British Steel Pension Scheme
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Pension Increases

Standard Section pensions in respect of service up to 31 March 2006 are generally increased each year on 1 April by reference to the annual increase in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) over the 12 months to the preceding January.

Increases in respect of service between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2012 are subject to a cap of 4% per annum. 

Increases in respect of service on or after 1 April 2012 are subject to a cap of 3% per annum.

For service accrued on or after 1 April 2016, increases will be the lower of 2.5% and the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) over the preceding September to September period.

Additionally, increases in respect of service before 1 April 2006, for members of the former Acquisition Section, are subject to a cap of 5% per annum.

Over the last 5 years, Scheme pensions have been increased by reference to RPI as follows: 


Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Increase 2.6% 1.3% 1.1% 2.8% 3.3%

In common with most similar schemes, British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is currently contracted-out of the State Second Pension - S2P (formerly the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme - SERPS). If you were an employee Member of the BSPS between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997 a part of your Standard Section pension is a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). GMP broadly mirrors the pension you would have received from the State had the BSPS not been contracted-out.  Contracting out ended on 5 April 2016.

GMPs are payable from age 65 for men and age 60 for women.  For those over GMP payment age (with some exceptions), the pension is split into different elements, so that the annual pension increase can be accurately calculated. The table below explains how this is done:



GMP earned from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 1988

Increase paid by Department for Work and Pensions* (DWP)

GMP earned from 6 April 1988 to 5 April 1997

Scheme pays in line with the increase in the Consumer Prices Index up to 3%*

Excess amount of Member’s Scheme pension over total GMP

Increased by reference to the rise in the Retail Prices Index from January to January subject to the Rules of the Scheme


* Increases to GMP are set by means of Statutory Order. As the table shows, the DWP is responsible for increasing GMP accrued in the Standard Section for the period from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 1988. In addition, if the increase granted in the Statutory Order is higher than 3%, the DWP pays the balance of the increase to the GMP earned from 6 April 1988 to 5 April 1997. The relationship between increases which the Scheme makes to your GMP and increases which the DWP make to your State pension is complicated and may differ from this position depending on your circumstances.

Any increases made to your GMP by the DWP are added to your State Retirement Pension. Any enquiries about these increases can be made to the DWP by telephoning 0845 9150150.

Examples of how the annual pension increase is applied: