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Tax controls on pensions

1. Scheme members

There are 2 types of scheme members:

  • active members, who are currently paying in to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • deferred members, who paid into the Local Government Pension Scheme in the past (visit the deferred members pages)

 

Active scheme members

The main benefits of the LGPS are:

  • A secure pension, payable for life.
  • Flexible lump sum options. We will provide your lump sum options to you when you retire.
  • Low cost. Most people enjoy tax-efficient savings while contributing to the LGPS. Members contribute between 5.5% and 12.5% of their pay, depending on their pensionable pay.
  • Employer contribution. Your employer pays the balance of the cost of your pension benefits. Their contribution rate is set by an independent actuary and is regularly reviewed.
  • Freedom to choose when to take your pension. Your normal pension age is the same as your State Pension age. You can choose to retire and take your pension at any time between the age of 55 and 75. If you choose to take your pension before your normal pension age it may be reduced, as it's being paid earlier. If you take it later than your normal pension age it will be increased because it's being paid later.
  • Peace of mind.  If you die in service, the scheme provides life cover and a pension for your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children. If you become seriously ill and you've met the 2 year 'vesting' period, you could receive immediate ill health benefits.
  • Options to pay extra. You can top-up your pension by paying extra contributions. These extra contributions also attract tax relief.
  • Options to pay less. You can choose to pay half your normal contributions in return for half your normal pension. The 50/50 section of the scheme is designed to help members stay in the scheme when finances are tight.
  • You can manage your pension online. 'My pension online' gives you 24-hour access to your LGPS pension record. You can produce your own retirement quotes and view/update your personal details.
  • Since 2018 your LGPS annual benefit statement has been published to your secure  online pension account. Register/login now to view your statement at https://ms.buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Employee contribution bands 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

Band Actual pensionable pay for an employment Contribution rate for that employment - Main LGPS section Contribution rate for that employment - 50/50 LGPS Section
1 Up to £14,600 5.5% 2.75%
2 £14,601 to £22,900 5.8% 2.9%
3 £22,901 to £37,200 6.5% 3.25%
4 £37,201 to £47,100 6.8% 3.4%
5 £47,101 to £65,900 8.5% 4.25%
6 £65,901 to £93,400   9.9% 4.95%
7 £93,401 to £110,000 10.5% 5.25%
8 £110,001 to £165,000 11.4% 5.7%
9 £165,001 or more 12.5% 6.25%

The following videos have been produced by the Local Government Association on behalf of all LGPS funds in England and Wales. They will help you to understand what the LGPS is and the benefits it provides.

Looking after your pension

Protection for you and your family

Life after work

2. Guides, forms and booklets

You can download PDFs of our LGPS guides and forms by clicking the links below.  The documents provide information for all LGPS members; from new joiners to those approaching retirement/new retirees.

New LGPS members, or members new to the council's pension fund, should note:

  • the brief and full guides to the LGPS - these guides cover all aspects of the LGPS
  • the LGPS membership form - complete and return asap (within 12 months of joining) if you have LGPS benefits in another LGPS Fund, or if you have an AVC fund
  • LGPS Expression of Wish Form - to register your Death Grant nomination with the council's pension fund
  • LGPS Transfer Quote Request Pack - complete and return asap (within 12 months of  joining) to investigate the transfer of previous pension rights into the council's pension fund
  • any other document of interest / relevance, as described below

 

LGPS scheme guides 

A Brief Guide to the LGPS PDF, 348KB- Important information for all LGPS members
Full Guide to the LGPS - Detailed information on all aspects of the Scheme
LGPS Retirement booklet - Useful information for new retirees or those approaching retirement
LGPS Aggregation Glossary - Glossary for members we have written to about combining previous benefits in the LGPS

 

LGPS member forms 

  1. LGPS Opt In form - join the LGPS if you haven’t been automatically enrolled or you have previously opted out
  2. LGPS Membership form - complete and return if you have LGPS benefits in another LGPS Fund or if you have an AVC fund
  3. LGPS Transfer Quote Request Pack - investigate the transfer of previous pension rights in to the council's fund
  4. LGPS Expression of Wish Form - register your Death Grant nomination with the Fund 
  5. LGPS Change of Details form - use this form to tell us about a change of address, name, partnership status or bank details
  6. LGPS Contribution flexibility form PDF, 221KB - move to the 50/50 section of the scheme or move back from the 50/50 section to the main section of the scheme
  7. LGPS Opt Out form - opt out of the LGPS

 

LGPS factsheets

LGPS Annual Allowance - annual allowance factsheet
LGPS Lifetime Allowance - lifetime allowance factsheet
LGPS Scheme Pays Q and A - scheme pays factsheet
Freedom and Choice Q & A - transfers from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution pension schemes
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) FAQ - answers to frequently asked questions about GDPR
Privacy Notice for the LGPS National Insurance Database

 

AVC information

A guide to Additional Voluntary Contributions in the LGPS
Prudential Additional Voluntary Contributions - promotional leaflet
Prudential newsletter - promotional newsletter

 

Manage your pension online

'My pension online' gives you 24 hour access to your LGPS pension record. You can produce your own retirement estimates, helping you to plan for your retirement. You can view/update your personal details, e.g. your home or email address and death grant nomination. 

Since 2018 LGPS annual benefit statements have been published on 'my pension online'.

3. LGPS member surgeries

Manage your pension online

Get access to your LGPS pension record 24 hours a day by managing your account online. 

You can:

  • produce your own pension quotes to plan for your retirement
  • view or update your personal details, such as your home or email address and death grant nomination

For added security, your LGPS annual benefit statement is now only available online. 

Register or sign in

 

Book an appointment

Following the new government guidelines concerning social distancing, we have taken the decision to suspend face to face appointments until further notice. We are now offering telephone appointments which are available between 9:30am and 5pm.

To book your appointment, call 01296 383 755 or email pensions@buckinghamshire.gov.uk and request one of the available dates below. If you're not able to make your appointment, let us know so that we can offer it to another member.

 

Upcoming appointment dates 2021

Thursday 20 May
Friday 4 June
Monday 21 June
Tuesday 6 July
Wednesday 21 July
Thursday 5 August
Friday 20 August
Monday 6th September
Tuesday 21st September
Wednesday 6th October
Thursday 21st October
Friday 5th November
Monday 22nd November
Tuesday 7th December
Wednesday 22nd December

For more information on the LGPS, visit our guides, forms and booklets page.

 

4. Annual benefit statement

Your latest LGPS annual benefit statement is for the year ending 31 March 2021 and shows the benefits you built up to 31 March 2021. They also give an estimate of the benefits payable at your Normal Pension Age (which is the same as your State Pension age). 

You can view your statement by logging into my pension online.If we hold your email address, you will receive a notification telling you when your statement is ready to view. LGPS annual benefit statements are available by 31 August each year.

Once logged into my pension online in the scheme documents folder, you will also find your ‘active member newsletter’ providing you with more information about your LGPS pension and the latest scheme news.

The ‘Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) 2021 Guide and FAQs’, also available to download at the bottom of this page, explains how to read your Annual Benefit Statement and answers some of the important questions you may have.

If you believe any of the details on your statement are incorrect, please tell your employer. They will let us know.

 

 Register/Login to my pension online

 

Downloads

Annual Benefit Statement 2021 Guide and FAQs

 

5. Increasing your benefits

Most of us look forward to a happy and comfortable retirement. If you'd like a little bit extra during your retirement years, you should consider paying extra contributions. As a member of the LGPS there are two tax efficient ways to increase your pension benefits. These extra contributions 'top up' the pension benefits you are already building up:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs)
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

 

Additional pension contributions (APCs)

If you are in the main section of the LGPS you can pay extra contributions to buy up to £7,316 of extra annual pension (effective 1 April 2021). You can pay for the extra pension by spreading the payment of the APCs over a number of complete years, or by paying a lump sum.

If you want to spread the payment, the regular extra contributions are taken from your pay, like your normal pension contributions. Your normal LGPS contributions plus the APCs are taken before your tax is worked out, so, if you pay tax, you receive tax relief through payroll.

You can spread payments out over any length of time between one year and the date of your Normal Pension Age. Your normal pension age is equal to your State Pension age (at least age 65). If you are less than one year from your normal pension age you can only pay by lump sum.

If you wish to buy extra pension by paying a one-off lump sum you can do so either via your payroll, or by making a payment to the pension fund. If you make a direct payment, you will need to arrange tax relief with HMRC. You can do this via your self-assessment tax return or by calling or writing to HMRC.

Tax relief is available on all pension contributions up to 100% of your taxable earnings.

You cannot elect to buy extra pension if you are in the 50/50 section of the LGPS.

APCs differ to AVCs in that they buy extra annual pension within the LGPS itself, rather than contributing to a 'pot' held by an external AVC provider.

Visit Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) on the national LGPS member website where the calculator will provide you with the cost and an application form

 

Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)

When you pay AVCs, you build up a pot of money which is then used to provide benefits in addition to your LGPS benefits. We have arrangements with two AVC providers, Prudential and Scottish Widows.

AVC payments are taken from your pay before your tax is worked out, so, if you pay tax, you receive tax relief automatically. You have your own personal account and you decide how the money in your pot is invested.

