We’ve aimed to provide plain English explanations for some of the technical words we need to use when describing Scheme benefits. This means they’re not as detailed as the definitions provided under the Scheme Rules. If you would like full definitions, members can request a copy of the Scheme Rules from the Pensions Administration Team.



The Annual Allowance is the maximum amount that can be paid or built up in a pension arrangement in any tax year before an additional tax charge is payable.


A pensions professional who estimates the long-term cost of providing pensions and advises on any contributions needed to fund a pension scheme, taking into account inflation, interest rates, how long people live and other factors.

Additional State Pension

This was paid on top of the Basic State Pension under the old State Pension, before 6 April 2016. It was based on an individual’s earnings between limits set by the Government each year.


Additional Voluntary Contributions were additional contributions that you may have chosen to pay into the M&S AVC Scheme while you were an active member of the Scheme. Your AVC savings pot can be used to provide additional income when you retire.


Added Years Additional Voluntary Contributions were additional contributions that you may have chosen to pay while you were an active member of the Scheme. These contributions bought additional years of pensionable service in the Scheme.

Basic State Pension (BSP)

The flat rate pension paid at State Pension age under the old arrangement to a single person who has paid enough National Insurance contributions during their working life. For the purposes of the State Pension deduction, the BSP payable is taken as the amount over the last 12 months before you leave service, retire or die (whichever occurs first).

Capital value

The total value of your pension benefits. In a defined contribution scheme, it is simply the value of your savings pot. In a defined benefit scheme, it’s the annual pension you are due to receive at retirement multiplied by 20.

Corporate Trustee

A company that acts as the Trustee for a pension scheme and has a legal duty to safeguard members’ benefits. The Marks and Spencer Pension Trust Limited is the Corporate Trustee for the M&S Pension Scheme. It has a Board of Directors.


Defined benefit - a type of pension scheme where you’ve earned a pension payable for life, based on how long you were in the scheme, your final pensionable salary and the pension scheme’s accrual rate. The M&S Pension Scheme is a DB scheme.


Defined contribution - a type of pension scheme where you pay contributions from your salary to an individual pension savings pot. There are a number of ways you can access savings in a DC Scheme. The M&S AVC Scheme is a DC scheme.

Deferred member

Either an employee or former employee of M&S who has not yet taken a pension from the M&S Pension Scheme.


This is someone who, at the discretion and judgement of the Trustee, is wholly financially dependent on a member under the terms set out in the Scheme Rules.


Guaranteed Minimum Pension, which is the minimum pension a DB pension scheme must provide for service before 6 April 1997, as one of the conditions of contracting out of the Additional State Pension (also known as the State Second Pension (S2P) or State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)). This means that a pension from the Scheme can be considered to be made up of two parts, the GMP element and the excess above GMP.


HM Revenue & Customs - responsible for the registration of pension schemes and the taxation of contributions and benefits.

Lifetime Allowance

The Lifetime Allowance, which is the maximum value of pension benefits (excluding any State Pension) which you can receive before you have to pay a tax charge.

Nomination form

A form used to let the Trustee know who you would like to nominate for any lump sum benefits in the event of your death.


Normal Retirement Date - the last day of the month following your 65th birthday. If you joined the Scheme on or before 31 December 1995, you may be able to take your full pension from the last day of the month following your 60th birthday.

Pensionable salary

The part of your basic salary which was used to calculate your pension. Not all of your salary was pensionable because in October 2009 a pensionable salary cap was introduced. This restricted how much your pensionable salary could increase by in any 12 month period ending on 30 September, to the increase in the retail price index subject to a maximum of 1%.

Pensionable Service

The service used to calculate your pension. It is the number of years and days of continuous service you completed whilst you were building up benefits as an active member of the Scheme. It is rounded to the nearest month if you had an incomplete month of service.

Preserved pension

The pension a member had built up when he or she left the Scheme or 31 March 2017. It is payable from the member’s NRD.

Retired member

A member of the Scheme who has started to receive their pension.


The M&S Pension Scheme, legally known as The Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme.

Scheme Rules

A legally binding document detailing the pension benefits which must be provided to members of a pension scheme.

State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)

The Additional State Pension scheme that ran from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 2002. It was replaced by the State Second Pension (S2P) on 6 April 2002.

State Pension deduction

An amount that is deducted from your pension in line with the Scheme Rules. We’ve provided a detailed explanation here.

Transfer value

This is the cash amount the Scheme will pay if you leave the Scheme and transfer the value of your benefits to your new employer’s pension scheme, or personal pension arrangement. The new arrangement must be a recognised scheme under HMRC requirements.


The Trustee is a Board of Directors who are responsible for running the Scheme under the Corporate Trustee. They have a legal duty to safeguard the benefits you have earned.