New joiners

When you first start working for Unilever, you can make some choices about the pension and benefits you get.

If you already know what you'd like to do, go to My Reward to make your choices.

You can find out more about your choices below.

How benefits work at Unilever

When you work at Unilever, you get a Total Reward package. Your Total Reward includes something called a 'Benefits Envelope'.

Your Benefits Envelope is given to you on top of your pay. One of the things you can use it for is saving for your future.

How much your Benefits Envelope is worth

Your Benefits Envelope is based on what's called your pensionable earnings. For most people, this is the same as their base salary before tax. You can find out what your pensionable earnings are on My Reward.

Your Benefits Envelope is worth 25% of your pensionable earnings. So, if your pensionable earnings were £20,000, then your Benefits Envelope would be worth £5,000.

How you can use your Benefits Envelope

You can use your Benefits Envelope to:

  • Save for the future with the Retirement Savings Plan
  • Get extra taxable pay
  • Do a mixture of saving and taking the rest as extra taxable pay

If you use all of your Benefits Envelope for the Retirement Savings Plan, this means Unilever is paying 25p into the Plan for every £1 of your pensionable earnings. See how pension at Unilever compares with other employers.

The Retirement Savings Plan is part of the Unilever UK Pension Fund, known as UUKPF or 'the Fund'. The Retirement Savings Plan is a defined contribution pension arrangement, which means you build up a pot of money that you can use in various ways when you retire. The money is invested to help it grow. It's automatically invested in a certain way, but you can make choices about that if you want. In a couple of weeks, you will get more information from Fidelity about your investments and how to make changes.

The tax you'll pay

You pay income tax and National Insurance on any part of your Benefits Envelope that you take as extra pay, just like the rest of your salary. But you won't pay income tax and National Insurance on any part of your Benefits Envelope that you use for pension. You may have to pay some tax when you come to use the money you've built up, though.

Making extra contributions

You can also put some of your salary into the Retirement Savings Plan, if you want to. This is called making Extra voluntary contributions.

You can either make Extra voluntary contributions regularly, or you can save a one-off amount into the Plan.

If you'd like to make Extra voluntary contributions regularly, you might want to use the Unilever Contribution Arrangement - also known as salary sacrifice. Doing this saves you income tax, as well as saving you and the company National Insurance.

How to see the effect of your choices

To see the effect of different choices on your take-home pay and pension, use our modeller. To use it, you'll need to know your pensionable earnings. You can find out on My Reward.

What happens if you don't make a choice

If you don't choose how to use your Benefits Envelope, then:

  • An amount worth 15% of your pensionable earnings goes into the Retirement Savings Plan automatically
  • An amount worth 10% of your pensionable earnings comes to you as extra taxable pay.

For example, if your pensionable earnings are £20,000, your Benefits Envelope is £5,000. £3,000 of that £5,000 goes into the Retirement Savings Plan. The remaining £2,000 comes to you as extra taxable pay, spread across 12 monthly amounts.

Other benefits you can buy

You also have the option of buying extra life cover and ill health cover, by going to My Reward. The cost for these benefits will come from your salary, not your Benefits Envelope.

You can decide to buy these benefits within your first 2 weeks of joining Unilever, or on 1 October every year after that. You can also change or stop the benefit each year too.

Life cover

Everyone who works for Unilever gets Core life cover. This pays out a lump sum worth 4 times your annual pensionable earnings if you die while working for Unilever.

If you want to, you can pay for Extra life cover on top of this. You can buy an amount worth an extra 1, 2, 3 or 4 times your pensionable earnings. So, if you bought the maximum Extra life cover, the UUKPF would pay a lump sum worth up to a total of 8 times your pensionable earnings if you died while working for Unilever. Find out more about Extra life cover.

Ill health cover

You can buy ill health cover to protect you in case you become very seriously ill and have to retire early. In the Plan, this is called Voluntary serious ill health DC benefit.

If you become very seriously ill and have to retire early as a result, then this benefit pays a one-off contribution into the Plan for you. To work out this benefit, we count the years between the date you're granted ill health retirement and the date you'll reach your retirement age. Then we pay 25% of your pensionable earnings into the Plan for each of those years. If you qualify for the benefit, the money in your Retirement Savings Plan pension pot – including the Voluntary serious ill health DC benefit – will be used to provide retirement benefits for you.

Find out more about Voluntary serious ill health DC benefit.

When you need to make your choices

You have 2 weeks from the first day you start working for Unilever to make your initial choices. This includes choosing how to use your Benefits Envelope and whether to get Extra life cover or Voluntary serious ill health DC benefit. You can also decide to make Extra voluntary contributions at this point.

To make your choices, go to My Reward

Once a year, usually between July and September, you will be able to change all your choices on My Reward which will take effect from 1 October that year. This period is known as 'annual renewal'. There are also some opportunities to change your choices for the Retirement Savings Plan outside of the annual renewal period, in line with the UUKPF rules. To do that, you will need to fill in a form rather than going to My Reward.

Find out more about how benefits work at Unilever.

Tell us who you'd like your money to go to when you die

When you die, the money you've built up in the Retirement Savings Plan will be paid as a lump sum. If you die while working for Unilever, your Core life cover, and any Extra life cover you have bought, will also be paid out as a lump sum.

Tell us who you'd like your money to go to.

The Trustees of the UUKPF don't always have to pay your money to the person or people you've named, but in most cases they will do this.