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Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund

Tax and legal information

Tax on retirement benefits

Under current tax legislation you are able to take a maximum tax-free lump sum of 25% of your retirement savings when you start to take benefits from the MNOPF. The MNOPF pension paid to you, after the tax-free cash has been paid, will be taxed as earned income through PAYE. Your pension will be paid directly into your bank or building society account after deducting any tax due. When HMRC tells us of any change to your tax code, we will implement this from the next possible pay date and backdate where necessary.

Lifetime Allowance – changes from 6 April 2024

The Lifetime Allowance was the maximum value that the sum of all your retirement savings could be without getting taxed. If the total value of all your retirement pots, including your MNOPF pensions, was higher than the Lifetime Allowance, then you were taxed on the amount above the Lifetime Allowance. The Lifetime Allowance was set by government each year.

The Lifetime Allowance has been removed with effect from 6 April 2024 and has been replaced by other allowances which can affect the tax free amount of PCLS. The situation is complex and transitional arrangements are currently in place. The Government’s latest publication on the situation can be found here. Any members who are affected by the former Lifetime Allowance, or the new arrangements, should discuss their concerns with the MNOPF’s administrator, Aptia UK Limited.

Does the Lifetime Allowance affect my pensions?

If you were an actively contributing member of the MNOPF on or after 6 April 2006, the Lifetime Allowance may apply to your pensions savings. When you decide to draw your pension, it will be tested against the Lifetime Allowance and you will receive a statement showing how much of this allowance is used up by your MNOPF pension. If you think your pension savings might be affected by this limit, you should seek financial advice.

Inheritance tax

Beneficiaries of your lump sum death benefit would not normally have to pay inheritance tax on it.


You are not allowed to assign your MNOPF benefits to another person or organisation. If you do so, your benefits will be lost. In practice, this means that your MNOPF benefits cannot be used to secure a loan.

Divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships

If you divorce or dissolve a civil partnership, the Court may take your MNOPF savings into account and may order you to pay part of your benefits to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner.

There are two ways in which this can happen:

  • An attachment order (also known as earmarking) – a proportion of your pension and/or lump sum benefits may be allocated to be paid to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner at the point your MNOPF benefit comes into payment. Any statement of benefits sent prior to this date will, therefore, not show the effect of the Court order.
  • A pension sharing order – your MNOPF benefits will be reduced in accordance with the pension sharing order.

We will provide the Court with any information they require. If you have any questions about how your benefits may be affected by an attachment or pension sharing order, please contact myMNOPFpension

MNOPF Scheme details

The Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund is a Registered Pension Scheme under the Finance Act 2004.

The MNOPF’s Pension Scheme Registry Number is 10005645.

Trust Deed and Rules

Some of the areas that this web site covers are set out in the legal framework that governs the MNOPF, known as the Trust Deed and Rules. We’ve taken care to make sure this site summarises the Trust Deed and Rules in a way which is clear and easy for you to understand. It doesn’t cover everything and the Trust Deed and Rules will always take priority. You can find out more about the Trustee and read the full Trust Deed and Rules here.

Annual Report and Financial Statements

The MNOPF Trustee publishes an annual report on the activities of MNOPF Trustees Limited during the previous scheme year, together with the annual financial accounts. You can find the most recent Annual Report and Financial Statements, as well as those published in previous years, here.

Data protection

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which came into force in 2018, introduced new rules for the protection of personal data. Personal data is any information relating to a living individual which enables that individual to be identified, either directly or indirectly. It lays down rules for companies and organisations that hold such data and it gives rights to people whose data they hold. The Trustee, as Data Controller, is responsible for demonstrating the MNOPF’s compliance with the data protection principles. Mercer (formerly JLT Employee Benefits), as administrator, is one of the main Data Processors for the MNOPF.

Mercer holds this data securely in order to run the MNOPF for the Trustee and to pay out the benefits. This data has come from and may be shared with you, your employer, other suppliers of services to the MNOPF and government bodies. This is explained in more detail in the MNOPF’s Privacy Notice.

You can ask to see, and change, your personal details at any time by contacting myMNOPFpension.