New to your pension scheme?
Your pension scheme is one of the many perks of working in the public sector. As a new member, we’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about your workplace pension.Scroll Down
Understanding the basics
Here’s some useful information to help you get started.
If you’re eligible to join, your employer will automatically enrol you onto your pension scheme. Your pension contributions will be automatically deducted from your salary and we’ll send you a welcome letter with more information.
To join the Police or Firefighters’ Pension Scheme, you’ll also need to complete a starter form, which you can download from our Forms and Documents page.
Both you and your employer contribute to your pension each month, which is taken from your salary before you pay tax. This means you only pay tax on your salary, not on your pension contributions.
Your pension is a ‘Career Average Revalued Earnings’ (CARE) scheme, which means the benefits you get in retirement are based on your salary for each year you’re in the scheme. What you earn now may be worth very little in the future, so your pension is revalued every year in line with inflation.
A few months after you first join, we’ll send you an email with a registration link to your PensionPoint account. PensionPoint is our online portal, which allows you to view and download information about your pension. You can also easily update your personal details (such as email address of telephone number) via your PensionPoint account.
Your pension offers a one-off lump sum payment to your loved ones in the event of your death. Depending on your scheme, you can choose who you would like to receive this money by ‘nominating a beneficiary’ via your PensionPoint account.
Understanding your options
Depending on your situation, you can make adjustments to your pension so that it’s right for you.
Rather than having multiple pensions, you may be able to transfer any existing pensions into your new pension account – but you must do this within the first 12 months of joining.
Whether you can transfer a pension will depend on the type of scheme and whether it’s in your best interest financially. So, it’s always worth speaking with a financial adviser before making any decisions.
If you’re part of a Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), you can top up your pension by paying extra contributions known as APCs (Additional Pension Contributions) and AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions).
If you’re part of a Firefighters’ or Police Pension Scheme, you can top up your pension by buying ‘Added Pension’.
If you’re an LGPS member, you also have the option of reducing your contributions by switching to the 50/50 scheme. This allows you to pay half the contributions you would do in the full scheme for half of the benefits.
If you want to opt out of your scheme, you can do that too. You just need to fill out an opt-out form for your scheme and send it to your HR or payroll department.
It’s important to know that, every three years, your employer will re-enrol all eligible employees who are not currently in the scheme. This means that you have to complete an opt-out form again, if you still don’t want to be in the scheme.
Remember, it’s wise to consider your options carefully and speak with a financial adviser before making a decision.
You can have your pension contributions refunded automatically, if you opt out within three months of joining. If you’ve been a member for more than three months, please see our ‘Refund of Contributions’ page for your scheme below.
Got a question?
Use the Help Hub on our website to find answers to your pension questions. You can also access our helpful video guides and download important forms and documents.
Other useful information
If you want to know more about your individual scheme benefits, view one our scheme pages below.
Planning for retirement?
See how our members are enjoying their retirement