and questions that are often posed by our members

I would like a pension quotation
If you are not yet receiving your pension, are over the age of 50 and would like to receive a quotation, please contact Willis Towers Watson who will arrange for one to be sent to you. Note that in some instances you may not be able to start drawing your pension until you reach the age of 55 – Willis Towers Watson will advise if this applies to you.
The quotation will be based on PPF benefits and it will assume you are taking immediate retirement.
Please note that projected quotations are not available under PPF procedures.
I want to change my AVC investments
Please contact Willis Towers Watson if you wish to do this.
I want to transfer out my benefits
As a result of entering into the Assessment process of the PPF on 14 January 2009, the option to transfer your benefits out of the Plan has ceased as this is not permitted by the PPF except in certain cases surrounding divorce settlements.
Partial transfer of benefits is available for members who have an externally managed Money Purchase AVC fund with Winterthur Life, London Life or Equitable Life. You are able to transfer these funds to another registered Pension Plan while you remain as a deferred member. Please contact Willis Towers Watson if you wish to do this but please note that the Trustee is not able to offer any of the ‘flexible drawdown’ facilities which are part of the ‘pension freedoms’ which came into force on April 6, 2015.
I want to start receiving my pension
When you approach retirement age, we will need you to complete some paperwork, so we can be sure you get your pension. Please write to Willis Towers Watson, quoting your:

  • Full name
  • Employee number (if known)
  • National Insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Current address (and a previous address if you have moved since leaving the Company)

A member of the team will contact you between two and six weeks before your normal retirement date to let you know what you need to do.

When can I start receiving my pension ?
The age at which you can start receiving your pension varies and depends on the section of the Plan to which you contributed when working. Please contact Willis Towers Watson to find out when you can start to receive your benefits.
I am thinking of retiring abroad
Many pensioners decide they want to spend their retirement in foreign climes. If you have already moved abroad, or intend to, Willis Towers Watson need to know so that we deduct the appropriate level of tax and so you don’t miss out on any important communications. For information regarding paying tax whilst resident abroad please contact HMRC on their general helpline 0300 200 3300 (outside UK use +44 161 931 9070) or if you prefer to contact them by post the address is:

