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I want to join the scheme

Too many people live to regret not saving enough for their retirement. They fail to realise that if they do not put adequate money aside during their working lifetime they will fall back on the State or others to provide them with their income for maybe 20 years of life after work.

At Airbus we give you the opportunity, with our financial help, to save for your retirement. We offer you a great flexible way to save plus valuable financial security for your family to protect against your death or serious ill-health.

Start looking forward to your retirement now by joining the pension scheme today.
Scroll down to the How do I Join section of this page for joining instructions.
If you are still not sure then scroll down to the Why save for a pension

Why save for a pension?

Thinking about a pension might be the last thing on your mind and retirement may be years away. So why bother about pensions? Well here are four questions that you should ask yourself. The Scheme is arranged into four different Schedules. To make sure you go to the right pages that apply to you, check which Schedule you are in as follows:

How long will I need an income after I retire?
When you stop working you will need to get an income from somewhere, but how long does this need to last? Well, the good news is that we are now living longer - a typical female age 65 will now live for about 21 years in retirement but that means she needs to save enough money during her working life to provide an income for 21 years!

When should I start saving?
Even though retirement may be years away, if you start to save early your savings will work for you. For example, if you invest £1,000 and this earns interest at 5% every year, your fund could be:

  • £1,629 after 10 years
  • £2,653 after 20 years
  • £4,322 after 30 years

How much should I save?
This will be a personal decision based on how much you can afford to save and how much income you feel you need after you retire. Think of a level of income you might want in retirement in todays money and compare this with an income of £10,000 a year. Then contrast this with the pot of £213,000 which is about what it would cost to “buy” a pension of £10,000.00 a year if you were a man aged 65 today.

You should also look at what you are likely to receive from other sources of income in retirement, e.g.

  • the State
  • pensions from previous jobs or private pensions
  • other savings or assets, including whether you may rely on your partner

How should I save?
The government helps people save for retirement by giving tax relief on contributions to approved pension saving schemes. If you are a basic tax payer and you save £100 it will only cost you £80 (or as low as £60 for most high rate tax payers). You can set up a private pension policy with a bank, insurance company or financial institution. These work in the same way as the Airbus Group UK Retirement Plan. The Company will not however pay anything towards your private pension.

So, explore these pages to learn more about how the Company can help you to plan for your retirement.

How do I join?

You can join the Airbus UK Retirement Plan at any time.

We will normally enrol you into the Plan automatically when you join us, so your membership will start on your first day of work.  You won't need to complete any forms.

Once you become a member you'll then need to consider:

  • how much you want to pay every month
  • how you would like to invest your fund
  • completing an Expression of Wish form

If you are not a member you can join at any time by emailing

Upon joining the Plan your contributions will automatically be paid via SMART Pensions. SMART means that your contributions are made through a salary sacrifice arrangement.  Contributions are paid before they become part of your pay so you make tax and NI savings.  You don't have to use SMART-let us know if you dont think it's right for you.

Opting out

You can choose to opt out of active membership of any of the Schedules of the Scheme by giving notice to the Trustees. You should think carefully before making this decision as you would be giving up valuable benefits. Sometimes a member wishes to opt out for financial reasons. You should remember that the "contributions" you see on your payslip are gross and the difference to your net pay will be less as you get tax relief. If you participate in Smart Pensions you also get National Insurance relief.

If you do decide to opt out of the Scheme the following points should be noted:

  • you will no longer be covered for life assurance
  • you will become entitled to the same benefits as though you had left service.
  • you will no longer build up a future pension or benefit from employer contributions to your account
  • if you are a member of Schedule 1, 2 or 3 you will only be able to join the Airbus UK Retirement Plan if you opt in again at a later date.

If you do opt out, under new laws, we will re-enrol you into the Airbus UK Retirement Plan every three years.  You can find out more about this under the Automatic Enrolment section of the website.

If you are a member of Schedule 1, 2 or 3 and wish to opt out, please contact the Scheme administrator Towers Watson and ask for a form on 01707 607618.

If you are a member of the Airbus Group UK Retirement Plan, please email for information on how to cease membership.

Automatic enrolment

A new law means that every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they:

  • are aged between 22 and State Pension Age
  • earn more than £10,000 a year
  • work in the UK

This is called 'automatic enrolment'.

If you are already a member of the Airbus UK Pension Scheme or the Airbus UK Retirement Plan then this change won't affect you.

If you are not a member of the Airbus Group UK Pension Scheme you will be enrolled every three years.  You can then opt out if you wish.  You can chose to join the Scheme at anytime before this if you want.

You can find out more about pensions and saving for later life via the links below.


Useful Links

UK pensions

I want to join the scheme

UK Retirement Plan

Investment options

Current News and past issues of Pension News

Schedule 1

Schedule 2

Schedule 3


UK pensions contacts

Pension Consultative Committee


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