Sainsbury's Retirement Savings Plan

for all colleagues


It costs much less than you think to be in our pension. You get tax relief on your contributions and if you pay by SMART, you get savings on how much National Insurance you pay too. Then, on top of that you also get Sainsbury’s contribution.

For every £20 that goes into your pension pot, it would actually only cost you £6.80, so you more than double your money. Have a look at our cost calculator to see how much it costs you.

You can pay in as much as you like. We have two different contribution rates: Start Up and Step Up.

  • Start Up contributions are 4% of your pensionable pay between £480 and £3,867. This is the rate you’ll pay if you’re automatically enrolled or choose to join Start Up.
  • Step Up contributions in the SRSP are 4%, 5%, 6%, 7% or 7.5%, or more, of your Step Up pensionable salary.

They’re what we call the two different types of contributions you can make.

  • Start Up contributions are 4% of your pay between £480 and £3,867 and Sainsbury’s pays the same. They’re like an introduction to pension saving. When you pay Start Up contributions, you don’t have enhanced life cover; instead you’d have cover of one times your annual contractual basic pay.
  • Step Up contributions are more flexible so you can pay from 4% up to any amount and Sainsbury’s will match your contribution up to 7.5%. When you pay Step Up contributions, you’re also eligible for enhanced life cover of six times your annual contractual basic pay.

You should save what you can afford to pay and balance this with how much money you’ll need to live on when you come to your retirement.

Have a look at the MoneyHelper's budget planner to see what you might need to budget for:

Then, have a look at the cost calculator to see how much it costs to be in the pension.

Access your benefits page on MyHR, or call Ask HR on 08000 15 30 30.

Call Legal & General on 0345 302 0323, quoting your National Insurance number.

There are nomination of beneficiary forms in the ‘Forms’ section. There are separate nomination forms for lump sum life cover and for your pension pot.

Pension scams are becoming increasingly common. Many of these scams encourage you to take money from your pension before the legal retirement age (currently minimum age 55), but they’re often not transparent about the true cost to you. You could lose all of your pension benefits through tax, unauthorised payment fees (fees for accessing your pension before legal retirement age) and fees payable to the scam company.

If you’re contacted by a company offering you money from your pension you should:

  • Never give out your personal or financial information.
  • Never be rushed into agreeing to anything – don’t feel pressured.
  • Contact Legal & General on 0345 302 0323

There’s lots of information here or go to:

You can also view our video to find out what to be aware of.

If you are currently employed by Sainsbury’s, remember to update your details on MyHR.

Legal & General was established in 1836 and is one of the leading financial services companies in the UK. It is responsible for investing over £400 billion worldwide on behalf of investors and has over seven million customers in the UK.

L&G is one of the biggest providers of workplace benefits in the UK. They have provided pension schemes since the early 1970s and now manage over 4,000 pension schemes including some of the largest in the country.

Your Sainsbury’s Retirement Savings Plan (the Plan) pension pot is safe with Legal & General.

Legal & General Assurance Society (‘LGAS’) is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS is designed to pay customers compensation if they lose money because a firm is unable to pay them what they owe for any reason. The Sainsbury’s Retirement Savings Plan is a participant in what LGAS call a Worksave Master Trust, a defined contribution trust-based pension scheme of which you are a member. The Trustees have secured the benefits under the Scheme by entering into an insurance policy with LGAS who are covered by the FSCS.

LGAS is covered by the FSCS which is designed to pay customers compensation if they lose money because a firm is unable to pay them what they owe for any reason. The ability to claim from the FSCS and the amount you may be entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of the claim and how the monies are invested. If you require further details of the FSCS please go to the FSCS website at

It’s really easy to join. You go to MyHR to join. Or, if you haven’t got your own access, please check with your line manager

You’ll be automatically enrolled if you’re not already a member of our pension when you meet all of these conditions:

  • You’re over age 22
  • You’re under State Pension age
  • You earn £768 or more in a pay period, and
  • You’ve been with us for nine weeks or more.

No, we have to enrol you by law if you meet the conditions but you don’t have to stay in the pension if you don’t want to. See the ‘Leaving’ section below for more information.

You’ll pay Start Up contributions of 4% of your Start Up pensionable pay between £480 and £3,867 and Sainsbury’s will pay the same.

Pension saving isn’t risk free, but it’s an efficient tax-free way to save. There are high risk and lower risk investment funds; the investment guide has a section that looks at the relationship between risk and reward. 

You should expect to see the value of your pension fund both grow and go down a little bit at times; this is normal. The chance of losing all of what you pay into your pension pot is extremely low.

