bp helios fund

A lot of information has been provided to bp pensioners about the bp helios fund in the last six months. Much of this information related to the offer of a one-off cost-of-living assistance grant. However, it’s important to remember that the bp helios fund (formerly the bp benevolent fund) is available at any time if you find yourself in financial need.

In November 2023, BP Pension Trustees Limited wrote to bp pensioners about a change in the name of the ‘bp benevolent fund’ to the ‘bp helios fund’. The communication also included details of a one-off ‘cost-of-living assistance grant’ (COLAG) of £2,500 for eligible pensioners to be paid by the bp helios fund. Applications for the grant opened on 1 December 2023. The deadline for applications for the COLAG expired on 31 March 2024. This newsletter went to the printers before the deadline closed but the helios fund has reported that it had received 5,300 applications by the beginning of March and that 3,452 claims had been paid (2,775 paid to the end of February plus 677 approved for payment in March).

Despite the passing of the deadline for claiming the COLAG, it is important to know that the bp helios fund continues to provide financial assistance to those most in need. The application process has been simplified to make it easier to apply for additional support when it is most needed.

Regardless of whether you were eligible for the COLAG or not, you can apply to the bp helios fund for a standard financial assistance grant at any time. The type of things that the fund can provide support for include: mobility scooters; car repairs; ramps or stair lifts, or a cash payment in the event of severe financial hardship. The fund has also seen requests for help with dental bills, hearing aids and other items that can be so expensive, even on the NHS. The fund’s help may be offered by way of a grant, an interest-free loan or a combination of the two.

The demand for help from the fund is increasing. In 2023, there were 64 applications to the fund, of which 49 were approved, with 7 pending at the year-end. The total amount distributed was £248,000. This compares with 41 applications and £115,000 distributed in 2022.

All former bp UK employees and their dependants, regardless of the length of bp service, can apply to the fund for help. To find out more, go to bpheliosfund.co.uk. Alternatively, your pensioner liaison officer (PLO) can provide you with an application form and guide you through the process if needed. A list of the PLOs is provided on the BP Pension Fund website at pensionline.bp.com. The list was also included in the BP Pension Fund ‘Newsletter 2023’ on page 11.

If you now live abroad, you can still apply to the bp helios fund as long as you or your partner worked for a UK-based part of the bp group. In this instance, you should contact the fund administrator, Andy Carter on +44 (0)203 401 4223 or at andrew.carter@uk.bp.com.

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