Latest News latest news

Digital Focus Online


Understanding your pension can be complicated by the use of special terms, but these are often necessary to describe fully the benefits being provided. Set out below are some of the special terms used in this website with their full definitions.

Active member

An Active member is a person that is employed by BAA and paying contributions into the Scheme and building up benefits.

Annual Allowance (AA)

This is the maximum amount of pension benefits that you can save which will qualify for tax relief in a tax year. If you exceed this limit, you may be liable to additional tax. Please see the Limits to your pension for more information.

Deferred member

A Deferred member is a person who has left employment and therefore the Scheme or a person who has opted out of the Scheme leaving their benefits deferred in the Scheme.

Eligible Children

Will include any child or children of a member (including a legally adopted child or stepchild) under the age of 18 or, if still in full-time education, up to the age of 25.

Final Pensionable Salary

This is the salary on which your benefits are based. It is the highest one-year average of your Pensionable Salary in the last three years of Pensionable Service.

Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)

GMP is the minimum pension, which the BAA Pension Scheme has to provide as a result of you Contracting out of the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997.

Lifetime Allowance (LTA)

The LTA is a limit on the amount of pension benefits that you can accumulate during your working life, from the Scheme and any other registered pension. If you exceed this limit, you may be liable to additional tax. Please see the Limits to your pension for more information.

Lower Earnings Limit (LEL)

The minimum amount you must earn (before tax) before you qualify for state benefits such as Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and basic pension rights.

Normal Pension Date

This is the date of your 60th birthday (55th birthday for Fire Service employees).

Pensionable Salary

This is the salary on which your contributions are based. It is your annual basic salary* plus any other amounts that are stated as pensionable in your contract of employment. If you joined the Scheme after 1st April 1991, an amount equal to the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) will be deducted.

*Please note, with effect from October 2015 increases to Pensionable Salary will be capped at a maximum of 2% per annum.

Pensionable Service

This is normally your period of membership of the Scheme together with any period of membership of a previous employer’s scheme from which benefits have been transferred to the BAA Scheme. Pensionable Service ceases at your Normal Pension Date. Pensionable Service is capped at 36 years (Shift Credits can be in addition to the cap).

Pensioner member

As a Pensioner member is a person who is in receipt of a pension from the Scheme.

Principle Employer

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited.

Registered Civil Partner

A Registered Civil Partner is someone who has entered into a “Civil Partnership” with another member of the same sex. Civil Partnerships allow same sex couples to be treated for legal purposes in the same way as, or in a similar way to, married couples.

Retail Price Index

Retail Price Index (RPI) is a measure of inflation published monthly by the Office for National Statistics.


The BAA Pension Scheme.

Scheme Actuary

The core focus of the Scheme Actuary is to advise the Trustee on the financing and funding of the Scheme.

Scheme Rules

The Scheme Rules provide full details of all the Scheme’s benefits.

Shift Credits

Shift Credits are earned by shift workers, and are additional periods of service, which are added to their Pensionable Service each year, to reflect the difference between their Pensionable Salary and the additional amount earned in shift pay. Shift Credits can take your Pensionable Service over 36 years.


This is the person with whom you have been through a lawful ceremony of marriage.

State Pension Age

This is the age at when men and women can claim their State Pension.

The current State Pension Age is:

  • 65 for men born before 6 December 1953
  • between 60 and 65 for women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 December 1953

State Pension Age will increase for both men and women to:

  • 66 between 2018 and 2020
  • 67 between 2026 and 2028
  • 68 between 2044 and 2046

The Company

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited.