BT employee share plans - transfer to pension option

Transferring shares

From time to time, BT may offer its employees the choice to transfer employee share plan shares into the BT Share Pension Fund.

The transfer would be made into the Group Flexible Retirement Plan (GFRP) provided by Standard Life Assurance Limited for BT employees. The value of shares transferred would be invested in the BT Share Pension Fund, which is a unitised fund that holds BT shares. The BT Share Pension Fund is available alongside the full range of investments available through the plan.

If you are a BTRSS member then you will have access to the BT Share Pension Fund through your BTRSS plan and the transfer can be made to your existing plan.

If you are not a BTRSS member you will need to set up a GFRP, which is a type of personal pension contract; this will give you access to the BT Share Pension Fund alongside the full range of funds.

Moving employee share plan shares into the BT Share Pension Fund could help you save for income in your retirement.

It's up to you to decide whether this is the right choice for you, so if you're unsure at all then you should take financial advice.

Ready to go ahead? Here's what to do.

I am already a member of the BTRSS and I want to transfer shares - what do I do next?

Just complete your online employee share plan maturity/vesting choices. You don't need to do anything else.

I am not a member of the BTRSS but I want to transfer shares - what do I do next?

If you’re not in the BTRSS, you’ll need to apply for a plan with Standard Life Assurance Limited. You can do this even if you are already contributing to another BT pension arrangement.

If you already have a plan with Standard Life that was set up for transferring shares from a BT employee share plan (and you still have funds invested in that plan) you do not need to apply for a new plan. You may be asked to quote your Standard Life plan number in your share plan online maturity instructions.

Transferring shares to the BT Share Pension Fund option in a plan with Standard Life does not make you a contributing member of the BTRSS and you will not be entitled to all of the benefits of the BTRSS. For example you will not be able to make regular contributions or benefit from BT contributions.

  1. Read the important documents below, print off and complete the employee application form using your temporary plan number (see bullet 2) and return it electronically to the BT team at Standard Life at bt_admin@standardlife.com.
  2. To create your temporary plan number use your staff number preceded with a Z and followed by a 0 (for example: Zstaff number0).
  3. Complete your online employee share plan maturity choices.
  • Once your plan has been set up, on the agreed date the value of your shares you've elected to transfer to pension will be transferred to Standard Life and used to provide units in the BT Share Pension Fund.
  • The value of the shares is treated as a personal contribution to a pension plan, so Standard Life will also ensure you receive basic rate tax relief at the same time. This will secure further units for you in the BT Share Pension Fund (please see Are there any limits?)
  • Standard Life will send you confirmation of the transfer and investment.
  • You will no longer directly hold BT shares. Future dividends on the BT shares the BT Share Pension Fund holds will be reinvested in the fund.
  • You can then see your fund value by using your BT credentials to manage your pension online.
  • If you are not already a BTRSS member, Standard Life will also send you an activation code that will allow you to manage your pension online.
  • With access to your plan, you will be able to make changes to how your contributions are invested. You will have access to the full range of Standard Life pension fund investments.

Transferring a high value of shares to a pension plan could mean your pension savings exceed the Annual or Lifetime Allowance limits. Find out more about tax relief.

There is an annual management charge applied to the BT Share Pension Fund. BT employees benefit from a rebate. Find out more about charges.

Once the value of your shares has been transferred into your plan and has been invested in the BT Share Pension Fund, you can move into other investment options if you want to. Find out more about your investment options.

You'll be able to access your funds from age 55 and you’ll be able to choose whether you want to take a single lump sum, draw out over a number of years or buy a pension (annuity). Find out more about pension flexibility.

There is a single transfer date associated with each employee share plan. This is set out in the information that BT has provided. You will be allocated units in the BT Share Pension Fund on the same day that your shares are transferred.

You can choose to transfer all or some of your employee share plan shares to your pension. You might want to consider having access to some of them.

BT Share Pension Fund Application

You only need to apply to join if you're not a member of the BTRSS.

Before you decide whether or not to apply, please read the documents below including the Offer Letter, Key Features Document and Key Features Illustration.

These documents will tell you about the risks and commitments of setting up a personal pension plan with Standard Life, the funds you can choose to invest in and the charges which apply as well as give you an indication of what you might receive when you retire. Please read all this information as it'll help you decide if this is right for you.

Offer Letter

Key Features Document

Key Features Illustration

Pension investment choices

Employee application form

You should print off all these documents and keep them for future reference.

If you now wish to proceed with the transfer of your shares to the BT Share Pension Fund, please complete parts 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 5a and 5b of the employee application form and return it to Standard Life no later than the deadline confirmed by BT in the information provided for your share scheme.

What do I need to think about?

Here's a reminder.

Important information

As with any investment, the value can go down as well as up, and may be worth less than what was paid in.

Charges and rebates are not guaranteed. They are regularly reviewed and may be changed in the future.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in April 2021.

Please note that if you have Enhanced protection or Fixed Protection, you should consider not transferring your employee share plan shares as you will lose this protection.

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 BT’s company pension.

Plan summary document for BT employees (PDF, 81KB)

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

Key features document (PDF, 288KB)

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 for BT employees. It may not take into account rebates that may apply to your policy. You can find more information about the charges and rebates on the charges page.

Key features illustration for BT employees (PDF, 114KB)

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, 837KB)

Use this form to instruct Standard Life on payment of death benefits from the BTRSS.

Instruction for payment of death benefits (PDF, 77KB)

Read this guide, provided by BT, for more information about how SMART Pensions work. Standard Life is not responsible for the content of this guide.

SMART Pensions (PDF, 332KB)