A message from the PAS Trustees concerning COVID-19

The Trustees of PAS are writing to you at this unsettling time to provide you with reassurance regarding your pension benefits in light of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Please be assured that we are working with our advisers to closely monitor developments. We’re sending you this update because you may be understandably concerned about the impact of the current instability on PAS.

Pension administration service

We are working closely with Jill Nimmo, Pensions Manager, and the Pensions and Payroll team at the University to make sure there is no disruption to the service you receive. For those members who are currently in receipt of a pension, your pension will continue to be paid as normal. The payroll team have contingency plans in place to ensure that payments will not be disrupted.

If you have reason to contact the Pensions team at this time, the contact details are:

Email: pensions@adm.leeds.ac.uk

Telephone: 0113 343 4146

Beware of pension scams

The Pensions and Payroll team are all working from home in line with Government guidelines. Whilst this should not lead to significant delays in processing member requests, you may be asked to provide additional information and/or asked further security questions than you would normally. This is being done to ensure that steps are taken to counter the possibility of fraudulent activity at this time. Please be patient whilst we work through the coming weeks.

Your pension

You will no doubt have seen articles in the press regarding COVID-19 and the impact that it could have on you financially and on pensions. Pension schemes have been impacted by the uncertainty that we have seen in stock markets because they hold large amounts of money in investments, such as equities, which have suffered losses.

PAS has seen falls in the value of the assets that we hold. However, as we hold a diversified range of assets, some of which are designed to help protect against risks, the funding position of PAS has been protected from the full extent of the volatility in the markets. The Trustees are conscious of the risks that continue to exist and we are working closely with our investment advisers and Scheme Actuary to ensure that we are monitoring the funding position and taking action when required.

We are also in contact with the University and aware of the robust plans that they have in place to ensure that they can continue to support PAS now and in the future. We will continue to monitor this and take action if the position changes.

We have heard reports of pension scammers trying to take advantage of pension scheme members worried about the current investment market turbulence.

Please be extremely wary of any uninvited approaches about your pension savings. These could be by telephone, email or text and may pretend to be from a legitimate source, such as HMRC.

If you are concerned about scams, please click here for more information.

May 2020