  • You can elect to pay AVCs if you are in either the main or 50/50 section of the LGPS.
  • You can pay up to 100% of your pensionable pay into an AVC fund managed by Prudential or Scottish Widows, but if you are paying directly from your wages, you must leave enough for your main LGPS contributions, tax and national insurance contributions.
  • Your AVC fund is separate from your main LGPS benefits.
  • You may start, stop or vary your contributions at any time. With Prudential, you can do this via the online self-service website at: www.pru.co.uk/online
  • The contributions made, as well as returns earned on your fund, attract tax relief and build up until your retirement.

For more information on the AVC options offered by both of these providers, including how to apply, follow the links at the end of this page.

 

Prudential AVC contributors

Prudential have notified us that they are currently experiencing issues investing AVC contributions and paying out AVC funds. The following statement has been issued to LGPS pension funds.

"As you know Prudential has been experiencing delays in the processing of some transactions. The delays have been caused by the impact of COVID and the majority of colleagues working from home following the latest lockdown. This has impacted our productivity and recovery plans. The implementation of a new system that has taken additional time to embed within our processes has also contributed to the delays.

The situation has been escalated to the highest level within Prudential and we are committed to resolving the delays as quickly as possible.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that there will be no financial detriment to a member's claim or investment as a result of the delays"

Buckinghamshire Pension Fund will continue to work with Prudential to monitor their progress and resolve the matter.

Tax controls on your pension savings

There are two tax controls, these are:

  • the annual allowance
  • the lifetime allowance

Further information is available in the Annual Allowance section of our website.

 

Downloads

6. Understanding the LGPS retirement process

Retirement may be both exciting and stressful, but we will do everything we can to make the process as simple as possible.

We have written a short guide to provide you with information about the LGPS retirement process. Please read our short guide to your LGPS retirement.

We've put together a 2.5 minute video to help you to understand how we process retirements. There is no sound so you won't disturb others while you watch it.   

If you still have questions after reading our guide and watching our video, please feel free to contact us

Remember, 'my pension online' gives you 24 hour access to your LGPS pension record. You can produce your own pension quotes to help you to plan for your retirement. You can check your annual benefit statements, read our guidance notes and update your personal details.

 Register/Login to my pension online

 

7. Early retirement

Manage your pension online

'My pension online' gives you 24 hour access to your LGPS pension record. You can produce your own pension quotes to help you to plan for your retirement. You can check your annual benefit statements, read our guidance notes and update your personal details. Register/login at https://ms.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/.

Normal Pension Age

You can retire and draw your benefits in full at your Normal Pension Age. For benefits built up from April 2014 your Normal Pension Age is the same as your State Pension age  (at least age 65).  If you take your pension before your Normal Pension Age, it may be reduced as it's being paid earlier. If you take it later than your Normal Pension Age it's increased because it's being paid later.
 
As Normal Pension Age is now linked to State Pension age, any future changes to State Pension age will apply to all the pension you built up in the scheme since 31 March 2014. This means that the age when you can take your pension without any actuarial reduction/increase to your pension will change too.
 
If you built up membership in the LGPS before April 2014 then you have membership in the final salary scheme. These benefits have a different Normal Pension Age, which for most is age 65. You cannot take the benefits you built up to April 2014 separately from the benefits you've built up since April 2014. Your entire pension must be taken at the same time (except in the case of Flexible Retirement).

Earliest retirement age

You can choose to retire and draw your pension from age 55. You do not need your employer’s consent to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age. If you choose to retire before your Normal Pension Age your benefits may be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. The reduction to your benefits depends on how early you draw them.

Early retirement reductions

If you were paying into the LGPS on or after 1 April 2014 and you choose to retire before your Normal Pension Age, your benefits may be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. The reduction to your benefits depends on how early you draw them.

The reduction is calculated using guidance issued by the Secretary of State, which changes from time to time. The reduction depends on the length of time (in years and days) that you retire early. That is, the period between the date your benefits are paid and your Normal Pension Age.  The earlier you retire, the bigger the reduction.

 

Number of Years Paid Early

Pension reduction

Lump Sum reduction
(for membership to 31 March 2008)

0

0%

0%

1

5.1%

2.3%

2

9.9%

4.6%

3

14.3%

6.9%

4

18.4%

9.1%

5

22.2%

11.2%

6

25.7%

13.3%

7

29.0%

15.3%

8

32.1%

17.3%

9

35.0%

19.2%

10

37.7%

21.1%

11

41.6%

N/A

12

44.0%

N/A

13

46.3%

N/A

If you were in the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early could be protected from the reduction.

Protected members

If you were a member of the LGPS on 30 September 2006, some or all of your benefits paid early could be protected from the reduction. This protection is under the '85 year rule'.

You meet the 85 year rule if your age at the date you draw your benefits and your scheme membership (each in whole years) add up to 85 or moreIf you work part-time, your membership counts towards the rule of 85 at its full calendar length. 

If you have 85 year rule protection this continues to apply from 1 April 2014. But this protection does not automatically apply if you choose to draw your pension on or after age 55 and before age 60. Your employer can choose to allow the rule of 85 to apply. This is a discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy is on this matter.

Working out your protection under the 85 year rule can be quite complex, but this could help you work out your position.

  • If you would not meet the 85 year rule by the time you are 65 - All your benefits will be reduced if you choose to draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age. The reduction is based on how many years before your Normal Pension Age you draw your benefits.
  • If you were 60 or over at 31 March 2016 - If you draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age and you meet the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you built up to 31 March 2016 are not reduced.
  • If you were under age 60 at 31 March 2016 - If you draw your pension before your protected Normal Pension Age and you meet the 85 year rule when you start to draw your pension, the benefits you built up to 31 March 2008 are not reduced.
  • If you will be 60 between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020 and meet the 85 year rule by 31 March 2020 - The benefits you build up between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2020 will not have a full reduction.
 
If you take flexible retirement, any 85 year rule protection will apply to the benefits you’ve built up to the date of flexible retirement. But 85 year rule protection will not apply to benefits you build up after the date of flexible retirementYou can contact us for more information about the 85 year rule.

Early retirement through redundancy or business efficiency

If you are over age 55 and you are made redundant or retire due to business efficiency, your pension benefits are payable immediately without any early retirement reductions. Any extra pension paid for by Additional Pension Contributions or Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions are reduced if the retirement is before your Normal Pension Age. This is to take account of the extra pension being paid for longer.

If you were a member of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 the pension you built up to that date is based on your final pay when you leave the scheme. If you have bought extra pension by Additional Regular Contributions, the extra pension will be paid at a reduced rate if you retire before your pre-1 April 2014 Normal Pension Age. For most members, their pre-1 April 2014 Normal Pension Age is age 65.

Please note: We are expecting changes to be introduced in the near future that may change these pension options.

For more information about these expected changes, please refer to the 'Exit payment reforms and your pension' webpage.

Flexible retirement

Rather than continuing in your job to your Normal Pension Age, you could consider flexible retirement. From age 55 and with your employer's consent, you can reduce your hours / move to a less senior position and draw some or all of your pension benefits.
 
All employers in the LGPS must have a flexible retirement policy and you can ask your employer for their policy. You must have your employer's consent for the payment of your pension benefits under flexible retirement. Because of this, only your Employer can request a flexible retirement quote from us.
 
If your employer agrees to flexible retirement you will earn a salary based on your reduced hours or grade. You can pay into the LGPS in your new job and build up further benefits in the scheme.
 
If you take flexible retirement before your Normal Retirement Age your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. The reduction to your benefits depends on how early you draw your benefits. Your employer could decide not to apply all or part of any reduction. This is an employer discretion and you can ask your employer for their policy on this matter.

8. Late retirement

Your Normal Pension Age is the date that your pension benefits can be paid without reductions. Normal Pension Age is different for everyone, but for most people it will be the same as your State Pension Age. Your Normal Pension Age is shown on your annual benefit statements. You can access your annual benefit statements by logging into your ‘my pension online’ account.

You don’t have to retire and take your pension once you reach your Normal Pension Age. You can continue to pay into the LGPS and build up pension benefits in the scheme until age 75. Even if you stop working, you can defer putting your pension in payment until this date.

Once you reach age 75, you must put your pension benefits into payment, even if you continue to work. We will contact you to arrange payment of your pension benefits.

 

Late retirement increases

If you take your pension later than your Normal Pension Age, the pension you have built up will receive an increase as it is being paid later. Up until 31 August 2019, the increase is calculated as 0.010% for each day after your Normal Pension Age.

On 1 September 2019, government guidance changed, and late retirement increases on annual pensions after this date, are now calculated using the table below.

Number of years after Normal Pension Age Pension increase (%)
1 0.010%
2 0.010%
3 0.011%
4 0.012%
5 0.014%
6 0.015%
7 0.017%
8 0.018%
9 0.020%
10 0.022%

The pension increase percentage is the amount applied per day after your Normal Pension Age.

 

Late retirement increases example

Late retirement increases can be a little complicated to work out.

Here is an example to show you how these increases are calculated. Mark’s Normal Pension Age is 65. He turned 65 on 1 September 2019. If he chose not to retire until 31 August 2023, that would be 4 years after his Normal Pension Age.

The table shows how increases would be applied to each period after his Normal Pension Age until his retirement date.

