Membership and contributions

For information about how your benefits are worked out when you retire see "how are my benefits worked out?".

How much does it cost?

How much it costs you depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.5% of your pay.

Your rate will depend on which pay band you fall into.

The real cost to you will be less because you do not pay tax on the amount you pay into your pension.

If you work part time or term time you will only pay contributions on your actual pay.

 

Example

Alex works full time and his pay is £20,000 a year, this puts him in band 2 so he will pay 5.8% of £20,000.

This works out at £96 a month, but the real cost to him will be £77 after accounting for tax relief savings.

If he worked part time (half the hours) he would only pay 5.5% but only on his £10,000 pay.

Contribution rates

What do I pay?

Your contribution rate depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.5% of your pensionable pay. The rate you pay depends on which pay band you fall into.

If you work part-time or term time, your rate is based on the actual rate of pay for your job, so you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn.

These are the pay bands that apply from April 2018:

Pay band

If your yearly pay is:

You pay a contribution rate of: 

 

 

Main section

50/50 section

1

Up to £14,100

5.5%

2.75%

2

More than £14,101 and up to £22,000

5.8%

2.9%

3

More than £22,001 and up to £35,700

6.5%

3.25%

4

More than £35,701 and up to £45,200

6.8%

3.4%

5

More than £45,201 and up to £63,100

8.5%

4.25%

6

More than £63,101 and up to £89,400

9.9%

4.95%

7

More than £89,401 and up to £105,200

10.5%

5.25%

8

More than £105,201 and up to £157,800

11.4%

5.7%

9

More than £157,801

12.5%

6.25%

*The pay band ranges will be increased each April in line with the cost of living.


How can I increase my pension?

You can pay more to top up your pension.

There are two ways you can currently increase your pension from the Scheme.

  • Buying extra pension
  • Paying Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVCs)

Don't forget you get tax relief on extra contributions which lowers their real cost to you.

There are limits on the amount of extra contributions you can pay. To find out more please contact us.

 

Buying extra pension

You can buy more pension, right up to a maximum of £6,822.

The extra pension you buy will be paid the same way as your retirement pension.

How much does it cost?

The cost to you will depend on a number of factors.

Here are some general examples, you can additionally use the online calculator developed by the Local Government Association (LGA) to get an idea of how much the purchase of additional pension might cost you.  This can be accessed via the following link:

LGA Additional Pension Calculator 

Your pension fund administering authority may require a satisfactory medical report to be submitted, at your cost, before your application is accepted. Where this is the case you will be notified of the process to be followed after submitting your application to pay APCs.

To find out more, please contact us

Pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

You can pay more contributions to our AVC schemes (sometimes called "in house" AVC schemes).

You choose how much to pay in AVCs and how they are invested. The money will come straight out of your pay and go to the AVC provider who will invest it for you.

What happens when I retire?

You can either use your AVCs to take a lump sum from the fund when you retire or you can buy an annuity.

If you are interested in paying AVCs please contact us for further information about our AVC providers. Alternatively, you can visit the dedicated local government AVC website/s by selecting the external links in the "Helpful Information" section.

Buying survivor benefits for a co-habiting partner

Only membership in the Scheme from 6 April 1988 is used to provide survivor benefits for co-habiting partners.

If you have a partner who may receive benefits from the scheme it is possible to pay additional survivor benefit contributions (ASBCs) to extend the cover for them to include periods of membership you have before 6 April 1988.

If you decide to do this, then you will be providing a greater level of security to your partner. If you are interested in paying ASBCs please contact us.

Please note

Under previous regulations there have been different ways to buy extra membership or pension.  You may have one of these arrangements in place and this will be honoured.  These previous options have now been closed and we can't accept any new applications. However, from 1st April 2014 there is a new means of buying extra pension and this is detailed below.

Find out about other ways you can boost your pension.


Example of the cost to buy extra pension

Example 1

Kyle is 25 and wants to buy £1,000 additional yearly pension for himself.

He wants to pay the additional contributions he would have to make over 20 years.

The cost of buying £1,000 of additional yearly pension is £37.40 each month for the next 20 years (£8,976.00 in total).

Example 2

Marion is aged 47 and wants to buy £750 additional yearly pension for herself.

She wants to pay for this over 10 years.

The cost of buying £750 of additional yearly pension would be £89.25 each month for the next 10 years (£10,710.00 in total).


What if I work part-time?

From 1st April 2014 you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn. Each April, your employer will decide your appropriate rate of contributions for each employment by matching your actual pensionable pay to the appropriate band in the contributions table.

Example

Kate works part time. She works half the hours of a full time colleague.

If she were a full time employee her pay would be £18,000 per year. As she only works half of this time her actual part time pay is £9,000 so she falls into pay band 1. This makes her contribution rate 5.5%.

See "how are my benefits worked out?" for more details about how your benefits are worked out when you retire if you work part time or term time.


What if I am absent from work?

There are many reasons why you might be absent from work and each may have a different effect on your pension benefits. These can include:

  • Family leave (maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave)

  • Sick leave

  • Reserve Forces leave

  • Authorised leave of absence

  • Strike action

  • Jury service

Please contact us for more information.


Transferring benefits

You may be able to transfer a pension into the Scheme from your previous pension schemes or arrangements, including other LGPS schemes.

If you want to transfer a pension into the Scheme you should complete the transfer form (see Related Documents in the "Helpful Information" section).

  • We will provide you with an estimate of what the transfer payment would buy you in the Pension Scheme.

  • You can then decide if you want to go ahead with the transfer.

You only have 12 months from joining the Scheme to transfer a previous pension into the Scheme.

Deciding whether or not to transfer a previous pension is an important decision.

You should get independent financial advice before making any decision to transfer pension rights into the Scheme.