How may we help you?

  • The most popular questions asked about Coronavirus

  • Will my pension continue to be paid?

    Yes. To make sure we’re prepared to respond to the evolving situation we have robust measures in place. This includes making sure that we have contingency plans to ensure the safety of the staff who look after the Heinz 2000 Pension Plan and to continue the payment of pensions. 

    At present there is no risk to the continued payment of your pension. We will continue to keep a close eye on developments and if the situation or advice changes, then we will issue further communications.

  • 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 administration team if you are nearing your intended retirement age so you can complete and return the forms they have provided.

  • Should I delay my retirement?

    This will be something you need to think about in light of your current financial situation. There is currently no risk to payment of pensions so your retirement can proceed as planned.

    If you are worried about your income, you might want to take some financial advice on your options at this time. You can find a financial adviser at

  • Will my certificates still get returned?

    Yes, we still currently have operational post teams so all certificates will be returned in the usual 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. You are likely to be required to take independent financial advice before transferring your defined benefit pension to another arrangement (although you will not need to if the transfer is less than £30,000).

    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 the website below:

  • 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.

  • 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 payment of pensions 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.

    We are also paperless so staff at home will have no physical data. It is all stored on secure electronic equipment.

  • 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 by e-mailing or calling the admin team.

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

    If you have any further questions you can contact the admin team using the following details:

    Address: Heinz 2000 Pension Plan, Whitstable Operations Team, PO Box 555, Darlington, DL1 9YT


    Telephone: 01227 773 911

  • What is the impact on my Additional Voluntary Contributions?

    Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) allow members to build up additional pension benefits within the Plan. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial effect on global investment markets and the value of your AVC funds may therefore be impacted by this.

  • Will it affect where my AVCs are invested?

    If you’ve chosen to manage your own investment strategy for your AVCs, the effect of market events will vary depending on your investment choices. Members who have chosen higher allocations to funds with equities will have seen the biggest impact on their fund values.

    If you’re invested in a lifestyle strategy, the impact will depend on both which strategy and how many years you are from your selected retirement age; on balance the largest impacts will be seen by those who are more than 5 years from selected retirement age, the majority of whom will have higher allocations to funds which hold equities.

  • What should I do in the short term?

    Despite changes in the short to medium term outlook for financial markets, it is important to remember that pension investing has a long-term aim.

    Although there are no guarantees with respect to future performance, over long periods of time equities have provided strong returns in the past, despite periods of poor performance. The longer-term performance of the funds you hold can be found on the fund factsheets provided by the manager of your AVCs.

  • Should I be concerned about pension scams?

    Please be aware that there is a heightened risk that scammers and unscrupulous financial advisers may try to take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation by targeting pension scheme members. Pension scams can take many different forms, but most commonly involve members being persuaded to transfer their pension out of a scheme to allow access to their funds. You can find out more about pension scams at