Period Years late Total days Increase percentage (%)
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020 1 366 0.010%
1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021 2 365 0.010%
1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022 3 365 0.011%
1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023 4 365

0.012%

We would then add the percentages together to get a total percentage increase
(366 x 0.010%) + (365 x 0.010%) + (365 x 0.011%) + (365 x 0.012%) = 15.705%.

Let’s say Mark’s annual pension was valued at £5,000. This means his total annual pension when he retires, including late retirement increases, would be £5,785.25.

 

Increases on Lump Sum Retirement Grants

If you were in the scheme before 1 April 2008, you'll have an automatic lump sum retirement grant included in your benefits. This is a tax-free lump sum that usually cannot be converted into an annual pension.

The lump sum retirement grant will receive an increase of 0.001% for each day after your Normal Pension Age.

For example, if your retirement grant is £4,000 and you took your pension 386 days after your Normal Pension Age, we could calculate the increase as follows:
£4,000 x (0.001 x 386 days) = £15.44.

The total retirement grant paid would therefore be £4,015.44.

 

9. Ill-health retirement

If you’ve paid into the LGPS for at least two years, and become too ill to work, you may be able to have your pension benefits paid to you immediately, regardless of your age. If your pension is paid early on the grounds of ill-health, it will not be subject to early retirement reductions and may also be increased depending on your medical condition.

To be entitled to any ill-health pension in the LGPS you need to be:

  1. Permanently unable to do your own job until your Normal Pension Age (see glossary)
  2. Not immediately able to take up a job working at least 30 hours a week for at least 1 year.

This page explains how ill-health retirement works, the difference between the three ill-health retirement tiers, who is eligible, and the process involved. This is general information only. The Pensions and Investments Team are not involved in the assessment procedure itself. Your employer will be able to answer any specific questions about your individual circumstances.

 

Deferred members

If you have a Buckinghamshire LGPS pension, but are no longer paying into the scheme, you’re a deferred member. You may still be able to have your pension benefits paid early due to ill-health, but the process is a little different.

For more information, visit the deferred section of the website.

 

Active members applying for ill-health retirement

If you believe you may qualify for ill-health retirement you should begin the process by discussing it with your employer.

If you and your employer agree that you may qualify for an ill-health retirement, your case will need to be assessed by an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP).

The employer cannot make a decision about whether someone would qualify for an ill-health retirement until the IRMP has made an assessment.  This is set out in the LGPS regulations.

 

What the IRMP will do

The IRMP is a health practitioner qualified to carry out medical assessments for pension purposes. You will need to give your consent to the IRMP to view your medical records in order to carry out the review. You can say no, but if you don’t consent it will be very difficult for the IRMP to make an assessment as they will not have enough information to be able to make a decision.

The IRMP’s job is to decide if you qualify for ill-health retirement and if so, which tier you should receive (see below information on the three tiers).

Remember, the IRMP will be looking for evidence that you satisfy the criteria for ill-health. You can help the process by ensuring both your employer and the IRMP understand your medical condition fully and the way it impacts you carrying out your role.

Sometimes, the IRMP may request to speak to you directly, either in person or over the telephone. But often the assessment is completed without the need for you to meet with them. The IRMP will use information provided by your GP, consultants and employer to make an assessment. 

How long the process will take depends on your individual circumstances. Remember, the IRMP needs to collect evidence from your GP and consultants. They will write to them to request information about your medical condition and history. They may also ask for additional details after receiving this information if they need anything further to make an assessment. We understand that this can be a difficult period of waiting, but you should expect the process to take some time. If you don’t hear anything after four weeks, you can contact your employer for an update.

 

The three tiers

There are three types of ill-health retirement active members can receive. These types are called tiers, and they determine what pension benefits will be paid, how long for and who would qualify for them.

Tier three

To qualify for tier three ill-health retirement, you need to be permanently unable to do your own job until your Normal Pension Age, but though you will be immediately incapable of doing any job, it is determined that you are likely to be able to take up some sort of job where you are working at least 30 hours a week within three years of leaving, or before your Normal Pension Age if that date is earlier.

If you qualify for tier three, you will receive the total value of pension benefits built up until your last day of service. Your pension benefits will not be reduced due to being released early. These pension benefits will be payable for a maximum period of three years from the date of leaving. There is more information about the options when tier three stops later on this page.

Tier two

To qualify for tier two ill-health retirement, you need to be permanently unable to do your own job until your normal pension age, but though you will be immediately incapable of doing any job, it is determined that you are likely to be able to take up some sort of job where you are working at least 30 hours a week before you reach your Normal Pension Age.

If you qualify for tier two, you will receive the total value of pension benefits built up until your last day of service. You will also receive an additional enhancement of 25% of the value of the pension you would have received had you continued to work until your Normal Pension Age. Your pension benefits will not be reduced due to being released early. Tier two pension benefits are not reviewed at a later date and you will receive a pension for life.  

Tier one

To qualify for tier one  ill-health retirement, you need to be permanently unable to do your own job until your normal pension age, and also unlikely to be able to take up any job working at least 30 hours a week until your Normal Pension Age. 

If you qualify for tier one, you will receive the pension you would have built up had you remained in the scheme contributing until your Normal Pension Age. Your pension benefits will not be reduced for releasing them early. Tier one pension benefits are not reviewed at a later date and you will receive a pension for life.

 

An employer decision

Ultimately, it is up to your employer to decide if you should be entitled to receive ill-health pension benefits and which tier should apply. The Pensions and Investments Team will not be informed of the outcome of any assessment for ill-health retirement until the retirement is approved. If the retirement is not approved, we will not be contacted by your employer.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of an assessment, you should discuss this with your employer in the first place. If after discussing this with your employer, you are still unhappy with a decision about an ill-health retirement, you’re entitled to appeal the decision under the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP). 

 

What we need from your employer

If you qualify for an ill-health pension, your employer needs to provide us with the following documents:

  • a leaver form
  • a final pay calculation (if applicable)
  • signed consent from you to agree to share your medical records with us
  • an LGPS medical certificate

Only once we have all of these things, completed fully and correctly, can we calculate how much your pension benefits will be. If anything is missing or incorrect, we will request this from your employer. Sometimes we may ask for additional pay information to ensure that we are assessing your pension benefits correctly.

 

Your pay information

As you may be aware, we use your pay information to calculate your LGPS pension benefits. You may be concerned that you have had some time off work due to sickness and wonder how this will affect the calculation of your pension. When someone is off sick, the employer provides us with a figure that we call ‘Assumed Pensionable Pay’ (APP). This is how much you would have received had you worked as normal. Therefore the calculation of your pension will not be affected by any sick leave.

You can find out more about this on our time away from work webpage.

We also use APP to calculate the ill-health retirement enhancements payable for tier one and tier two.

 

Protected members

If you were paying into the LGPS on 31 March 2008, were aged 45 or over on that date, have been continually paying into the LGPS and have not taken flexible retirement, you have additional protection on your ill-health pension benefits. This protection means your pension benefits will not be any less than they would have been under the scheme rules before 1 April 2008.  

 

Paying your pension  

Once we have all the information we need from your employer, we will calculate your pension benefits and provide you with a retirement pack. The retirement pack will allow you to choose how and where you would like your pension paid.

For general information on the process and what the pack will include, you can read the retirement process guide.

When we receive your fully completed forms, we will aim to pay your pension the month after your retirement date. Pensions are paid in arrears on the last working day of the month. If your retirement date has already passed, we will calculate any backdated pension owed to you and pay this as soon as possible, along with any lump sum payment you have opted for.

 

My pension online

In order to receive your retirement pack as fast as possible, please ensure you have registered for ‘my pension online’. This is the online portal that allows you to access your pension record, change your personal details and receive communications directly from the Pension and Investments Team.

You will also find your payslips and p60s published to ‘my pension online’ when you start to receive pension payments. As soon as your retirement pack is ready, we will publish it instantly and email you to let you know.

If you haven’t registered, or you’ve opted out, we will post your retirement pack out to you. Please be aware that it could take up to 5 working days or more for you to receive this.

 

Tax implications

Pension that is paid to you is subject to income tax. Also, the government has certain tax controls on pension savings limiting how much you can build up in both a year (annual allowance) and over a lifetime (lifetime allowance) before you need to pay a tax charge. Though these will not effect everyone, you should be aware of the implications, particularly if you receive an enhancement (tier 1 or tier 2) on your pension.

You may be exempt from an annual allowance check if the IRMP certifies that you are unlikely of being capable of taking on any other paid work in any capacity until state pension age.

For more information about both the annual and lifetime allowances, refer to the tax controls section of our website.

 

More information about tier three

If your ill-health retirement was assessed as tier three, the pension is payable for a maximum period of three years. While in payment, you can request that your former employer considers your eligibility for a tier two ill-health award. An IRMP will once again need to make an assessment. If the outcome is that you qualify for tier two, the tier two ill-health pension benefits will be payable from the date of determination. This is the date a decision is made by the employer. The employer can decide to move someone to tier two up to three years after a tier three ill-health pension has stopped being paid.

If you qualify for tier two, you will receive the relevant enhancement on your pension benefits. If you have already received a lump sum payment when your tier three ill-health pension was paid, this will be deducted from any tier two lump sum payable to you. This is because you can only take 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum payment.

