Falkland Islands Pension Scheme
The Falkland Islands Pension scheme, commonly known as FIPS is a defined contribution (money purchase) pension scheme. This means that the value of the pension you can expect to receive is directly linked to the amount you or your employer invests in the fund. The Falkland Islands Pensions Scheme is completely separate from the Retirement Pension Scheme and individuals can be a member of both schemes.
The FIPS Scheme is administered locally by the Treasury of Falkland Islands Government on behalf of the FIPS Board, but the scheme is an entity in its own right. Local administrators can be located in the Pensions office at The Secretariat Building, Thatcher’s Drive, Stanley. It has its own dedicated website which can be accessed using the following link: www.fipension.co.uk
You can join the scheme if you are:
- Employed in the Falkland Islands
- Employed by a company registered in the Falkland Islands
- Habitually resident in the Falkland Islands
- Self Employed in the Falkland Islands
Even if your employer is not a member of the scheme you can still join.
Please contact the Pensions Office for a New Member Registration Form.
Contributions may be paid into the scheme by either an employer, an employee or by both. Employer contributions on behalf of employees are paid in accordance with the employee's contract of employment.
Employee contributions are deducted from an employee's earnings in accordance with the employee's contract of employment. An employee contribution must be the lower of 5% of their earnings or an amount equal to the employer contribution.
Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) may be made to the scheme by any member of the scheme at any time. There are no minimum earning associated with the scheme and the contributions aren’t capped. Subject to certain limits, AVCs are tax deductible if declared on your annual tax return. Further information is available from the Taxation Office.
What You Can Expect
The scheme is administered in the UK by Capita PLX. All contributions received locally are paid over to the scheme on a monthly basis and Capita invests these funds, via Fidelity Worldwide Investments, in a range of financial instruments, including company shares and company and government bonds. Each member of the scheme has an individual account which is maintained by Capita throughout the duration of scheme membership
Once you become a member of the scheme you will receive a user name and password, to allow you online access to the details of your fund at any time. You can also decide how you would like your fund to be invested and you can re-profile your investments at any time by notifying the Pensions Board of your intentions in writing using the FIPS Investment Instruction Form.
Follow the link to download the Investment Instruction Form. Investment Instruction Form Upon retirement the accumulated value of your fund is used to fund your pension. Your pension is calculated based on your life expectancy upon retirement using annunity factors which are provided by consulting actuaries. Currently you have the option to take a full pension, or to take 25% tax free lump sum with a reduced pension. You may also have the option to withdraw the value of your fund in full, subject to tax, if there is only sufficient to provide for a trivial pension. A trivial pension is where the final fund value is less than £40,000.
Other benefits of the scheme include:
- The option to retire from age 50
- A fixed 3% annual increase in the pension you receive
- 50% spousal pension upon your death
- Benefits for your dependents upon your death
- A five year guarantee if you die within 5 years of retirement
If you die before retirement, dependent on your employer, you may be eligible for death in service benefits, or, where this is not an option, your estate may be eligible to receive payment from the Pensions Board of the accrued value of your pension fund at the date of your death.
You can express a preference to assist the Pensions Board in identifying who should receive these death benefits, and in what proportion. Although not binding on the Board it is important that you keep this information up to date as your circumstances change. You can use an Expression of Wish form to notify the Board of your wishes in this respect.
If you have made less than 2 years’ worth of contributions into the scheme it may be possible for you to withdraw the accumulated value on your fund if you are leaving the Falkland Islands permanently. If you think you may be eligible please contact the Pensions Office to discuss this in more detail.
The Falkland Islands Pensions Scheme Ordinance 1997 establishes the Falkland Islands Pensions Scheme and legislates for its operation.
There is a FIPS Board in place consisting of various employer and employee representatives who take responsibility as a whole for the administration and management of the scheme. There is also an Independent Adjudicator appointed to the scheme to which complaints about matters relating to the scheme may be made.
All forms and correspondence associated with the scheme should be returned to The Pensions Office in The Treasury.