How may we help you?

  • The most popular questions asked by members in retirement

  • What happens if I am unable to work because of ill health?

    If you are absent from work due to ill health, the Income Protection policy that is linked to the Plan and funded by the Company may apply.

    If you are an active member of the Plan and you are unable, because of a medical condition, to continue in your job, or any job to which you are suited, you may qualify for income protection benefits.

    If you qualify, you may receive an income, subject to any restrictions imposed by the insurer. Payments may not start immediately, but will continue until whichever happens first:

    your health recovers
    your employment ends
    you die
    you reach age 65

    As long as you are receiving income protection benefits under the policy, payments will also be made to your Account in line with the rates of employee and employer contributions that were being paid immediately prior to your illness.

    These benefits are provided through a policy, the terms of which may vary from time to time. You are included for cover under the insurance policy if you satisfy any requirements set out by the company, including the provision of evidence of good health.

    In the event of a claim any entitlement to benefit would always be determined by reference to the policy terms and conditions. The benefits are provided to the extent that cover is available and the Company reserves the right to end or vary them at any time, but this will not affect any claims already accepted.

    For more information please contact your HR department.

  • What happens if I take a personal leave of absence or career break?

    If you are granted leave of absence from work the Company will consider whether your membership should be continued and for how long.

    Death in service benefits and ill health provisions under the Plan (other than benefits provided on leaving service) will cease if you are absent for more than 12 months.

  • What happens if I take maternity leave?

    During your statutory maternity leave, you and the Company will continue to contribute to your Account at your chosen rate on your actual pay. Your membership of the Plan will continue including death in service benefits and ill health provisions.

    Should you take further maternity leave which is unpaid; no more contributions will be paid to your Account. Your membership of the Plan will continue including death in service benefits and ill health provisions for 12 months.

  • What happens if I take paternity leave?

    Your contributions will continue at your chosen rate on your actual pay during any period of Company agreed paternity leave. Your membership of the Plan will continue including death in service benefits and ill health provisions for 12 months.

  • What happens upon death?

    If you are a member of the Main Section and you die in service The Trustees may provide the following for your dependants or nominees:

    a lump sum equal to 12 times your Pensionable Pay
    a lump sum equal to the value of your own contributions

    Pensionable Pay is determined in the year prior to your death.

    In normal circumstances the full cover will be provided automatically without any enquiry into the state of your health. However, if your benefits exceed a certain level or if you do not join the Plan at your first opportunity, you may be required to attend a medical examination and have special terms imposed, or cover restricted. You will be notified if this affects you.

    If you fail to attend a medical, or do not complete the relevant forms when required your cover may also be restricted or declined.

    If you are a deferred member of the Plan and you die before retirement
    If you die after you have left the Company but before you retire and you have not transferred the value of your Account out of the Plan, the Trustees will pay a lump sum up to maximum statutory limits.

    If the value of your Account is in excess of those limits, the Trustees may provide a pension for your Spouse, Children or Dependants.

    Your Nomination Form
    It is important that you complete a Nomination Form outlining who you would like to receive any benefits following your death. Equally, if your personal situation changes, for example, you marry, divorce or become a parent, you may need to complete another Nomination Form.

    The Trustees have the final decision over payment (in this way, the amount does not become part of your estate and can be paid free of inheritance tax). So, the Nomination Form is not legally binding, but the Trustees will take account of your wishes. If you have previously completed a form, you only need to fill in a new one if you want to change your nominations.

    You can print off a Nomination Form here

    The type and level of benefits payable in the event of your death after taking some or all of your retirement benefits is dependent upon how you have taken benefits and how old you are.

    Date of death Format of benefits Tax position Can be paid to
    Before age 75 All benefits Tax-free Any beneficiary

    From age 75 onwards Lump sum (paid out of the Plan) Taxable at marginal Income Tax rate
      Income (continuation of Drawdown) Taxable at marginal Income Tax rate

       Death before age 75  Death from age 75
    Joint-life annuity Any beneficiary can receive payments tax-free Any beneficiary can receive payments at marginal Income Tax rate 
    Guaranteed term annuity
    Value protected annuity
  • What happens when I leave the Company?

    If you leave employment you keep the Account you have built up within the Plan. You may:

    • leave your benefits in the Plan where they will continue to be invested in line with your instructions
    • transfer your Account to another pension arrangement or
    • access your Account if you are aged 55 or over

    The most suitable option for you will depend on your situation at the time you leave. You may want to seek financial advice before deciding what route you will take.

  • The most popular questions asked about Coronavirus

  • Can you explain what investments are?

    Investments are a way of making your money grow before you retire. There is a risk and reward balance to investing. Often the higher the risk, the higher the reward. Different types of investments include cash, property, government bonds and equities (the stock market). In a pension scheme you invest your money so that it can increase in value during your working life to give you benefits in retirement. If you don’t invest it, it won’t grow.

    Over time, inflation can chip away at the value of your money. For example, the cost of a pint of milk, a newspaper and a loaf of bread costs more now than it did 10 years ago. By investing, your money can not only try to keep pace with the cost of living, but it could grow faster and earn you extra money.

    Pensions are invested over many years so if your investments grow then over the years the extra money will grow as well.

    But don’t forget that investments can go down as well as up, as we have seen in recent weeks.

  • How likely is it that the coronavirus will impact my investments?

    You may have seen recently in the news the falls in the global investment markets due, in part, to the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). You may have also noticed changes in the value of your pension in the Heinz UK Pension Plan (the Plan) due to movement in the underlying investments.

    It is likely that the markets will remain unpredictable for the short to medium term. This unpredictability may well continue to be reflected in the value of your pension fund. 