Please note, while it is possible to move from a tier three to a tier two, it is not possible to move from a tier two to a tier one or a tier three to a tier one, regardless of any changes to a medical condition since the initial assessment.

When tier three ends

The tier three pension ends after three years.

The pension then becomes deferred and payable without reductions from your Normal Pension Age. You can choose to take it from age 55, but reductions will be applied for taking your pension early. We will require the usual three months’ notice to put a deferred pension into payment.

If you’re aged 55 or over at the date your tier three pension stops, we will write to you to offer your pension benefits on this date.

 

10. Tax controls on pensions

There are HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rules that govern pension savings. These are controls on the total contributions you can make into all pension arrangements and receive tax relief on, and on the pension savings you can have before you become subject to a tax charge. This is on top of any income tax you pay on your pension once it is in payment. There are two controls; the annual allowance and the lifetime allowance.

For more information on  the annual allowance and lifetime allowance visit the HMRC web site. You can also refer to the annual and lifetime allowance factsheets below.

What is the Annual Allowance?

The Annual Allowance (AA) is the amount by which the value of your pension benefits may increase in any one year without you having to pay a tax charge. This tax charge is in addition to any income tax you pay on your pension once it is in payment.

If the value of your pension savings in any one year (including pension savings outside of the LGPS) are more than the annual allowance, the excess is taxed as income.

The Government reduced the AA from £255,000 to £50,000 from 6 April 2011 and then reduced it again to £40,000 from 6 April 2014. Further changes to the annual allowance resulted in special transitional rules for the 2015/16 tax year. See the AA factsheet for more information.

 

Will the Annual Allowance tax charge affect me?

The current annual allowance for 2021/22 is set at £40,000. The AA tax charge won't affect most people because the value of their pension saving will not increase by more than £40,000 in a year. Even if it does, they are likely to have unused allowance from previous years that can be carried forward.  We will inform you, by 6 October, if your LGPS pension savings exceed the standard AA in any year.
 
If the total of an individual’s pension input amount, in respect of all their arrangements within our pension fund exceeds the AA, we provide a pension savings statement to the affected member by 6 October. This relates to what we hold in our pension fund and should include Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)
The pension savings statement shows:
  • The total of the member’s pension input amount in respect of all their arrangements in our pension fund. This is for the relevant pension input period and for the previous three pension input periods
  • The annual allowance for the tax year in which the relevant pension input period ends and for the previous three pension input periods.
Where the total of an individual’s pension input amount in respect of all their arrangements in our pension fund does not exceed the AA, the member will not receive a pension savings statement. But they can make a written request for one. We will then provide a pension savings statement showing the information detailed above.
 
Please note: The statement will be provided by the later of, three months following receipt of the request, or six months from the end of the tax year i.e. 6 October.

What is the Lifetime Allowance?

The lifetime allowance (LTA) is the total value of all pension benefits you can have without triggering an excess benefits tax charge. If the value of your pension benefits when you draw them is more than the LTA, or more than any protections you may have, you will have to pay tax on the excess benefits. This value does not include any state retirement pension, pension credit or any partner's or dependant's pension you may be entitled to.
 
The LTA covers any pension benefits you may have in all tax-registered pension arrangements. It is not limited to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The LTA was introduced in 2006 and was reduced in 2012, 2014 and again in 2016. Each time the LTA reduced, you were able to protect your pension savings by applying to HMRC for a LTA protection. See the LTA factsheet for more information on these protections.
The LTA is currently set at £1,073,100. The government has announced the LTA will be frozen at this rate for the next five years.

 

Downloads

LGPS Annual Allowance - Annual allowance factsheet
LGPS Lifetime Allowance - Lifetime allowance factsheet
LGPS Scheme Pays Q and A - Scheme Pays factsheet

11. Time away from work

Information about what happens to your pension benefits if you have time off work due to:

  • sickness
  • child-related leave
  • reserve forces leave
  • industrial action
  • another kind of authorised leave

 

Sick leave

If you have time off work because you're sick or injured, you'll continue to build up pension benefits in the scheme as if you had not been off. Contributions will be deducted from any pay you receive. If your pay is reduced, you will pay less contributions, and if you're on nil pay, you won’t pay any contributions. No matter how much you pay, your pension benefits will continue to build up as if you were at work.

If you’re in the 50/50 section and go onto unpaid sick leave, you'll be moved to the main section of the scheme from the beginning of the next pay period. You'll then build up full pension benefits in the LGPS despite not paying contributions.

If you’re on full or reduced pay and you already have an agreement in place to pay extra into your pension, you can continue to pay these from any pay you receive. You can give notice to stop paying these contracts if you choose. We will credit your account with the amount you have purchased at that date. If you're paying AVCs, you should check directly with your AVC provider any implications of stopping an AVC contract. If you're paying life cover, this may cease if you stop paying contributions.

If you're off sick from work and are on nil pay and were already contributing towards any contracts for extra or lost pension before you went off sick, these will be added to your pension account as if you had continued to pay them. This applies for all types of extra or lost pension contracts in place except for AVCs and part-time buy back contracts (pre 1 April 2014).

 

Parental leave

There are different rules for relevant child related leave and unpaid child related leave. Relevant child related leave includes:

  • Ordinary and additional maternity leave
  • Ordinary and additional adoption leave
  • Paid shared parental leave
  • Paternity leave

If you have time off work due to relevant child-related leave, you'll continue to build up pension benefits in the scheme as if you had not been off. Contributions will be deducted from any pay you receive. If your pay is reduced, you'll pay less contributions, and if you're on nil pay, you won’t pay any contributions. No matter how much you pay, your pension benefits will continue to build up as if you were at work.

If you’re in the 50/50 section and go onto no pay during relevant child-related leave, you'll be moved to the main section of the scheme and will then build up full pension benefits in the LGPS even though your pension contributions have stopped.

For any unpaid extra child-related leave, which includes extra maternity leave, extra adoption leave or extra shared parental leave, you'll not pay contributions and will not build up pension benefits in the scheme.

You're entitled to buy back the pension that you would have built up during this period by paying extra when you return to work. You would do this by paying an APC (Additional Pension Contribution). Your employer will contribute 2/3rds of the cost if you apply within 30 days of returning to work. To find out more about paying towards an APC including how to apply, visit the ‘increasing your benefits’ webpage.

 

Parental bereavement leave

If you take a period of paid parental bereavement leave and your pay is reduced, your pension will be calculated as if you had received your normal pay. If you take any further unpaid authorised leave after this period ends, you can choose to pay an APC to make up for pension lost during the period. Your employer will contribute 2/3rds of the cost if you apply within 30 days of returning to work. Please refer to the ‘increasing your benefits’ webpage for details on how to apply.

If you already have an agreement in place to pay extra into your pension, you can continue to pay contributions from any pay you receive while away from work. Otherwise, you can give notice to stop paying and we will credit your account with the amount you have purchased at that date. If your pay stops and you wish to continue paying these when you return to work, you should discuss this with your employer. If you're paying AVCs, you should check the implications of stopping any AVC contract with your AVC provider. If you're paying life assurance with your AVC provider, this cover may cease if you stop paying contributions. 

 

Calculating your pension on reduced or nil pay (sick leave, relevant child-related leave and parental bereavement leave)

If you're away from work due to sick leave, relevant child related leave or parental bereavement leave, you'll continue to build up pension benefits as if you were receiving full pay in the scheme, even when you're on nil pay. You may be aware that we calculate your pension using your pay information. When your pay is reduced due to one of these reasons, your employer tells us what your pay would have been if you had received your usual pay. This is called assumed pensionable pay, and we use this figure to work out your pension benefits for that period.

 

Strike/industrial action

If you're away from work for a day or more due to a strike, trade dispute or industrial action, you'll not build up membership for that period. You can, however, choose to buy back this period with an APC. Your employer is not obliged to contribute, although they can choose to. Please see the webpage ‘increasing your benefits’ for more details on how to apply.

If you already have an agreement in place to pay extra into your pension, you can continue to pay these from any pay you receive while away from work. Otherwise, you can give notice to stop paying these contributions and we will credit your account with the amount you have purchased at that date. If your pay stops and you wish to continue paying these when you return to work, you should discuss this with your employer.

If you're paying AVCs, you should check the implications of stopping any AVC contract with your AVC provider. If you're paying life assurance with your AVC provider, this cover may cease if you stop paying contributions. 

 

Reserved forces leave

If you go on reserve forces leave, you'll be able to choose if you wish to remain in the LGPS. If you do, your employer will notify you how much the pension contributions will be. You then need to provide this value to the Ministry of Defence so that the correct deductions can be made and paid across to Buckinghamshire Pension Fund. You'll then have the same pension build-up in the scheme as you would have if you had continued in your usual position.

If you decide not to remain the LGPS when you go on reserve forces leave, you'll not build up pension benefits in the scheme for this period.

If you already have an APC agreement in place, you can continue to pay these from your pay. Inform your employer, who will notify you of the amounts to be deducted. If you have a contract for added years (pre 1 April 2008), cohabiting partner pensions (pre 1 April 2008) or ARCs (pre 1 April 2014) in place, and the pay you receive while on reserve forces leave is equal to or higher than your usual pay, you should continue to pay these. If your pay is lower than what you normally pay, your contributions are deemed to have been paid. If you're paying AVCs, you can continue to pay these from any pay you receive.