HMRC
PAYE and Self Assessment
BX9 1AS

I want to receive my pension in another country
If you are moving abroad and would like the Trustee to pay your pension direct to a foreign bank account, please contact Willis Towers Watson to request an overseas bank mandate for the relevant country.
I have just got married/re-married
If you get married, you will need to let us know by sending us your original marriage certificate. You may also want to change details of your ‘Beneficiary’ to let the Trustee know who you would like to receive benefits on your death. You can download this form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, copies of the form are available from Willis Towers Watson.
Download Beneficiary Form
If you are in receipt of a dependant’s pension following the death of a former spouse/partner then it will continue to be paid as normal but note that in the event of your death there will be no benefits payable to your new spouse or civil partner
I want to change my name but am not getting married
You can change your name for pension payment purposes, but this must be supported by a legal document such as Deed Poll or, if you are a married woman reverting to your maiden name, your original birth certificate.
I am getting divorced
Your pension benefits will be taken into account when reaching a divorce settlement. You may need to contact Willis Towers Watson requesting a valuation of your pension. Alternatively, you can ask your legal representative to contact us on your behalf, but we will need your written permission before we can disclose this information.
You may also want to change details of your ‘Beneficiary’ to let the Trustee know who you would like to receive benefits on your death. You can download this form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, copies of the form are available from Willis Towers Watson.
Download Beneficiary Form
Our guide, Pension Sharing on Divorce, can also be downloaded below. It tells you and your spouse what may happen to your pension benefits when you divorce and contains other information that you may find helpful.
Download Pension Sharing on Divorce
What pension is payable to my dependants if I die ?
A pension is payable to your eligible Spouse or Civil Partner when you die. If you do not have a Spouse/Civil Partner, the Trustee may pay a pension to a dependant other than your Spouse/Civil Partner but this is at the discretion of the Trustee. An allowance is also payable to your children, if they are under age 18. However, while a child remains in full time education then payments can continue until the age of 23.
To nominate a dependant, it is important that you submit a completed Beneficiary Form to the Trustee. You can download this form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, copies of the form are available from Willis Towers Watson.
Download Beneficiary Form
What happens if Powers of Attorney or Wards of Court are granted ?
Instructions regarding the payment of an individual’s pension can only be changed with the pensioner’s signature, unless a third party is granted Power of Attorney or the pensioner is made a Ward of Court. Power of Attorney can only be granted while the pensioner is mentally well and not once they have been diagnosed with any form of senile dementia. You will need to contact a solicitor for advice on this subject.
Making a pensioner a Ward of Court is done to protect their interest. Applications are generally requested where there are no living relatives, or when the pensioner is suffering from senile dementia.
The original Power of Attorney, or the Order stating that the pensioner has been made a Ward of Court, must be forwarded to Willis Towers Watson payroll as soon as possible so that we can update our records. Only when Willis Towers Watson has seen this document can any instructions regarding the banking details be acted upon or any details regarding the pension be given. We will, of course, return all documents to you.
I want to change my beneficiary
If you wish to change your beneficiary, it is important that you submit a completed Beneficiary Form to the Trustee. You can download this form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, copies of the form are available from Willis Towers Watson.
Download Beneficiary Form
I have moved home
If you move home, you will need to notify us. All changes of address must be notified in writing. We cannot accept this information over the phone, but you can notify Willis Towers Watson by email.
I have changed my bank details
Once you are receiving your pension, it is important that you let us know if you change your bank or building society details, so we can make sure your payments reach you on time.
All changes to bank details must be made in writing and signed by you. If your Power of Attorney is giving us the instructions and the Power of Attorney document has not already been seen by the Department it should be sent with the change instructions.
You can download a Payment Instruction form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, you can request a copy of the form by contacting Willis Towers Watson or simply send us a letter that clearly states your new account details including the account number, sort code and name and address of your bank.
Download Payment Instruction form
I am claiming state benefits
If you are claiming benefits, it is likely that the paying agency will contact Willis Towers Watson. To protect your confidentiality, Willis Towers Watson will not respond to any request for information from the Department for Work and Pensions, or any other benefits agency unless they receive any of the following:

  • A signed authority from you
  • A signed authority from the person granted Power of Attorney for the pensioner – the Power of Attorney must have been seen by Willis Towers Watson and noted on the pensioner’s records before any action is taken.
  • The authority provided by you to the Department for Work and Pensions or other benefits agencies is, when received by the Willis Towers Watson, dated within the last two years and so considered current.
Someone in receipt of a Nortel pension has died
There are many resources that provide comprehensive information:
Age UK
UK Government
NI Direct
Money Advice Service
Citizens Advice
As soon as is practical, please telephone Willis Towers Watson on 01707 607601 or email nortel.networks@towerswatson.com with:

  • The full name, date of birth and pension number (if known) of the pensioner or dependant
  • Date of death
  • Spouse/partner’s name, address, and date of birth if applicable
  • Your name, address and relationship to the deceased
  • Details of who the Pensions department should contact if this is to be someone other than the spouse

Towers Watson will verify the date of death with the General Registrar.  This can only usually be done ten working days after the date of death.  They will send a letter requesting additional information such as spouse’s birth and marriage certificates if they are required..

