Dependant Pensioners

As you are aware Guinness and GrandMet merged in December 1997 to form Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks company. However, it wasn't until 1 April 1999 that the Diageo Pension Scheme was created as a result of the successful merger of the GUD Pension Trust and the GrandMet Group Pension Fund.

We recognise the importance of providing easy access to clear pensions information and we hope you find this website useful.

Pensions are paid monthly in advance on the 6th day of each month. Payments are made by direct transfer to your chosen bank, building society or GIRO account. If the 6th is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, we will ensure your pension is paid early on the last working day before the 6th.

If you live overseas, your pension can be transferred directly to a bank account in your home country. The payments will be made in your local currency and the amount you receive each month will depend on the exchange rate at the date of transfer.

Don't forget to tell us if you move house or change your bank details.
Your pension is treated as earned income for tax purposes. Tax will normally be deducted before your pension is paid.

If you've any questions about your tax code or the amount of tax deducted from your pension, you should contact the tax office shown below. By law, the Pensions Team can only apply tax codes as instructed by the tax office and is therefore unable to resolve any disputes you may have regarding your tax code.

You can contact the Inspector of Taxes at:

HM Revenue & Customs
Centre 1
East Kilbride
Glasgow G79 1AA

Telephone (if dialling from the UK): 0845 0703 703 (Calls charged at local rate)
Telephone (if dialling from overseas): +44 845 0703 703

When contacting HMRC, you should quote your name and National Insurance number.

Since April 1996, following the introduction of 'self-assessment', all tax payers are obliged by law to keep records of their income and capital gains to enable them to complete a tax return. These records should be kept for 22 months after the end of the tax year to which they relate.

If you're moving overseas you may wish to ask your local tax office for more information about paying your tax when living abroad. You may be eligible to claim an exemption from paying UK income tax. Applications should be sent to:

Financial Intermediates and Claims Office
Fitzroy House
PO Box 46

Telephone (if dialling from the UK): 0115 974 2000
Telephone (if dialling from overseas): +44 115 974 2000

A pension advice slip will be issued following any change to your pension payment if it results in your new net monthly pension increasing or reducing by more than £1 from your previous month's net pension payment.

You'll also receive a P60 each April that will confirm your total pension and tax deducted for the previous tax year.

At Diageo, we review pensions in payment on 6 April each year. Before that date, we'll send you a letter to confirm your new level of pension together with an explanation of how this has been calculated. If you've only started to receive your pension within the last 12 months, your first increase may be proportioned.

Your pension may comprise of two elements - Spouse's GMP and pension in excess of Spouse's GMP.

Assuming you're receiving a widow(er)'s State pension, any Spouse's GMP earned before 6 April 1988 does not increase.

Any Spouse's GMP earned after 6 April 1988 is increased by the Scheme up to 3% each year. This increase is based on the rise in the CPI over 12 months to the previous September.

The balance of your pension must, by law, be increased each year in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) up to a maximum of 5% for benefits earned up to 5 April 2005 and in line with the RPI up to a maximum of 2.5% for benefits earned from 6 April 2005. Diageo's current pension increase policy goes beyond this and should be regarded as an example of best practice.

Under the Rules of the Scheme your pension, in excess of any Spouse's GMP, increases each year in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) up to a maximum of 5% each year.

Although pensions, in excess of any Spouse's GMP, are reviewed each 6 April, the increases are based on the rise in the RPI over the previous 12 months to January.


Take a member who receives a total spouse's pension of £4,500 a year. Their pension includes a total Spouse's GMP of £700 a year, of which £200 was earned after 5 April 1988. If the rise in the CPI over 12 months to the previous September was 3.5%, and the rise in the RPI over the previous 12 months to January was 4%, their pension would be increased as follows:

Pension in excess of Spouse's GMP
= £4,500 - £700 = £3,800

Increase to pension in excess of Spouse's GMP
= £3,800 x 4% = £152

Increase to Spouse's GMP earned after 5 April 1988 = £200 x 3% = £6
New annual pension = £4,500 + £152 + £6 = £4,658

As you're currently receiving a dependant's pension from the Scheme, there are no further benefits payable after your death.

The Scheme is set up and run under a Trust Deed and Rules. The Scheme is managed by a trustee company, Diageo Pension Trust Limited, whose directors are responsible for running the Scheme in the best interests of all the Scheme’s members. The day to day running of the Scheme is delegated to the Pensions Team in Edinburgh.