You should check the implications of stopping any AVC contract with your AVC provider. If you're paying life assurance with your AVC provider, this cover may cease if you stop paying contributions. 

 

Authorised unpaid leave

You won’t build up pension benefits in the scheme while you're away from work on authorised unpaid leave, including jury service and Emergency Voluntary Leave (EVL). You can, however, choose to buy back this period by paying an APC when you return to work. Your employer will contribute 2/3rds of the cost if you apply within 30 days of returning to work. See our webpage ‘increasing your benefits’ for further details and how to apply.

If you already have an agreement in place to pay extra into your pension and you're on unpaid leave, these contributions will stop, and we will credit your account with the amount you have purchased at that date. If you wish to continue paying these when you return to work, you should discuss this directly with your employer.

If you're paying AVCs, you should check the implications of stopping any AVC contract with your AVC provider. If you're paying life assurance with your AVC provider, this cover may cease if you stop paying contributions. 

 

If you were in the scheme before 1 October 2006

You'll have 85-year rule protection if you were in the scheme before 1 October 2006. If you choose not to pay towards an APC to make up for any ‘lost period of service’ this will count as a break in service.

This means it will not be included in the calculation for the 85-year rule and could therefore impact on the date your pre-April 2014 pension benefits are payable without reductions. If you have any queries about this, you should contact us.  

 

Employer discretion

Under the regulations, your employer can choose to extend the 30-day time limit on making an application for a lost pension APC.

If you're outside of this 30-day time limit, you should contact your employer directly to find out what their discretionary policy is and how to apply.

 

12. Part time workers

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) changed from a final salary scheme to a career average scheme on the 1 April 2014. All benefits built up in the LGPS for membership after 31 March 2014 are worked out under the rules of the new career average scheme.
 
But if you joined the scheme before 1 April 2014 you will also have built up benefits in the final salary scheme. Your benefits in the LGPS built up before 1 April 2014 are based on your membership in the scheme up to 31 March 2014 and your final pay when you leave the scheme. The benefits based on membership to 31 March 2008 are worked out differently to benefits based on membership between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014.

How are benefits worked out? 

  • For membership built up to 31 March 2008. You receive a pension of 1/80th of your final pay plus an automatic tax-free lump sum of 3 times your pension.
  • For membership built up from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014, you receive a pension of 1/60th of your final pay. There is no automatic lump sum for membership built up after March 2008. But you do have the option to exchange some of your pension for a tax-free lump sum. 
  • For membership built up from 1 April 2014. Every year you will build up a pension at a rate of 1/49th of the amount of pensionable pay you received in that scheme year if you are in the main section of the scheme. It will build up at half this rate for any time you have elected to be in the 50/50 section of the scheme (1/98th). This pension is added to your pension account and revalued at the end of each scheme year so your pension keeps up with the cost of living

What counts towards membership in the scheme before 1 April 2014? 

Your benefits in the LGPS built up before 1 April 2014 are based on your membership built up in the scheme before this date and your final pay when you leave the scheme
 
If you worked part-time before 1 April 2014, your membership is reduced to its whole-time equivalent length to calculate the amount of your retirement benefits. For example, if you worked half-time for 10 years, your benefits would be based on 5 years' membership.  
If your hours changed during your membership of the scheme before 1 April 2014, your benefits will be worked out to include the hour changes
 
If you did not have any contractual hours, your membership for each year in the LGPS before 1 April 2014 will be calculated on average weekly hours worked during each year

What counts towards final pay to work out my benefits in the LGPS before 1 April 2014? 

While the scheme changed for all active members on 1 April 2014, there are protections in place. This ensures that, when you leave, your final pay is used to work out your pension for the membership you built up to 31 March 2014.  
 
The definition of final pay for benefits built up before 1 April 2014 remains the same as before the scheme changed from a final salary to a career average scheme on 1 April 2014This means that if you are working part-time when you leave the LGPS, or worked part-time at some point during your last year of membership, your final pay is the whole-time pay that you would have received, if you had worked whole-time.  

How is my pension worked out from 1 April 2014?

Every year, you will build up a pension at a rate of 1/49th of the amount of pensionable pay (and any assumed pensionable pay) you received in that scheme year if you are in the main section of the scheme. If you have elected to join the 50/50 section of the scheme your pension will build up at half this rate (1/98th). The calculation is based on your part time pensionable pay if you work part time hours. 
 
If during the scheme year you had been;
  • on leave on reduced contractual pay or no pay due to sickness or injury, or
  • on relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave,
then for the period of that leave, your pension is based on your assumed pensionable pay. The amount of pension built up during the scheme year is then added to your pension account. Your pensions is revalued at the end of each scheme year so that it keeps up with the cost of living. 
 
You can take a tax-free lump sum by giving up some of your annual pension. You can take up to 25% of the capital value of your LGPS benefits as a lump sum. For every £1 of annual pension that you give up you will receive a £12 lump sum. In the same way, giving up £100 of your annual pension would give you £1,200 lump sum, and so on.

13. Transferring in previous pensions

Before making a request to transfer your previous pension benefits, you will need to get up to date information from your former pension provider(s) and the Pensions & Investments Team

You will not be able to decide whether a transfer is the best option until you have all the relevant facts and figures. This information will enable you to make a comparison between your former pension scheme and the LGPS. The best time to make your decision is when we tell you how much extra pension you would get. This will allow you to make a more informed decision. 

Please deal with this now. You could lose out if you delay.

You must apply within 12 months of joining the LGPS.  If you delay, the amount of extra pension you are credited with may change considerably.  The LGPS Regulations only allow transfers to take place within the first 12 months of joining the Scheme. Your current employer can exercise their discretion to extend this limit and you can ask your Employer what their policy is on this.
 
If you are outside the 12 month limit to transfer and you wish to approach your employer to request an extension, please complete section 1 and 2 of the Transfer Quote Request Form, and then forward it to your employer so that they can complete section 3 Once the form has been completed in full and signed by yourself and your employer, return the form to the Pensions & Investments Team.
 
Please note: If you were a member of a Public Sector Club Scheme, you must make a formal ‘election to proceed’ within 12 months of joining the new Club scheme to be entitled to a transfer under Club rules (i.e. a request for an estimate or an enquiry is not enough). Deal with this now.

The transfer process explained

Initially, you are requesting a transfer investigation, not an actual transfer. You should not make a decision or transfer request until you have all the details about the extra pension you will receive in the LGPS and also details of your entitlements from your former provider, so that you can make a comparison.
We're not allowed to advise you, but we are happy to discuss your transfer and point out any relevant details which may assist you in reaching your decision. You can take independent financial advice if you wish and you may have to pay for this advice.
So what do I do next?

Contact your previous pension provider and request a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV). They must supply this to you on headed paper. We cannot accept a figure provided by you.

Once you receive this, fill in Section 1 of the Transfer Quote Request Form. Sign, date and send it to us along with the CETV from your previous pension provider.

If you're outside the 12-month limit, you'll also need to complete section 2. Send this to your employer. If your request is approved, they should complete section 3. You should send section 2 and 3 to us along with the CETV from your previous pension provider.

Once we have received this, we'll calculate how much your previous pension is worth when combined with your LGPS pension. You should review the information we send to you and decide if you wish to proceed. If you choose to go ahead, you should complete the any forms you receive and send them to us. If we do not hear back from you, we will assume you no longer wish to proceed.

If you have previous LGPS membership, you do not need to complete the Transfer Quite Request pack. Instead, you should complete the LGPS Membership Form instead.

 

Our transfer forms 

  • LGPS Membership form - Complete and return if you have LGPS benefits in another LGPS Fund or if you have an AVC fund

 

Is it always possible to transfer previous pension benefits?

In the majority of cases a transfer can be paid, but because of the way the LGPS works and the guarantees it gives, this is not always the case In some circumstances the amount of money being paid is not enough to cover the liability that we are taking on and we cannot accept the transfer value. We would always notify you if this applied in your case.

14. Covid-19 active and deferred member FAQs

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in the way that we live and work.

This short guide will answer some of the questions you may have about the impact of the outbreak on your Buckinghamshire Local Government Pension.

 

I heard that the coronavirus is impacting on pensions, will the value of my Buckinghamshire Local Government Pension decrease?

No. The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a defined benefit scheme.

This means your pension is based on your salary and how long you’ve paid in, rather than any investment or stock market performance, so it will not be impacted by the current crisis.

 

What about my AVC fund, will coronavirus impact on the value of that?

If you have an AVC fund, it is possible that the value will reduce depending on the type of fund. You should contact your AVC provider directly for more information.

We’re unable to offer any financial advice. However, if you have an AVC fund and you’re due to retire soon, you may wish to contact our team to find out what AVC options will be available to you at retirement.

 

I'm retiring soon, will you still be able to pay me my pension?

Yes. Paying your pension is a priority to us and we’ll do everything we can to ensure you receive payment.

If you’re an active member, you may wish to take a look at our retirement process guide which includes answers to some of our most common retirement FAQs.

 

Are you still dealing with other things like transfers and issuing benefit statements?

While we’re prioritising certain areas of work, such as; retirements and deaths, we’re still doing our best to complete all other requests. Though this does mean that it may take longer than usual to respond to your queries. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Though we have not currently suspended any area of work, other pension funds may decide to do so which could cause some delays that are out of our control.

