Additional pension contributions (APC)

APCs are additional contributions you can pay on top of your regular pension contributions to buy extra pension within the LGPS.

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What are APCs?

APCs are additional pension contributions you can pay on top of your regular contributions to buy extra pension within the LGPS. 

In some circumstances, if you have been absent from work, your employer may help you buy back any lost pension via a Shared Cost APC.

How do APCs work?

You pay additional contributions (either as a one-off lump sum or regular payments) to buy extra pension. Depending on how you choose to pay, your additional contributions are added to your pension account and adjusted (or revalued) in line with inflation at the end of each year.  

When you retire, your extra pension is paid to you annually for the rest of your life, along with your main scheme benefits.

How much will it cost?

The cost of buying extra pension depends on a few factors including:

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How much pension you want to buy
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Your gender
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Your age
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When you start paying the additional contributions

You can use the calculator on the LGPS website to calculate how much extra pension you’ll get in retirement (if you take it from your State Pension Age) and the regular cost to you now, depending on how you choose to pay.

The maximum amount of extra pension you can buy in a year is £7,579 (2023/24 rate). If you pay tax, you will get tax relief on the additional contributions you make.

How do I pay?

You can pay for APCs either by making regular payments from your salary or by paying a lump sum.   

Please note

If you’re within 1 year or past your Normal Pension Age, you can’t choose regular payments and can only pay by lump sum.

Regular payments

If you choose to make regular payments, these will be taken from your salary each time you are paid.  

Your additional contributions are added to your pension account and adjusted (or revalued) in line with inflation at the end of each year. 

You can also choose how long you want to spread the cost of your payments. The minimum payment period is one year and the maximum is the number of complete years up to your Normal Pension Age (NPA). Your NPA is the same as your State Pension Age, which is at least 65.  

Lump sum

You can choose to pay your lump sum directly to your pension fund (instead of your payroll department) or have it taken automatically from your salary.

If you choose to pay your lump sum directly to your pension fund, you can claim tax relief on your contributions but will need to arrange for this with HMRC yourself. You can do this via your self-assessment tax return or by contacting HMRC.

See terms and conditions of paying for APCs.

How can I apply?

To apply for APCs, download the APC form from our website or from the LGPS extra pension calculator and send this to us via our contact form or through the post

What happens to my APCs when I retire?

Before you reach your Normal Pension Age (NPA), you will receive a quote of your total pension benefits, which includes the value of extra pension you have bought via APCs. Your NPA is the same as your State Pension Age, which is at least 65.  

As with your main scheme benefits, you can choose to swap your extra pension for a tax-free lump sum. You can only take up to 25% of the total value of your pension (which includes your main scheme benefits and APCs) as a tax-free lump sum.

When and how you retire will affect the value of your APCs.

When and how you retireWhat happens to your APC
At your Normal Pension AgeYour APCs (and your main scheme benefits) will be paid to you in full. 
Before your Normal Pension AgeYour APCs (and your main scheme benefits) will be reduced as you are taking your pension early. 
Retiring on Tier 1 and Tier 2 ill health groundsYour APCs (alongside your main scheme benefits) will be paid to you in full. 
After your Normal Pension AgeYour APCs (and your main scheme benefits) will be increased for retiring late. 

See how APCs have helped our members

Meet Karen

Find out how paying additional pension contributions (APCs) helped Karen boost her pension while working term-time in a school.

More guidance

Find more information about APCs on the LGPS website.

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