Pace DC pension offer proposals

Man sitting at desk

Update from Co-op

Co-op has recently written to all its colleagues to let them know about some changes it is proposing to make to its pension offer. The changes would only affect colleagues who join or re-join Pace DC on or after 10 June 2019.

You don’t have to do anything in response to this communication, but if you want to, you can give your feedback on the proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the proposed changes?

For colleagues who join Pace DC on or after 10 June 2019, Co-op proposes introducing different contribution rates and life cover benefits.

Proposed Pace DC contribution rates and life cover lump sums

Colleagues pay
(% of Pay)
Co-op pays
(% of Pay)
(% of Pay) 
Lump sum life cover 
 1  1  2  1 x salary
 2  2  4  1 x salary
 3  3  6  1 x salary
 4  4  8  1 x salary
 5  5  10  2 x salary
 6  6  12  2 x salary
 7  7  14  2 x salary
 8  8  16  2 x salary
 9  9  18  2 x salary
 10  10  20  2 x salary

Current Pace DC contribution rates and life cover lump sums

You pay
(% of Pay) 
Co-op pays
(% of Pay) 
(% of Pay) 
Lump sum life cover 
 1  2  3  1 x salary
 2  3  5  1 x salary
 3  5  8  1 x salary
 4  8  12  3 x salary
 5 to 10  10  15 to 20  3 x salary


What are the proposed changes to life cover?

If you are contributing to Pace DC when you die, a life cover lump sum is payable of either 1 x Salary (if you pay 3% or less), or 3 x Salary (if you pay 4% or more). Co-op is proposing to change the levels of life cover so that you would get 1 x Salary if you pay 4% or less, and 2 x Salary if you pay 5% or more.

Everyone who works for Co-op has life cover which will pay a lump sum of 1 x your Salary (or £5,000 if more) if you die while in employment with Co-op. This life cover is not changing.

How would this affect me?

I'm not in Pace DC
These changes would affect you if you joined Pace DC on or after 10 June 2019. You can join Pace DC at any time. If you want to, you can join Pace DC before 10 June 2019 on the current terms.

I’m in Pace DC
If you are already a contributing member of Pace DC, the changes won’t affect you unless you stop paying into Pace DC and then re-join on or after 10 June 2019. You can continue to pay contributions and remain eligible for life cover on the current terms.

When would the proposed changes take effect?

If Co-op goes ahead with the proposals, these changes would apply from 10 June 2019.

Why are these changes being proposed?

Co-op needs to balance doing the right thing for our colleagues with managing our operating costs to achieve our Stronger Co-op Stronger Communities ambition. Our new pension offer will include the same generous 10% maximum Co-op contribution, but in order to give our colleagues this option we’re asking them to take an equal share in saving for their pension.

I’m not a member of Pace DC. Can I join now?

You can join Pace DC any time you want by completing the Join Pace DC Form. If you want to join and receive the current contributions and life cover, you need to join before 10 June 2019.

How do I leave feedback?

You don’t have to respond to the communication we sent you, but if you’re not currently a Pace DC member and would like to share your views, you can email or write to Co-op at:

Co-op Consultation
Pensions Department
Department 10406
1 Angel Square
M60 0AG

Please include your name and employee number with your response.

Please let us have your feedback by 11 April 2019. Co-op will consider any feedback before making a final decision and then write to all colleagues in May.

Have the Pace Trustees been made aware of the proposals?

The changes to the pension offer are being proposed by Co-op. The Pace Trustees have been made aware of the proposals.

Have the trade unions been consulted on the proposals?

Co-op has consulted with USDAW and Unite as part of the consultation. If you’re a member of a trade union, you can also provide feedback via your trade union representative.

What happens next?

Once the consultation ends on 11 April 2019, we’ll consider any feedback received before making a final decision. Co-op will update colleagues in May, and then any changes would take effect from 10 June 2019.


More about Pace DC

Why should I think about joining Pace DC?

Depending on how many years you’ve worked and paid National Insurance contributions, you might get a State Pension. The State Pension will probably only cover basic needs and is payable from State Pension Age. State Pension Age is going up – so that people working today might need to wait until they are 68 or even older to get their State Pension.

If you want more than that when you retire, or you want to stop working sooner, you’ll need to start putting money aside. Co-op will help you save by paying into your account too.

Watch our video, ‘Why have a pension?’ to find out more. Then, if you decide you’d like to join Pace DC, you can do it online at any time by completing the Join Pace DC form.

How much does it cost to join Pace DC?

You can choose how much you want to pay into Pace DC. Please read the question above titled ‘What are the proposed changes?’ to see details of the current contribution options if you join Pace DC now, and if the proposed changes go ahead.

When you join Pace DC, you and Co-op pay contributions into your account. Your contributions are taken out of your Pay each month and you will see these payments appear on your payslip. Your payslip will tell you what contribution rate you are paying if you’re not sure.

You can change your contribution whenever you like by filling in the Increase or decrease my contributions form.

How does Pace DC work?

Pace DC is a savings plan for your retirement. Both you and Co-op pay money into your Pace DC account each month. Once you’re a member of Pace DC you can choose to pay more into your account each pay period, or pay in a one-off lump sum when you can afford it, to help build up your pension savings.

To find out more about how Pace DC works, you can watch this video.

What is automatic enrolment?

All employers must put their eligible employees into a workplace pension under Government rules. This is known as automatic enrolment.

Co-op will automatically enrol you into Pace DC if:

  • You’re not already paying contributions into Pace DC
  • You earn more than £769 in a four-weekly pay period (£10,000 a year) in 2018/2019
  • You’re aged 22 or above
  • You’re under State Pension Age.
What happens if I am automatically enrolled into Pace DC in the future?

If you’re automatically enrolled into Pace DC today, you’ll contribute 2% of your Pay and Co-op will contribute 3%. This would increase to 3% from you and 5% from Co-op, from April 2019, in line with the Government’s plans to get everyone saving more for their retirement.

If the proposals go ahead and you are automatically enrolled into Pace DC after 10 June 2019, you would pay 4% of your Pay and Co-op would also Pay 4%.