The Scheme assets are held entirely separate from those of the Company and can only be used for the benefit of members and their dependants. The Trustee manages the Scheme’s investments in accordance with the Trust Deed and Rules, legislative requirements and its Statement of Investment Principles

Changing or closing the Scheme

The Trust Deed and Rules contain provisions for amending, closing or winding up the Scheme. 

The Company may terminate the Scheme at any time by giving written notice to the Trustee.  In addition, the Company may make changes to the Scheme subject to a period of consultation with members and certain legislative restrictions. 

Your benefits are not assignable

Your Scheme benefits are strictly personal and cannot be assigned to any other person or used as security for a loan. Any attempt to do so may result in loss of benefits. Please note however, that should you divorce, the court has certain powers to allocate a proportion of your Scheme benefits to your ex-spouse.

Regulation of the Scheme

The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work based pension schemes in the UK.

Its objectives are to:

  • protect the benefits of members of work based pension schemes;

  • to reduce the risk of situations arising which might lead to calls on the Pension Protection Fund; and

  • to raise the standards of administration of work based schemes.  

The Pensions Regulator is based at:
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

Telephone:  01273 811 800

The Pension Protection Fund

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) was established to pay compensation to members of eligible defined benefit schemes if their employer becomes insolvent and there are insufficient assets in the scheme to cover PPF levels of compensation. 

Broadly speaking the PPF protects pensions in payment where the member is already over normal retirement age at the insolvency event (but with reduced pension increases); and 90% of benefits payable to members who were below this age at the insolvency event, up to a cap.  The cap varies according to a schemes normal retirement age but is in the order of £27,700 (2008/09).

The PPF is funded by levies by pension schemes.  The levy consists of a number of components; the two main ones are the risk based levy and the scheme based levy.  The majority of the levy comes from the risk based element.  This focuses on the funding level of the scheme and the strength of the employer.

The Pension Tracing Service

Details of the Scheme have been forwarded to the Pension Tracing Service.  If in the future you should wish to contact the Pension Tracing Service to trace any previous pension rights you can write to:

Pension Tracing Service
The Pensions Service
Tyneview Park
Whitley Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1BA

Data Protection Act 1998

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Trustee of the Scheme is a ‘data controller’ in relation to your ‘personal data’. Your personal data is information personal to you, and which identifies you, such as your name, address and National Insurance number. Some of this information may be sensitive (such as details of your health and personal relationships). As data controllers, the Trustee will process your sensitive and non-sensitive personal data – and that of other members and beneficiaries – for purposes associated with the Scheme (as indicated below). The Trustee may process your personal data itself, or use carefully selected advisors and third parties (data processors) to help it.

Processing personal data about you and others may involve transferring this personal data to third parties (in the UK or any other country) who advise or assist the Trustee, your employer and any business associated with it, prospective purchasers (although in the latter case, where practicable, the Trustee will provide anonymised data), Government bodies and persons authorised by you or by court orders.

Under the Data protection Act 1998, your consent to the Trustee (and any other data processors or other data controllers it uses) processing any personal data about you for any purposes associated with the Scheme is assumed to have been given.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, as a data subject, you have certain rights in relation to the data we process about you, in particular, you have the right to access the information kept about you.

Keeping you informed

Each year, you will receive a newsletter summarising the annual report and accounts and enclosing an Annual Funding Statement of the Scheme.

Any queries about the Scheme and your benefits should be referred to the Pensions Team in Edinburgh, who will always try to provide a prompt and accurate response.

If however, you are not satisfied with the response you receive, the Scheme has an internal disputes resolution procedure to resolve any disputes between the Scheme and its members and beneficiaries.  You can obtain a copy of the procedure from the Pensions Team in Edinburgh.

You may also apply to The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) for assistance at any time.  TPAS is available to help members and other beneficiaries who have pension queries or other difficulties, which they have not managed to resolve with their scheme’s trustees or administrators.  TPAS is a Government funded body and will allocate a professional adviser to liaise with the Scheme on your behalf. 

The Pensions Advisory Service
11 Belgrave Road

Telephone:  0845 601 2923

Email: enquiries@pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

You may also approach the Pensions Ombudsman to decide a matter involving your membership of the Scheme.  He can investigate and determine complaints or disputes of fact or law in relation to an occupational pension scheme which are referred to him within his jurisdiction under the Pensions Act 1993.

The Pensions Ombudsman
11 Belgrave Road

Telephone:  020 7834 9144

Email: enquiries@pensions-ombudsman.org.uk