    You should remember that your pension is an investment and will be subject to changes in the markets. How much this affects you will depend on your age, which funds your pension is invested in and what other pension savings you may have.

    If you are not yet approaching retirement, then your pension is a long-term investment and the markets may have recovered before you need to use it. If you are nearer retirement, you may wish to consider the risk level of your investments, and if it is still appropriate for your retirement plans. You should take appropriate financial advice before making any decisions.

  • How can I switch my funds?

    You can switch your funds or redirect future contributions online using the online portal at You can do this at any time. If you don’t have access to an online portal, you can contact the team by e-mail using

  • How much have my investments fallen by?

    This will depend very much on the individual investments you have. Some funds will have fallen more than others and some funds may even have increased. The funds you have invested in and the spread of these investments will mean that you may see a smaller or a larger drop in your pension fund. Equities and other risky investments are likely to remain very unpredictable throughout the continued potential spread.

  • How much are they likely to change in the future?

    It is not possible to predict this. Over the shorter to medium term investments are likely to continue to be unpredictable. If you are some way from retirement this may help you in the longer term as your current investments will be buying units of shares that are priced lower than normal at the moment, so you get more for your money. They also have time to recover and grow before your retirement date.  We recommend you should take appropriate financial advice before making any decisions.

  • Can I have a fund factsheet?

    Yes, this is available on HOP or by e-mailing the Capita team if you don’t have access to the online portal.

  • Can you explain how my funds are invested?

    Your funds are invested however you decided. This could either be in self-selected funds (if you choose your own) or in a lifestyling fund (where your funds are automatically switched into safer funds as you age). Depending on your choice and your age this may be a variety of funds.

    You can find out your exact funds and allocations by logging in here.

  • What if I don’t have access to an online portal?

    Please email the Capita team at However please note it may take some time for a response while the teams focus on dealing with requests from members close to retirement, benefits payments and the investment of contributions. We kindly request that you do not call the Capita helpline for fund information at this time.

  • What happens if I want to retire at this time?

    If you are approaching or thinking about retiring, you should follow the usual process. You will have been contacted by the admin team if you are nearing your intended retirement age so you can complete the forms they have provided.

    If you are worried about your retirement in light of changed investments, you might want to take some financial advice on your options at this time. You can find a financial adviser at

    You may also wish to talk to people at PensionWise, a government service that provides guidance to members with Defined Contribution pension savings at

  • Should I delay my retirement?

    This will be something you need to think about in light of your investments and current financial situation.

    If you have invested in a lifestyle strategy or have been moving your investments to safer funds as you age, your fund may have been somewhat protected against sudden changes in the stock markets by being invested in cash or bonds which are less unpredictable. Therefore, the impact on your pension fund may have been lessened.  Also, if you are planning on flexibly accessing your funds and therefore keeping money invested into retirement, the impact may not be as great if you have time for investments to recover. The key point is to carefully reconsider your plans in light of recent market changes. We recommend you should take appropriate financial advice before making any decisions.

    If you are worried about your retirement in light of changed investments, you might want to take some financial advice on your options at this time. You can find a financial adviser at or receive guidance from PensionWise at

  • Can I continue to drawdown my pension?

    Yes, if you already have this in place you can continue as planned or you can request a lump sum or changes in line with the usual process.

  • Are the offices still open that deal with my pension?

    Yes, we have taken steps to protect the staff working to administer your pension so they may be working from home, but we are still in operation. We have very detailed plans to continue to deal with the administration and paying benefits as well as protecting our staff during this time.

  • Is my data secure when staff work at home?

    Yes. We have very robust two-factor authorisation protocols on all our computers and laptops and this is subject to regular audit and testing. We are also paperless so staff at home will have no physical data. It is all stored on secure electronic equipment.

  • Will my certificates/documents still get returned?

    Yes, we still currently have operational post teams so all certificates will be returned in the usual timescales.

  • Are the call centres still open?

    Yes, we have taken steps to protect the staff working to administer your pension so some of them may be working from home, but we are still in operation and answering calls during the usual opening hours. We have very detailed plans to continue to deal with the administration and payment of pensions as well as protecting our staff during this time.

  • Where do I go for more information?

    You can find information about the coronavirus and your pension here, scheme information is available on the website or scheme guides. For information about your personal details you can log into the website or e-mail or call the admin team.

    The Pensions Advisory Service has produced a note about Coronavirus and pensions which is available at

  • Will investments and contributions be paid on time?

    We are currently meeting all regulatory deadlines and we will continue to do so, unless the situation changes in terms of regulatory guidance. This will mean that contributions and investments will continue to be paid to the correct timescales.

  • Should I transfer my pension?

    If you wish to transfer your pension you can do so if scheme rules allow and you can find a scheme willing to accept your transfer.  We encourage you to take advice before electing to transfer and to be aware that your fund value may be volatile at times of heightened market volatility.

    Please be aware that scammers may be seeking a way to try and convince people to hand over their pension savings.  For further information go to

  • What is happening with my transfer/divorce case?

    The admin team will deal with any cases as usual. We are currently working to our usual timescales; we will update here should this change.

  • My family member has died – what should I do?

    We are sorry for your loss. As soon as you are ready, you should notify the admin team, this will allow us to get most of the information we need from you right away. This information includes:

    • Full name of deceased
    • Your name, relationship to the deceased and contact details
    • Date of death
    • Information about the next of kin/ dependents or person dealing with their affairs

    We will need you to send us the death certificate and potentially other certificates as well. After we have received the death certificate, we will need to identify the beneficiaries. We will advise you if we require any further documents to do this. Our aim is to process these claims as soon as possible, but some cases might be complex and could take longer.