 

I am currently receiving a pension from you; will you keep paying me?

Yes. We consider this a priority. Your payments will continue as usual.

 

Can I still get in touch with you if I have more questions, or need help with my pension?

Yes. Although many of us are working from home, we're prioritising the most important areas of work and we’re still processing your requests in the usual way. Our contact details are at the end of this page. 

 

Can I still send you letters?

You can still send us letters if you don’t have internet access, but it may take longer than usual to process your request. To provide you with the best service, and to minimize our time in the office, we request that you please send us information electronically.

You can now send us information via your ‘my pensions online’ account.

If you have any problems registering, we’re ready to assist you. You can email us at mypensiononline@buckinghamshire.gov.uk or call us on 01296 383 755.

 

I heard that there are more scams about due to coronavirus, what can I do to protect myself and my pension?

We have many procedures in place to ensure that your details are kept safe. So, you can be confident that we are looking after the security of your pension account. However, there are sadly many scams currently operating in relation to Covid-19 which you should be aware of.

These scams could be about insurance policies, pension transfers, or high-return investments. These scammers have very clever ways of getting your personal information or convincing you to transfer your pension to unregulated, untrustworthy schemes.

It is essential that you take every precaution to avoid falling victim to a scam, and don’t share personal information with others. Everyone can be scammed; not just the vulnerable.

The Money Advice Service offers guidance on how to avoid pension scams. If you suspect a scam, you should call Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040. If you’re considering transferring your pension to another scheme, you should make sure that the scheme is reputable. If you’re not sure, you can contact The Pensions Advisory Service for more help.

 

I'm struggling to manage financially; can I opt out of paying pension contributions?

You can opt out, but you should make sure that it’s the right decision for you by understanding the implications. For example; if you opt out now, and you’re entitled to a deferred benefit, if you rejoin the scheme later, a new pension record will be set up and you will not be able to combine this later record with your earlier one. Also, being an LGPS member means your next of kin will be entitled to receive 3 times your pensionable pay if you were to die in service. If you opt out, your loved ones could miss out. 

Rather than opting out, you may wish to consider joining the 50/50 section of the scheme. This is a way to reduce your pension contributions whilst remaining in the LGPS. Also, many companies, such as banks and car finance firms are offering support during the Covid-19 crisis. The  Money Advice Service has Full details of financial support you may be entitled to.   

You should get independent financial advice before you make your decision, but if you still wish to opt out after considering the other options, you can do so by completing an optout form and sending it to your payroll provider.

 

I’m off sick, will that impact on my pension?

No. If you’re off sick, your pension will continue to build-up as if you were working as usual. You will continue to pay pension contributions on any sick pay you receive.

 

I’m in financial difficulty, can I take my deferred pension early?

You can take your pension at any point after age 55, though there will be reductions if you’re taking your pension before normal pension age. However, you still need to provide us with three months’ notice to take your pension early. It’s a difficult and worrying time, and you may be tempted to make rushed decisions about your finances, so please make sure you’ve considered your options carefully and sought financial advice where possible.

The Money Advice Service has more information on the financial support that may be available to you. 

 

I've been furloughed, what happens to my pension?

Public funded workers are unlikely to be furloughed, but some employers in the LGPS will be able to access the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

If you’re furloughed, your employer can apply for a grant to cover 80% of your usual salary, up to a maximum of £2,500, from 1 November 2020 until 30 June 2021. After 1 July, the amount that can be claimed by employers for a furloughed employee will reduce. The employer will also be required to contribute towards the employee’s wages. The government has stated that the scheme will close on 1 October 2021.

Furloughed pay is pensionable, and you will continue to pay contributions on this. Your employer will also pay contributions based on the furloughed pay. If your pay is reduced, your pension build-up will also be lower than it would be if you were receiving full pay.

You can choose to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APC) to buy extra pension to make up for the loss. Your employer is not obliged contribute towards this, though they can choose to.

 

I'm on authorised unpaid leave, how will that effect my pension?

If you take unpaid leave, you will not build up pension for the period, but you can choose to pay a Lost Pension APC to make up for it. The cost will be split between you and your employer, but you must apply within 30 days of your return to work to be eligible.

Contact your employer directly to request the amount of lost pension, complete the online form and send it directly to your employer.  

 

I've taken Emergency Volunteering Leave (EVL), what impact will that have?

The government has allowed workers to contribute to the coronavirus effort by introducing a new statutory entitlement called Emergency Volunteering Leave This allows workers to take unpaid emergency leave to volunteer in health and social care roles.

If you take a period of EVL, your pension will continue to build up in the same way as if you had continued working in your normal role. You will only pay contributions on any actual pay you receive.

 

Will the government's death in service life assurance scheme for frontline NHS and social care workers be paid in addition to the LGPS death in service grant?

Yes - the scheme specifies that payments are separate to and regardless of other registered pension scheme benefits.

 

Contact

If you have any queries, contact the Pensions & Investments Team.

15. Exit payment reforms and your pension

95k Cap regulations revoked - updated March 2021

On 4 November 2020, HM Treasury introduced a limit of £95,000 on the total of all exit payments made to public sector workers leaving on the grounds of redundancy or efficiency retirement. Exit payments include statutory and discretionary redundancy payments, as well as pension strain costs for early payment of pension benefits. The government has now issued regulations to revoke the cap regulations. This means that anyone over 55 leaving after 12 February due to redundancy or business efficiency will not be subject to a cap on exit payments and will receive unreduced pension benefits paid under Regulation 30(7) (LGPS 2013).

Members who were subject to the cap because they left the scheme due to redundancy or business efficiency between 4 November and 12 February will be contacted and provided with unreduced pension benefits.

While the cap is longer in force, the government have confirmed their intention remains to limit exit payments in the public sector, we therefore expect a cap to be in place in the future.

 

Changes to compensation payments and LGPS regulations

In 2020, the government published a consultation entitled Reforming public sector exit pay. The consultation proposed changes to compensation payments and to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The proposals included limiting pay used in the calculation of redundancy compensation and discretionary redundancy payments, as well as giving members the option of deferring payment of pension benefits following redundancy or efficiency retirement. The consultation closed on 9 November 2020.

Since the revocation of the £95k cap, the government has confirmed that they will consult again on further reforms to exit payments before any changes are made.

This page will be updated when we receive any further updates.

 

16. Glossary

A - Z

Glossary of Local Government Pension Scheme terms.

 

Active member

A member of a pension scheme who is building up pension benefits by paying contributions into the pension scheme on a regular basis.

Actuarial reduction

An actuarial reduction is applied to a member's accrued pension benefits. The reduction is to offset any extra cost arising from early payment of their retirement benefits.

Actuary

An actuary is a qualified, independent person, whose role is to value pension funds. 

Additional Pension Contributions (APCs)

If you are in the main section of the scheme you can pay more in contributions to buy extra pension. APCs are used to buy pension lost during certain periods of leave of absence on no pay or periods on no pay due to a trade dispute. Visit www.lgpsmember.org for an online quote.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

These are extra payments to increase your future benefits. You can also pay AVCs to provide extra life cover. AVCs are deducted from your pay and attract tax relief. Our Fund’s AVC providers are Scottish Widows and Prudential.

Administering Authority

In this instance, we are the 'Administering Authority'. We maintain member records, deal with member queries/requests, invest the Fund and pay your LGPS pension.

Admitted Body

An 'Admitted Body' is an employer who is carrying out work that is very similar in nature to a public service. Once the application to become an Admitted Body is approved, the Employer enters into a contractual arrangement with the administering authority so that its employees may join/remain in the LGPS.

Annual benefit statement

An annual process which produces a benefit calculation for every single member/employment held on our database. This excludes pensioners, employees who have left the scheme with no benefit entitlements and deceased members. The estimate is accurate as of the last complete financial year or, in the case of deferred statements, the member's date of leaving the authority.

Assumed Pensionable Pay

This provides a notional pensionable pay figure to ensure your pension is not affected by any reduction in pensionable pay due to a period of sickness or injury on reduced contractual pay or no pay, or relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave. If you have a period of reduced contractual or no pay due to sickness or injury or you have a period of relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave then your employer needs to provide the pension fund with the assumed pensionable pay you would have received during that time. Your employer will calculate what your pay would have been for the period when you were on reduced contractual pay or no pay due to sickness or the period of relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave. 

The assumed pensionable pay is the average of the pensionable pay you received for the 12 weeks (or 3 months if monthly paid) before the pay period in which you went on to reduced pay or no pay because of sickness or injury or before you started a period of relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave. This figure is grossed up to an annual figure and then divided by the period of time you were on reduced pay or no pay for sickness or injury or on relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave.

 

B

Beneficiary

A person who will receive a benefit payment from the scheme once certain events come to pass. For example, a spouse's pension paid on the death of a scheme member.

Benefits forecast/estimate

We can produce estimates which will give you a rough idea of what your pension is likely to be. The nearer you are to retirement age, the more accurate your estimate is likely to be. You can also produce your own pension forecasts at https://ms.buckscc.gov.uk

Best value

Legislation to make local authorities more accountable for their actions and expenditure. Local authorities are expected to simplify services and ensure that the public they serve are receiving good 'value for money'.

