The Metal Box Pension Scheme


How much pension will I get?

The amount of pension you built up in the Defined Benefit (DB) Section before the Scheme closure on 31 March 2019 is outlined on your annual benefit statements.

Deferred pensions are increased each year to help them keep pace with inflation. How much it is increased by depends on when you left pensionable service.

When can I take my pension from the DB Section?

Your Normal Retirement Age is the earliest age at which you can retire and take your pension from the Scheme with no early retirement deductions.

You can find your Normal Retirement Date on your annual benefit statement.

The earliest age you can access your pension savings is called the Minimum Pension Age. The Statutory Minimum Pension Age is currently age 55. The government has confirmed that this will rise to age 57 in 2028.

If you joined the Scheme before 6 April 2006, and you take your pension directly from the DB Section, you will usually have a Protected Minimum Pension Age of 50. This will also apply to any benefits purchased from AVCs/DC switchback (see below).

If you joined the AVC Plan before 6 April 2006, your protected Minimum Pension Age of 50 now applies to any savings in The Aon MasterTrust.

The age at which you can retire may be different if you choose to take your benefits under one of the new alternative options– please read the 'My pension My Choices' factsheet for further information on Minimum Pension Ages.

If you retire before your Normal Retirement Age, the pension you receive from the Scheme is reduced for early payment. You can read more about this in the Retirement factsheet.

If you retire later than your Normal Retirement Age, your pension will be increased for late payment.

What about my ring-fenced AVCs?

If you have savings in The Aon MasterTrust ring-fenced as originating from the AVC Plan, you can transfer them to the Scheme at retirement and:

  • use them to buy additional pension at retirement, or
  • use them to take more tax-free cash.

This is called the DC switchback option.


John is thinking of retiring. He has a deferred pension of £12,000 a year in the DB Section, but he also has £30,000 in ring-fenced AVCs with The Aon MasterTrust. He can either use his AVCs towards his 25% tax-free cash lump sum, or take no cash and use his ring-fenced AVCs to increase his annual pension.

Option 1. John takes his maximum 25% tax-free cash and uses his AVCs towards his tax-free cash amount.

switchback option 1 - 25% tax-free cash switchback option 1 - annual pension

Option 2. John takes no cash and uses his AVCs to buy extra pension in the DB Section

No tax-free cash
switchback option 2 - annual pension

Option 3. John leaves his AVCs in The Aon MasterTrust and uses them flexibly along with any future contributions he has made to The Aon MasterTrust.

switchback option 3 - 25% tax-free cash switchback option 3 - annual pension switchback option 3 - avc