History of the MNOPF
The Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) started on 1 January 1938 and provides generous defined benefit (DB) pensions for ship’s officers and their families.
Old and New defined benefit sections
At the outset, funds built up in what later became known as the Old Section. On 5 April 1978, the Old Section was closed to new contributions. For service from 6 April 1978, the New Section was set up and its funds were kept separate from those of the Old Section. Everyone who had been an active member of the Old Section automatically became a member of the New Section from 6 April 1978. Members whose service began prior to 6 April 1978 and continued after this date will therefore have benefits under both sections.
For service from 1 April 1997, the rate at which pension was earned each year reduced to 1/60th of average revalued pensionable salary . However, this pension guaranteed increases after each year of payment in line with retail prices or 5% if less.
For service from 1 October 2000, the amount of pension earned each year reduced to 1/80th of average revalued pensionable salary. This pension still carries guaranteed increases of up to 5% each year.
Securing members benefits
The actuarial valuation of the Old Section at March 2012 showed that the section was fully funded. In order to secure this position and, therefore, the members benefits, in December 2012, the Trustee entered into a transaction with Rothesay Life to insure all of the benefits of the section not insured through a previous bulk buy in policy with Legal and General (Lucida Ltd). Through these actions members enjoy additional security, thanks to the strict regulations and capital requirements imposed on insurers by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (previously the Financial Services Authority).
In order to provide a streamlined service for members, myMNOPFpension was set up to provide a single point of contact for all members and pensioners. Whenever you contact myMNOPFpension , your question will be directed to the right team to answer your query.
Some MNOPF members may also belong to another employer pension fund which provides benefits on top of those from the MNOPF. These are commonly known as “top-up schemes”. If you receive benefits from such a top-up scheme you will need to add the benefits from your top-up scheme to your MNOPF benefits to work out your total pension benefits.
Defined contribution saving
In April 2016 the MNOPF closed to future defined benefit accrual. Members of the MNOPF who were actively contributing on a defined benefit basis were automatically enrolled into the Money Purchase (MP)Section of the MNOPF, also known as the Ensign Retirement Plan (for the MNOPF), on a money purchase, or defined contribution (DC), basis. This section sat inside the MNOPF, but was separate from, the Defined Benefit (DB) Section of the MNOPF. The MP Section of the MNOPF was closed on 31 March 2018, and member benefits transferred to the Ensign Retirement Plan, which is a modern DC Plan designed specifically for the maritime industry. The MP Section has since been wound-up. Following a re-fresh of the brand, the Ensign Retirement Plan is now known as Ensign. You can find out more at the Ensign website.