 

C

Certificate of protection

Certificates of Protection of Pension Benefits were intended to protect, for a period of up to 10 years, pension rights accrued by a scheme member who had been forced to accept a lower rate of pay or whose pay had been restricted.

Civil partnership

A civil partnership is a relationship between two people which is formed when they register as civil partners of each other.

Club transfer rules

Club transfer rules allow certain final salary occupational pension schemes, mainly public service pension schemes, to calculate transfers on a special terms. Transfers into the LGPS, including final salary membership from other public sector club transfer schemes (usually membership up to 31 March 2015), or transfers out of the LGPS to other public sector club schemes (including final salary membership built up before 1 April 2014), provide benefits that are broadly equal across both schemes. Provided there is not a continuous break in active membership of a public service pension scheme of more than 5 years, any final salary membership transferred would buy a period of membership and keep a final salary link. We will provide you with further information on club transfers should this apply to you.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the official measure of inflation of consumer prices in the United Kingdom. This is the measure used to adjust your pension account at the end of every scheme year while you are an active member of the scheme. After you have ceased to be an active member, it is used to adjust (each April) the value of your deferred pension in the scheme and any pension in payment from the scheme. The adjustment ensures your pension keeps up with the cost of living.

Contracted-in/contracted-out

Up to 5 April 2016 the LGPS was contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P). This meant that, up to State Pension Age, you paid reduced National Insurance contributions between the Lower Earnings Limit and the Upper Accruals Point (unless you opted to pay the married woman's/widow's reduced rate of National Insurance). The LGPS guarantees to pay you a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) for being contracted out of the State Earning Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) . For membership after 5 April 1997, the LGPS must pass the Reference Scheme test prescribed under the Pensions Act 1995.

Contributions

A regular amount of money paid into a pension scheme to guarantee you a pension at the end of your working career. Contributions into the LGPS will be between 5.5% and 12.5% of your actual pensionable pay and will be shown on your pay slip. Higher contribution rates can be paid through AVC or FSAVC plans.

 

D

Deferred member

A member who leaves the scheme with more than 2 years service (and hence becomes entitled to Deferred Benefits) is known as a Deferred Member. The member is not allowed to continue paying into the LGPS after leaving local government employment, unless they start work with another authority offering the LGPS at a later date.

Discretion

This is the power given by MHCLG to enable your employer or your administering authority to choose how they will apply the Scheme in respect of certain of its provisions. Under the LGPS your employer or your administering authority must consider the mandatory discretionary provisions. They must pass resolutions to form a policy of how they will apply the provision. In respect of the remaining discretionary provisions they are advised to do so. They have a responsibility to act with prudence and propriety in formulating their policies and must keep them under review. You can ask your employer or your administering authority what their policy is in relation to a discretion.

 

E

Early leaver

A member of the scheme who leaves before pension benefits are brought into payment, normally becoming entitled to preserved/deferred benefits.

Early retirement

A member who leaves the scheme, with immediate entitlement to benefits, before their normal pension age (NPA).

Earnings cap

If you joined the scheme on or after 1st June 1989, the earnings cap was the maximum pay that you could pay contributions on and upon which your benefits can be calculated. The figure was reviewed annually by the Government and increased in line with the Retail Prices Index and the final Earnings Cap for 2005/6 was £105,600. Please note that the Earnings Cap has ceased due to the new lifetime allowance limits introduced in the April 2006 regulations.

Eighty-five year rule

This was a method by which scheme members were allowed to retire early (rarely earlier than 60) and without a percentage reduction, if their age and total membership in the scheme totalled 85 years or more. It was withdrawn from the LGPS on 1st October 2006.

Eligible children

Eligible children are your children. They must, at the date of your death: 
  • be your natural child (who must be born within 12 months of your death), or
  • be your adopted child, or
  • be your step-child or a child accepted by you as being a member of your family (this doesn’t include a child you sponsor for charity) and be dependent on you.
Eligible children must meet the following conditions:
  • be under age 18, or
  • be aged 18 or over and under 23 and in full-time education or vocational training (although The Pensions & Investments Team can continue to treat the child as an eligible child notwithstanding a break in full-time education or vocational training), or
  • be unable to engage in gainful employment because of physical or mental impairment and either:
    • has not reached the age of 23, or
    • the impairment is, in the opinion of an independent registered medical practitioner, likely to be permanent and the child was dependent on you at the date of your death because of that mental or physical impairment.

Eligible cohabiting partner

An eligible cohabiting partner is a partner you are living with who, at the date of your death, has met all of the following conditions for a continuous period of at least 2 years:
  • you and your cohabiting partner are, and have been, free to marry each other or enter into a civil partnership with each other, and
  • you and your cohabiting partner have been living together as if you were husband and wife, or civil partners, and
  • neither you or your cohabiting partner have been living with someone else as if you/they were husband and wife or civil partners, and
  • either your cohabiting partner is, and has been, financially dependent on you or you are, and have been, financially interdependent on each other.

Your partner is financially dependent on you if you have the highest income. Financially interdependent means that you rely on your joint finances to support your standard of living. It doesn’t mean that you need to be contributing equally. For example, if your partner’s income is a lot more than yours, he or she may pay the mortgage and most of the bills, and you may pay for the weekly shopping.

On your death, a survivor’s pension would be paid to your cohabiting partner if:

  • all of the above criteria apply at the date of your death, and
  • your cohabiting partner satisfies The Pensions & Investments Team that the above conditions had been met for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately prior to your death.

You are not required to complete a form to nominate a cohabiting partner for entitlement to a cohabiting partner’s pension. However, you can provide the Pensions & Investments Team with your cohabiting partner’s details. We will require evidence upon your death to check that the conditions for a cohabiting partner's pension are met. 

Eligible Jobholder

An eligible jobholder is a worker who is aged a least 22 and under State Pension Age and who earns more than the annual amount of £10,000 (2020/21 figure).

 

F

Final Pay

This is usually the pay in respect of (i.e. due for) your final year of scheme membership on which you paid contributions, or one of the previous 2 years if this is higher, and includes your normal pay, contractual shift allowance, bonus, contractual overtime (but not non-contractual overtime), Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay, and any other taxable benefit specified in your contract as being pensionable.
If you were part-time for all or part of the final year the whole-time pay that you would have received if you had worked whole-time is used and if your pay in your final year was reduced because of sickness or relevant child related leave, final pay is the pay you would have received had you not been on sick leave or relevant child related leave.

Flexible retirement

This allows you to start receiving some or all of their benefits from an earlier age (i.e. 55 years and over), yet continue working for their employer for several more years in exchange for reducing their hours and/or pay grade. Scheme members MUST have their employers consent in order to 'retire' in this manner. Please contact your employer’s Human Resources department and ask them for details of their Flexible Retirement policy.

FSAVC (Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions)

As opposed to an in-house AVC scheme (organised through our in-house providers; Scottish Widows and Prudential), a FSAVC is an arrangement you make independently of us with a pension provider of your choosing. Once you retire, you can use the contributions paid into your FSAVC to purchase extra pension from a provider of your choice. Note: you will only be able to buy this pension from us if you are paying into the in-house scheme.

 

G

Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP)

In agreeing to contract-out of S2P/SERPS, an employer must agree to guarantee a second pension of at least equivalent value had the member stayed paying into S2P/SERPS. This is the minimum pension that the LGPS must pay you, had you been a member of the LGPS on and between 6th April 1978 and 5th April 1997.

 

I

Ill health early retirement

A scheme member can retire from their employment if their illness prohibits them from permanently completing their employment duties. Ill health retirement will only apply to those cases where an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner qualified in occupational health has agreed that the member cannot return to their duties or any other "gainful employment". In the event that the retirement is agreed upon, all of the usual restrictions to retirement (age, pensionable service etc) are removed.

In-house AVC

The AVC scheme provided by an occupational pension scheme. Our current providers are Scottish Widows and Prudential.

 

L

Late retirement

This refers to a scheme member who works up to, and beyond, their normal retirement age. They will be eligible for benefit payments immediately, once the decision to leave their existing employment has been made. Members can remain in the LGPS up to age 75.

Local Government Association (LGA)

The LGA's primary function is to act as the representative for all of the local authority pension funds within the United Kingdom, particularly in their dealings with MHCLG. 

Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

The occupational pension scheme available to all local government employees in England and Wales, including those employees who are entitled to join the pension fund under an admission agreement agreed with the local administering authority. It includes civilian members of Police and Fire Authorities and support staff at further education establishments, but NOT uniformed officers or teachers.

 

M

Member

An employee of the council and/or admitted bodies who, at some stage in their working career, has been a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme. 

 

N

Nominated cohabiting partners

A Nominated Cohabiting Partner is a partner on whom financial dependency or interdependency can be proven for at least two years. To be eligible for nominated partner status, both cohabiting partners must be free to marry/register their civil partnership.

Normal Pension Age

Normal Pension Age is linked to your State Pension Age for benefits built up from April 2014 (but with a minimum of age 65) and is the age at which you can take the pension you have built up in full. If you choose to take your pension before your Normal Pension Age it will normally be reduced, as it's being paid earlier. If you take it later than your Normal Pension Age it's increased because it's being paid later.

