General pension FAQs
Our most commonly asked questions about pensions.
A death grant isn’t payable if you’re aged 75 or over when you die, or:
- You have been receiving your pension for five years or more (if you left the Local Government Pension Scheme between 1 April 1998 and 1 March 2008).
- You have been receiving your pension for ten years or more (if you left the scheme after 31 March 2008).
Please note, a death grant is unlikely to be payable if you have been receiving your pension and left the scheme before 1 April 1998.
A death grant is likely to be payable if you’re under aged 75 when you die, and:
- You have been receiving your pension for less than five years (if you left the Local Government Pension Scheme between 1 April 1998 and 1 March 2008).
- You have been receiving your pension for less than ten years (if you left the scheme after 31 March 2008).
Note, your death grant may be affected if you have already taken your lump sum.
While your pension scheme can ultimately decide who your death grant goes to, it will always be guided by who you nominate as a beneficiary.
A death grant is a financial lump sum that is payable in the event of your death when you have a local government pension. It acts as a kind of life insurance for your loved ones when you die.
This is your opportunity to say who you would like to receive a tax-free lump sum (also known as a death grant) if you die.
Although your pension fund ultimately decides who receives your death grant, your nomination can help to make sure the money is distributed in an appropriate way. It can also make sorting out your finances far less stressful for friends and family.
A nominated beneficiary is the person, or people, you choose to receive your lump sum (also known as your death grant) after you die.
Log into My Pension Online
Select ‘Death Grant Nomination Details’
Add nominee details and the % you wish for them to receive and press submit
This change will be reflected on My Pension Online within 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can download, complete and submit a Death Grant Nomination form from here.
Other pension terms
If you want to add value to your Local Government, Police or Firefighters’ pension, you have the option of taking out additional pension contributions (APCs). This will help you to increase the pension you’ll receive when you retire.
You can buy APCs either by making regular payments from your salary, or by paying a lump sum. The additional contributions increase the value of your pension, regardless of how the pension fund performs.
Please note, you can’t buy APCs if you’re in the 50/50 section of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
This is something to consider if you wanted to ease your way into retirement gradually. Rather than leaving your job to go straight into retirement, it allows you to take some of your pension benefits, so you can work fewer hours or days a week, or even take a less senior role.
You can only take flexible retirement if you:
- Are over age 55.
- Have met the two-year vesting period (See our FAQ about this).
- Have agreed this with your employer.
Please note, the pension benefits you’ll receive may be reduced if you take flexible retirement before your normal pension age.
This is the length of time you must be contributing to an LGPS pension, before you’re entitled to those benefits. It’s a minimum of two years, but can be less in certain circumstances. For example, if you hold deferred pension benefits in the LGPS, or are receiving another LGPS pension. For more information, visit the Vesting Period page on the LGPS website.
If you joined a Local Government Pension Scheme before 2014 (or a Police or Fire scheme before 2015), you will have been a member of a Final Salary scheme. This means that your retirement income (relating to this period) is calculated using your final year’s salary (or your highest annual salary within the last three years of employment).
For every year you were a member of an LGPS pension before 2008, 1/80th of your final salary will be added to your pension account to make up your annual retirement income. And for every year between 2008 and 2014 (or 2015 for Fire and Police Members), 1/60th of your final salary will be added.
Along with any CARE pension you build up, these figures will help to make up your annual retirement income.
There are certain times when a member may take their pension before their normal retirement age (typically 55). This may be due to redundancy or ill health, which leaves them unable to work.
When this happens, there may be a shortfall in the funding that’s needed to cover the cost of the member’s pension benefits. This is known as a pension strain cost.
Usually, the employer will pay these costs (for example, in the case of redundancy).
If you joined a Local Government Pension Scheme after 2014 (or a Police or Fire scheme after 2015), you will have a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension (CARE pension for short). This is based on your average earnings (pensionable pay) built up over the course of your career – including salary, bonuses, overtime, maternity/paternity pay.
Each year, 1/49th of your pensionable pay is put into your pension account to make up your annual retirement income. At the end of the year, your contributions are adjusted to reflect inflation. This happens every year and as your pension account grows, so too does your annual retirement income.
Yes, you can pay extra to increase your pension benefits in the Local Government Pension Scheme in two different ways. You can either pay additional contributions to buy an increased pension, which is known as Additional Pension Contributions (APCs). Or you can make payments to an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) scheme to build up a pot of money, which is then used to provide additional benefits to your Scheme benefits.
The Scheme has arrangements with AVC providers, such as insurance companies and building societies, in which you can invest money. For more information on APCs and AVCs, please visit: https://www.lgpsmember.org/arm/already-member-extra.php
You can view the value of your pension benefits anytime through our Member’s online service, My Pension Online. As the administrator of pensions in the Scheme, the Local Pensions Partnership Administration (LPPA) provide the service. By registering, you can check what your pension benefits currently look like. You can also use the facility’s online calculator to see the size of the pension income you could be entitled to when you retire if you’re currently making contributions to the Scheme. For more information about My Pension Online, please visit: My Pension Online
This is basically the individual account in which all your pension contributions are kept. The contributions you make to your pension, which are taken from your monthly earnings, are put into this account. Your pension is worked out from 1 April each year and the value is added to your pension account. The account is also revalued each April to allow for inflation and to keep up with the cost of living. Any pension benefits built up before April 2014 are Final Pay benefits and will therefore be calculated on your Final Pay when you leave the scheme. The resulting pension will then be added to the value of your pension account.
To opt out of the pension scheme you need to complete an opt out form which can be found in Forms and Documents and return it to your employer. Once you have returned the form to your employer they will stop your pension contributions and send your information to us.
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