You can change your investments by using ‘Manage Your Account’ (you will be directed to an external site) or by calling Legal & General on 0345 302 0323. Have a look at the investment factsheets and investment guide for more information about the full range of funds available.

If you don’t want to choose where your pension pot is invested, you can simply do nothing. In this case, your contributions will be invested in the default investment option, which is Legal & General’s Target Date Fund. There are a number of Target Date Funds and your pension pot will be invested in the one that corresponds most closely to your target retirement date. So, for example, if you were born in 1972 and plan to retire at age 65 (in 2037), then your investments would be in the 2035 – 2040 Target Date Fund. There’s more information about this fund in the investment guide.


Access MyHR or call Ask HR on 08000 15 30 30.

Your options depend on how long you’ve been in the pension.

If you leave within the first 30 days of being automatically enrolled into the pension (ie, you opt out), you will get a refund of your contribution in your next month’s pay.

If you did not opt out within the first month, you won’t be able to take the money in your pension pot until you are at least 55* years old. Until then, you can leave your pension pot with Legal & General, where it will remain invested, or you can move the money in your pension pot to another pension arrangement of your choice (eg, perhaps your new employer’s pension).

When you leave the pension, Legal & General will contact you to tell you about your options. If you leave Sainsbury’s, you lose your life cover.

*57 from 2028

‘Life cover’ means a lump sum payment to your beneficiaries, if you should die while you’re still working for Sainsbury’s. It’s an extra benefit provided by Sainsbury’s to its employees, on top of any contributions we pay into your pension.

If you pay Step Up contributions of 4% or more, you’re eligible for enhanced life cover of six times your annual contractual basic pay.

If you’re in Start Up or if you’re not a member of the pension, you have life cover of one times your annual contractual basic pay.

There could be restrictions on your life cover in certain circumstances.

There may be some restrictions on your cover, if you didn’t start paying Step Up contributions within a year of joining or if you stop paying Step Up contributions.

In some cases, if you’ve been on sick leave, you won’t be covered for the enhanced (6x) life cover until you are classed as being ‘actively at work’. This means that:

  • You have returned to full active employment


  • You are physically and mentally able to perform all the duties associated with your normal job


  • You are not working against medical advice


  • You have finished any ‘phased return to work’ programme.

Your life cover until you’re actively at work will be one times annual contractual basic pay.

Have a look at our online retirement planner (you will be directed to an external site). The planner shows you the likely estimated income and pension pot you could get. All you need to do is enter your date of birth and your yearly pay.

The more you put into your pension pot, the more you’re likely to have in retirement.

You can check online by signing up to ‘Manage Your Account’ (you will be directed to an external site) or call Legal & General on 0345 302 0323.

You have much more flexibility than ever before in how you can take your Sainsbury’s Retirement Savings Plan benefits. You can:

  • Use your pension pot to buy an income. This is called an annuity.
  • Take your pension pot as cash.
  • Take some of your pension as cash and use the rest to buy an income.
  • Take up to 25% cash tax-free; any amount in excess of this would be taxed at your marginal rate.

Legal & General will write to you with your options near your retirement date.

You can take your pension from age 55 onwards. The younger you are when you take your pension, the less income you’re likely to get if you choose to buy an income. The Government has recently increased this age, so the earliest you’ll be able to take your pension will be age 57 from 2028.

Yes. You don’t have to give up work. You can also continue to pay into the pension if you would like to, up until age 75. When you’re near to your retirement date, both Sainsbury’s and Legal & General will write to you to let you know your options.

The only situation where you wouldn’t be able to continue is if you’re eligible for 40, 42 or 44 year enhanced early retirement. This applies to only a small number of colleagues and there’s more information in the People Policy on Connect.

If you would like to take your retirement benefits and carry on working, please let us know so that we can set up a new policy for you with our pension provider, Legal & General, the month after you receive your retirement benefits. If you don’t let us know your intentions, you might see pension contributions being deducted from your salary each period, but not being paid to the pension provider.

SMART is a way of paying into the pension. It’s a salary sacrifice arrangement where you give up some of your pay in exchange for a benefit. It costs less to be in the pension when you pay by SMART because you get savings on how much National Insurance you pay. There’s more information in the SMART guide.

SMART benefits the majority of colleagues, but there are some circumstances where we won’t be able to take contributions by SMART, for example if:

  • Being in SMART brings your pay below the National Minimum/National Living Wage.
  • Your pay is below the Pay Protection Limit (£1,060 for Step Up and £1,020 for Start Up).
  • You’re receiving a form of statutory pay such as maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay.

If any of these circumstances change in a later period, then we’ll be able to take your contributions by SMART again.