I have a problem with my benefits
You have a problem regarding your benefits. It is our aim to make sure your benefits are paid efficiently and with the minimum of fuss or inconvenience. In the unlikely event that you should have a complaint relating to your benefits, please contact Willis Towers Watson by email or in writing to:
Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan
c/o Towers Watson Limited
PO Box 545
Redhill
Surrey
RH1 1YH
We will get in touch with you, to talk through any issues you may have and then make every effort to resolve the situation to your satisfaction. If, for whatever reason, the dispute cannot be resolved, you may refer to the Plan’s Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure.
To request an Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure leaflet please write to:
The Chairman of the ADB Committee
Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan
c/o Towers Watson Limited
PO Box 545
Redhill
Surrey
RH1 1YH
You can download the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure here
The ADB Committee will review your complaint and try to reach a satisfactory solution. Any issues that cannot be resolved here may then be referred to the Board of Trustees of the Plan. Should all of these channels fail to find a resolution to your complaint, it may be referred to The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and then the Pensions Ombudsman, at the following addresses:
TPAS
11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB
Tel: 0300 123 1047
The Pensions Ombudsman
11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB
Tel: 020 7630 2200
Other common questions for members in receipt of their pensions
This section of the website deals with pensioner specific questions which are mainly payroll-related.

Why don’t I receive a pay advice every month ?

Pay advices are only sent when you change your address, bank details, tax code or if the amount you are receiving varies by more than a pound on the previous month. There are three exceptions to this rule:

March – all pensioners are sent a pay advice as it is also the P60. Please keep it safe.
April – to show any increase that you may have been awarded to your non PPF benefits ie pensions from AVCs or redundancy payments.
January – to show any increase awarded to your pension earned after 5 April 1997 under PPF rules.

I am a pensioner. My spouse/partner has recently passed away. What will happen to my pension when I die ?

In order to ensure that we are aware of this change in your personal circumstances you should submit a completed Beneficiary Form to the Trustee. You can download this form by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, copies of the form are available from Willis Towers Watson.

Download Beneficiary Form
Please also refer to the answer to ‘What pension is payable to my dependants if I die ?’ which may also be relevant to your circumstances

Your pensioner, my relative, has moved and I am now dealing with their affairs. Can I deal with their pension on their behalf ?

The correspondence address can be changed to whoever is dealing with their affairs. However, the banking arrangements cannot be changed without either their signature or sight of a Power of Attorney or similar legal document. Nor can the pension be paid to a 3rd party or information given to a third party without the pensioners authority, Power of Attorney or similar legal document.

Please state your relationship to the pensioner when giving us new instructions.

I have received my pay advice and the tax code currently shown on my pension is incorrect. When will this be changed ?

Tax code changes are made as soon as we receive the official notification from the tax office. However, this can be up to two weeks after you have received your notification of the change. If the change is not received by the 10th of the month, we will be unable to effect the change and it will be reflected in your pension next month.

If you have any queries regarding the actual tax code that has been applied to your pension you should contact the Tax Office on 0300 200 3300

How will you refund the overpayment of tax ?

Any refunds due will be calculated and paid through the normal pension payment. It will be shown with a negative sign in front of the amount. However if the amendment to the tax code is not received before March 10th then any refunds for that tax year will be paid to you direct by the Inland Revenue.

I do not agree with the totals shown on the pay advice for the year to date. How are they calculated ?

The totals for the year to date are calculated from the start of the tax year on April 6th, not the start of the calendar year.

I am receiving my Nortel pension can I now exchange it for a lump sum ?

No. You can only take a lump sum payment in respect of your pension before your regular pension payments start. These cash payments are made within strict Inland Revenue guidelines.

Other common questions for members not yet receiving their pension
This section of the website deals with questions asked by deferred members i.e. members not yet in receipt of a pension.

Can I take my pension early ?

It is still possible for most members to take your pension after you reach age 50. There will, however, be a reduction for early payment if your pension comes into payment before you reach the ‘normal’ retirement age for your particular section of the Plan (60 for most members) and these reductions now have to be in accordance with PPF levels of benefits. For more information on the PPF visit the Frequently Asked Questions part of this site.

I left the Company a long time ago. How do I find out if I have got a Nortel pension?

If you are entitled to a pension, we will have a record. Please contact Willis Towers Watson giving as much information as possible about yourself and when you were a member. This should include your full name, your date of birth, National Insurance number, the company and location you worked for and when you left.

If you are not sure that your pension is from a Nortel Plan and we do not hold a record for you, you can contact the Pension Tracing Service at:

The Pension Service 9
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LU
Find Lost Pension