The BP Benevolent Fund

Helping those experiencing hardship

The BP Benevolent Fund (to be renamed the bp Helios Fund) is a registered charity and has been operating since 1990 to help former bp employees and their dependants experiencing hardship. We do this through tax-free lump sum payments (grants) to purchase specific equipment (e.g., a new boiler) or help cover costs more generally. Much like a pension fund, the Fund is governed by Trustees comprising of current and former bp employees.

COLAG is now closed
Introduction

Earlier this year the Trustees began making changes to modernise and future-proof the BP Benevolent Fund, renaming it the “bp Helios Fund”, to strengthen and align its purpose to support former bp employees and their dependants. 

 

Since its inception the bp Helios Fund has made grants totalling £406,849. The original capital of the Fund (£1 million in 1990) has grown to around £1.503 million. The total number of grants made is 370. 

 

The support has included roof repairs, bathroom conversions, mobility scooters and support with car repairs. 


The Fund has historically provided support for one-off costs for things such as hearing aids or medical expenses not covered by the NHS, basic home repairs and hardship grants to name a few. 


With additional funding from bp, the bp Helios Fund will not only continue to provide financial assistance to those most in need, but will also be providing a one-off cost-of-living assistance grant (COLAG) for a specified period. 

Pensioners
Cost-of-living assistance grant (COLAG)
COLAG is now closed

bp has provided additional funding to support the bp Helios Fund to be able to give a one-time, cost-of-living assistance grant of £2,500 for eligible bp pensioners. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria, the grant is non-taxable.


We hope everyone who is eligible will apply for the grant as it could make a meaningful difference to you and your family. Please note, only one application per household will be accepted.


The BP Benevolent Fund Trustee Ltd is responsible for your personal information and is registered at Chertsey Road, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 7BP. We will use the information you provide in the application form to determine if you are eligible for assistance. For more information on how we process your personal data, please see our privacy notice.

Eligibility:

You are eligible for this grant if you meet the following criteria: 

  1. you are currently living in the UK  
  2. you are in receipt of a pension from the BP Pension Fund 
  3. your household income is no more than £30,000 per annum before tax. This includes your income and your spouse/partner’s income (if applicable) such as a bp pension, any pension income from service with other employers, state pensions and benefits (other than disability support), and other income such as investment and rental income
  4. you worked at bp or one of its affiliates in the UK for at least five years1; or
  5. if you receive a pension from the BP Pension Fund as a dependant of a former bp employee, that person should have worked for bp or one of its affiliates in the UK for at least five years1.

Note: if you are a defined contribution (DC) member and/or receive your pension from Aegon, please see the separate tab for COLAG DC members.

 

1This condition is waived if you retired from bp service on an incapacity pension or if the person who formally worked at bp died in bp service.


How to apply

Applications for the cost-of-living assistance grant open on 1 December 2023 and close 31 March 2024. The application form can be found in the documentation tab.

You will need to provide some information to support your income statement on the application form:

  • a copy of all bank statements showing monthly income for the last three months for
    you and your spouse/partner (if applicable); or
  •  if you complete one, a copy of the latest tax return for you and your spouse/partner (if applicable).

If you cannot provide evidence of the above, please contact your PLO. Details for your PLO can be found here on PensionLine.  The application form and photocopies or scans of supporting documents can be sent either by email to: bpheliosfund@colag.uk or posted to us using the enclosed pre-paid envelope to:
 

COLAG
PO Box 9557
Sherborne
DT9 9ER

If your application is approved, the cost-of-living assistance grant will be paid into the same bank account that your bp pension is paid into. bp is not responsible for how this grant may impact any means tested state benefits you may receive. If you are receiving means tested state benefits, you may want to check the point with the appropriate government department.

Cost-of-living assistance grant (COLAG) defined contribution members
COLAG is now closed

Note: this page is for those who are members of the BP DC pension scheme and/or receive pensions from Aegon/Legal & General.


bp has provided additional funding to support the bp Helios Fund to be able to give a one-time, cost-of-living assistance grant of £2,500 for eligible bp pensioners. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria, the grant is non-taxable.

 

We hope everyone who is eligible will apply for the grant as it could make a meaningful difference to you and your family. Please note, only one application per household will be accepted.

 

The BP Benevolent Fund Trustee Ltd is responsible for your personal information and is registered at Chertsey Road, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex TW16 7BP. We will use the information you provide in the application form to determine if you are eligible for assistance. For more information on how we process your personal data, please see our privacy notice.

 

Eligibility:

You are eligible for this grant if you meet the following criteria:

  1. you are currently living in the UK
  2. you are aged 60 or over or can show you have taken benefits from your bp pension (with Aegon) that accrued during your service with bp
  3. your household income is no more than £30,000 per annum before tax. This includes your income and your spouse/partner’s income (if applicable) such as a bp pension, any pension income from other employers, state pensions and benefits (other than disability support), and other income such as rental or investment income
  4. you worked at bp or one of its affiliates in the UK for at least five years1; or
  5. if you are the spouse/partner of a deceased former bp employee, and either receive a bp pension as their dependant; or 
  6. you are aged over 60, the former bp employee should have worked for bp or one of its affiliates in the UK for at least five years1.
1This condition is waived if you retired from bp service on an incapacity pension or if the person who formally worked at bp died in bp service

 

How do I apply?