You can use the Government’s State Pension Age calculator (www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension) to find out your State Pension Age. Please note that this calculator does not include proposed changes to State Pension Age.
Remember that your State Pension Age may change in the future and this would also change your Normal Pension Age in the LGPS for benefits built up from April 2014. Once you start drawing your pension any subsequent change to your State Pension Age will not affect your Normal Pension Age in the LGPS.
If you were paying into the LGPS before 1 April 2014 your final salary benefits retain their protected Normal Pension Age - which for most is age 65. However all pension benefits drawn on normal retirement must be taken at the same date i.e. you cannot separately draw your final salary benefits (built up before April 2014) at age 65 and your benefits in your pension account (built up from April 2014) at your Normal Pension Age (which for your benefits built up from April 2014 is linked to your State Pension Age but with a minimum of age 65).

 

O

Occupational pension scheme

A pension scheme to which only employees of a particular company or related group of employers is eligible to contribute. As soon as the employee leaves the employer, they will no longer be eligible to pay into the pension scheme.

 

P

Pension Account

Each scheme year the amount of pension you have built up during the year is worked out and this amount is added into your active pension account. Adjustments may be made to your account during the scheme year to take account of any transfer of pension rights into the account during the year, any additional pension you may have decided to purchase during the year or which is granted to you by your employer, any reduction due to a Pension Sharing Order or qualifying agreement in Scotland (following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership) and any reduction due to an Annual Allowance tax charge that you have asked the scheme to pay on your behalf. Your account is then revalued to take account of the cost of living. This adjustment is carried out in line with the Treasury Revaluation Order index which is the rate of the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

You will have a separate pension account for each employment. That pension account will hold the entire pension built-up for that employment.

In addition to an active member’s pension account there are also a:

  • deferred member’s pension account;
  • deferred refund account;
  • retirement pension account;
  • flexible retirement pension account;
  • deferred pensioner member’s account;
  • pension credit account; and
  • survivor member’s account.

These accounts will be adjusted by any debits for any Pension Sharing Order or qualifying agreement in Scotland (following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership) and for any Annual Allowance tax charge that you have asked the scheme to pay on your behalf. These accounts are currently adjusted each April in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

Pensionable pay

The pay on which you normally pay contributions is your normal salary or wages plus any shift allowance, bonuses, overtime (both contractual and non-contractual), Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay and any other taxable benefit specified in your contract as being pensionable. 

You do not pay contributions on any travelling or subsistence allowances, pay in lieu of notice, pay in lieu of loss of holidays, any payment as an inducement not to leave before the payment is made, any award of compensation (other than payment representing arrears of pay) made for the purpose of achieving equal pay, pay relating to loss of future pensionable payments or benefits, any pay paid by your employer if you go on reserve forces service leave nor (apart from some historical cases) the monetary value of a car or pay received in lieu of a car.

Pensionable service

This can be accrued by working for us, Local Authorities or Admitted Bodies in a non-teaching capacity. The period of time you pay into the LGPS, whilst working in Local Government, is known as your Pensionable Service (See also total membership ).

Pensions increase

This is a figure applied annually (every April) to all active pensions paid by our pensioner payroll. It is a figure intended to offset the cost of living inflation, so in effect it preserves the value of a pension throughout its time in payment. Pensioners who have not been on pension for 1 full year or people retiring under the age of 55 (bar ill-health) do not qualify for the increase straight away. Rates can be found on our pensioner pages.

Pensions Ombudsman

The Pensions Ombudsman is responsible for investigating complaints and settling disputes which can arise between scheme administrators and scheme members. Pension schemes must follow the Ombudsman’s rulings, but scheme administrators are allowed to challenge the rulings in court if they so wish. Visit the Pensions Ombudsman website for further information.

Personal pension plan

This is an individual pension arrangement between a person and a financial company of their choosing. They generally offer a more flexible approach to pension contributions, whereas an occupational scheme is more geared towards accommodating a particular type of contributor/employee.

Preserved benefits

If you leave your local government employment with over 2 years pensionable service, you will become entitled to a 'Preserved Benefit' (sometimes referred to as 'Deferred Benefits'). You will receive a monthly pension (and, depending on when you stopped contributing to the LGPS, a one-off tax free lump-sum) from this preserved benefit when you reach normal retirement age (or earlier, depending on circumstances). If you would rather not receive a pension from our pension fund, you may elect to transfer your preserved benefit to another pension scheme (either another occupational scheme or a private pension).

Protected rights

The lowest amount of benefits that a Contracted-Out Money Purchase Scheme (COMPS) can pay to a member. The amount is worked out by using the money purchase method, with minimum contributions or minimum payments making up the payments to the fund.

Policy statement

This is a statement that your employer and your administering authority must produce, setting out the policies that they have resolved to follow in exercising certain discretions under the LGPS. Other discretions may also be included. You should be notified of the policies contained on the Statement and where changes are made, you should be notified within one month of the change occurring. You may ask your employer and your administering authority for the latest copy of their Policy Statements.

 

Q

Qualifying service

A period of service accrued in a previous employment, which, although not actually transferred to the new pensionable employment, does provide the scheme member with additional benefits (most notably in meeting membership dependant criteria such as the ’85-Year Rule’). The service itself does NOT contribute towards pension benefits accrued on this new employment. The majority of Qualifying Service is collected from previous Local Government employments.

 

R

Relevant Child Related Leave

Relevant child related leave includes periods of Ordinary Maternity, Adoption or Paternity Leave (normally first 26 weeks) and any periods of paid Additional Maternity, Adoption or Paternity Leave (normally after week 26 up to week 39).

Remuneration

In the case of the LGPS, a persons pensionable remuneration is their last 365 days pay (certain payments are pensionable, others aren't - if in doubt, check with your payroll department). Please note, your pensionable remuneration will almost certainly be different (in most cases, lower) to your salary scale point, due to the final 365 days (for the majority) straddling two financial years.

Reserve Forces Service Leave

This occurs when a Reservist is mobilised and called upon to take part in military operations. The period of mobilisation can range from three months or less and up to a maximum of 12 months. During a period of reserve forces service leave you will, if you elect to stay in the LGPS during that leave, continue to build up a pension based on the rate of assumed pensionable pay you would have received had you not been on reserve forces service leave.

 

S

Stakeholder pension scheme

These are designed to be low-charge, flexible and easy to use. They are intended for people who cannot pay into an occupational scheme or a suitable personal pension plan. One of the bonuses of such a scheme is that you can choose how much to pay into your pension as-and-when it suits you. When you eventually come to retire, you will use the money saved up to purchase a suitable pension from a personal pension provider.

State Second Pension (S2P) or State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)

If a person in employment does not pay into an occupational or personal pension scheme, they will automatically pay into S2P/SERPS. As soon as an employee’s earnings exceed a lower earnings limit, payments are made to S2P/SERPS in the form of additional national insurance contributions. You cannot 'opt-out' of S2P/SERPS unless you have an alternative pension scheme to pay into.

State Pension Age

This is the earliest age you can receive the state basic pension.
In November 2018, State Pension age was 65 for men and women. State Pension age is gradually increasing and will reach 67 by 2028. State Pension age is going to be kept under review which means it could change again in the future.
Find out your State Pension Age

 

T

Total membership

This is the amount of membership that counts for:

Entitlement to a benefit:

  • The number of years and days that you have been a LGPS member (at full calendar length for part time employment).
  • The number of years and days purchased by a transfer into the LGPS from another pension arrangement.
  • Any part time employment prior to joining the LGPS which you have been allowed to count (at full calendar length).
  • Any additional years of membership purchased by you or purchased by converting AVCs into a period of membership.
  • It does not include any additional years of membership which have been granted to you by your employer.

Calculating a benefit

  • The number of years and days that you have been a LGPS member (with part time employment reduced to its whole time equivalent length).
  • The number of years and days purchased by a transfer into the LGPS from another pension arrangement.
  • Any additional years of membership that you have bought or which have been granted to you by your employer.
  • Any additional years of membership purchased by converting AVCs into a period of membership.
  • Any membership granted by way of ill health enhancement.

 

V

Vesting Period

The vesting period in the LGPS is 2 years. You will meet the 2 years vesting period if:

  • you have been a member of the LGPS in England and Wales for 2 years, or
  • you have brought a transfer of pension rights into the LGPS in England or Wales from a different occupational pension scheme or from a European pensions institution and the length of service you had in that scheme or institution was 2 or more years or, when added to the period of time you have been a member of the LGPS is, in aggregate, 2 or more years, or
  • you have brought a transfer of pension rights into the LGPS in England or Wales from a pension scheme or arrangement where you were not allowed to receive a refund of contributions, or
  • you have previously transferred pension rights out of the LGPS in England or Wales to a pension scheme abroad (i.e. to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme), or
  • you already hold a deferred benefit or are receiving a pension from the LGPS in England or Wales (other than a survivor's pension or pension credit member's pension), or
  • you have paid National Insurance contributions whilst a member of the LGPS and cease to contribute to the LGPS in the tax year of attaining pension age,
  • you cease to contribute to the LGPS at age 75, or
  •  you die in service.

 

W

Widow/er or civil partner's pensions

A pension paid to the surviving spouse/civil partner of a former pension scheme contributor. The spouse/civil partner's pension is a standard part of the benefits package open to LGPS members; no extra cost is required to fund this.