When you start to take your BTPS pension, you become a pensioner under the Scheme rather than a deferred member. At this point, your death benefits and how you may be able to provide for your loved ones could change.

It’s often said that people who have given serious thought to what they will do after they retire will experience a smoother transition than those who haven't. Whether you’re continuing to work after taking your pension or not, you want to be able to enjoy either greater economic freedom or more time to do the things you enjoy. And those that have planned for the future have greater peace of mind to enjoy the present.

Watch this video from Dr Paul Litchfield, BT’s former chief medical officer, about the importance of wellbeing in retirement.

Get your affairs in order

As well as considering your financial and lifestyle options, it pays to be prepared for what the future may bring. This could be anything from a move abroad to live in the sunshine, to the onset of serious physical or mental illness – either yours or a close family member. By being prepared for the worst, you can take the pressure off loved ones, partners and families.

Let us know if your circumstances change.

Update your personal information online using the member portal.

Check your ‘Expression of Wish’ is up to date.

If you were to die within five years of taking your pension, a lump sum may be payable. It’s a Trustee decision, but your Expression of Wish tells them who you’d like to benefit. Update yours on the portal.

Nominate an adult dependant

If you are not married, nor in a civil partnership, but have another adult dependent on you, you can nominate them for an adult dependant pension. Again, this is paid at the Trustee’s discretion but by letting us know who you nominate can save a lot of anguish if you were to die. The nomination form explains the rules around this. If you make your nomination on the portal it’s on your record immediately.

Make a will

It’s a good idea to keep your original birth certificate and paperwork about any other pensions you may have in one place - and tell your partner where you keep them.

Consider setting up a lasting power of attorney

Many people choose to do this when they’re fit and healthy so it’s in place if they need it. They can take some months to register so it can be stressful trying to arrange something if physical or mental illness strike. It’s a legal document used to nominate a trusted friend or relative to look after your affairs if and when it becomes necessary. This will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian for it to come into effect. If you become unable to look after your own finances, we can pay your pension into a different account if it’s authorised through a Power of Attorney.