Applications for the cost-of-living assistance grant open on 1 December 2023 and close 31 March 2024. The application form can be found in the documentation tab. 

You will need to provide some information to support the income on the application form:

  • a copy of all bank statements showing monthly income for the last three months for you and your spouse/partner (if applicable); or 
  • if you complete one, a copy of the latest tax return for you and your spouse/partner (if applicable).

If you cannot provide evidence of the above, please use the general enquiries form for support.

 

The application form and photocopies or scans of supporting documents can be sent either by email to: bpheliosfund@bp.com, or via post to:

COLAG
BP Benevolent Fund

BP ICBT, Building C

Chertsey Road

Sunbury on Thames

TW16 7LN

If you submit your application by email this will speed up the processing time. If you apply by post, please do not send any original documents. We cannot guarantee that these will be returned to you. If your application is approved, the cost-of-living assistance grant will be paid into the personal bank account that you provide. The bank account provided must be in your name.  


bp is not responsible for how this grant may impact any means tested state benefits you may receive. If you are receiving means tested state benefits, you may want to check the point with the appropriate government department.

Standard grants

Whether you’ve got some unexpected home repairs and need a little financial help to tide you over or have some minor medical expenses, such as hearing aids, that cannot be met by the NHS, the bp Helios Fund is here to help you. Please don’t sit at home worried or alone. Help and support is just a phone call away.

 

Eligibility:

All former bp UK employees and their dependants regardless of the length of bp service can apply. You do not need to be retired on a bp pension to apply for a standard grant.

 

Please see some questions we thought might be of interest to you:
 

  1. Can my friend who is the partner of the Castrol employee apply?
    The Fund is open to applications from all former employees and their dependants. The person needs to have been employed by bp or one of its affiliates in the UK.
  2. I used to work for bp but am not yet retired. Can I apply?
    Yes, the Fund is for all former employees, even if they have yet to reach retirement age. The Fund is not open to those still employed by a bp group company.
  3. What can I apply for?
    If you are facing financial difficulties, you can apply to the Fund. The Fund does not pay medical costs that are covered by the NHS, or any other ongoing expenses (such as home care costs). The Fund has helped with home repairs, the purchase of new appliances, stair lifts and bathroom conversions.
  4. I am in debt. Can I apply for help?
    Yes. If you would like help to become debt free, we may be able to help, but normally, we would ask you to work with a charity debt advisor first. We can help you find the right advisor, but we normally recommend the Citizens Advice Bureau.
  5. I have had help from the Fund before. Can I apply again?
    Yes, there is no limit on the number of times that you can apply. Even if your application was turned down before, your circumstances may have changed, so you can apply again.
  6. Will the Fund give me a grant?
    The Fund will look at your income, savings and living expenses. If your application is accepted, the Trustees will recommend a grant.
  7. How do I apply?
    Please complete the standard application form. If you need support with your application, please contact your PLO.
Pensioner Liaison Officers (PLOs)

Please find your PLO details in the recent pension newsletter or go to: Pensionline

The Trustees

BP Benevolent Fund Trustee Ltd - List of Directors and their profiles:

Andy Clifford
Andy has been a Trustee since 2017. He has been employed at bp for just over 15 years, most recently as the of Head of Operations for the Sunbury team that provides administrative services for the BP Pension Fund.


David Richmond
David has been a Trustee since 2018 and a PLO for 11 years. Prior to retirement, David was employed at bp for 19 years in the North Sea Tax Team.


Frances Blois
Frances has been a PLO and later a Trustee since 1995. Prior to retirement, Frances joined Shell Mex and bp in Operational Research in 1971. In addition to working at bp, Frances was Lord Mayor of Westminster in 2002-2003 and since 2011, a Westminster Honorary Alderman. She was also a Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters 2019 – 2021, returning during the pandemic.


Glenda Hopkins-Burt
Glenda has been a PLO and Regional Co-Ordinator for the South-West and Trustee since 2003. Prior to retirement, Glenda was employed at bp in a variety of roles including Training Manager and HR Manager for Distribution, Manufacturing and Supply Divisions.


Ian Rushby (Chair of Trustees)
Ian joined bp in 1977 and held various executive and leadership positions, including CFO for BP Exploration, in London, the Netherlands, Indonesia, the United States and Russia. He was appointed Group Vice President and Group General Auditor of bp plc in 2001, reporting to the Group Chief Executive and the Main Board Audit Committee. He retired in 2008. Subsequently, Ian held non-executive positions at the Ministry of Defence and in a number of commercial and not-for-profit organisations.


Margaret Mercer
Margaret has been a PLO for over twenty years and is currently a Trustee. Prior to retirement, Margaret was employed at Amoco as an accountant and Auditor until the merger with bp in the late 1990’s. In addition to working at Amoco, Margaret was a Justice of the Peace in London and Somerset and for many years a Business Mentor for the Prince’s Trust.


Rob Hamer
Rob has been a Trustee since April 2023. He has been employed at bp for just over 5 years in a variety of different Reward roles, most recently as the Global Benefits Lead. Prior to bp, Rob undertook a number of senior Reward roles at Astra Zeneca.