• Payment options

Payment options

How much will you pay?

The Government has set a minimum amount that usually needs to be paid. This amount will be paid by you and IBM together - and IBM will set a minimum amount that you need to pay.

You can stick with paying the minimum, but you should think about whether paying just the minimum will get you the lifestyle you want when you stop working. If you increase your payments, IBM will pay more too.  

To find out what the Government minimums are, visit the gov.uk website.

Your payment options

You can change your contribution levels at annual enrolment or if you encounter a relevant life event, for further information please speak to IBM. You can pay as much as you like up to the Government payment limits. And because you make payments by SMART* you pay less National Insurance.

IBM will help you potentially build your pension fund by making contributions into your plan as shown in the table below. The contribution levels will automatically be set at 3% Basic SMART* contribution and 8% Basic IBM contribution, providing a total investment of 11%.

Basic contributions Matched contributions Total contributions
SMART* contributions¥ IBM's contribution Member elected contribution IBM's contribution SMART* and member elected contributions IBM's total contribution Total investment
3% 8% None None 3% 8% 11%
3% 8% 1% 1% 4% 9% 13%
3% 8% 2% 2% 5% 10% 15%

¥Member contributions would be payable if your salary were to fall below IBM’s Salary Protection Limit (SPL) - please refer to the You* intranet site for further details.

If your pre You* salary is above the IBM PPP Cap, Smart* contributions will be restricted to the Cap. The IBM PPP Cap is set by IBM taking the Earnings Cap as it was calculated previously and then doubling it. The IBM PPP Cap for 2019/20 is £332,400.

The figures in the table above are percentages of your pensionable salary and have been set by IBM.

There is a minimum SMART* contribution of 3% to the plan and you can top up your pension further by electing additional Matched Contributions of 1% or 2% which IBM will match. IBM won't match contributions above that level, but you can make bigger contributions if you want to.

In addition to Matched Contributions, you can also elect Additional SMART* Contributions (ASCs). Under this option, IBM will enhance any ASC by 6% (of the value of the ASC) and this uplift will be added to the amount invested in your pension fund.

IBM reserves the right to amend the amount of Matched Contribution and ASC uplift percentage at any time in the future.

Additional Personal Contributions (APCs)

You can also choose to pay an Additional Personal Contribution (APC). These are not part of SMART*; they are additional payments that you can choose to make directly to Standard Life.

Want to change the contribution levels or investment options?

Once your employment commences with IBM, you will have a window of opportunity to change your investment options and the SMART* contribution levels.

What will I get back?

"Are you going to have enough in your pension to give you the retirement you'd like?"

Change your payments

Keep up to date with your payments and find out how you can change the amount that you're paying.


Your pension is normally a long term investment and you usually can't withdraw money until the age of 55 (may be subject to change). As with any investment, the value can go down as well as up and may be worth less than what was paid in.

Important documents

To help you make an informed decision we've provided you with important information that you should read. You should print or save copies of these documents for future reference.

This is where you will find specific details about your employer's company pension.

Plan summary document (PDF, 126KB)

This document explains the features of the pension product your employer has chosen.

Making sense of the finer points (PDF, 371KB)

This document provides you with more information on how you can take money from your pension flexibly. For more information on the other options available please see the key features document above.

How Drawdown Works PDF, 211KB

Read this guide for more information on choosing your investment options if you decide to take money from your pension flexibly.

Choosing investment options for a flexible income PDF, 119KB

This document gives you an illustration of what your pension could be worth.

Key features illustration (PDF, 115KB)

Read this guide for more information on your investment options, including details about charges and fund codes.

How to choose the right investment options for your pension (PDF, 740KB)

Read this guide for more information about how pensions work.

Planning the retirement you want (PDF, 711KB)

Read this guide for information on the different ways you can pay into your pension, and the tax benefits and tax charges which can apply.

Information about tax relief, limits and your pension (PDF, 190KB)

Get the lifestyle you want

"How much should you pay to get the retirement you want?"

Manage your savings online

Check your pension value and investments easily and securely online