Category Archives: LGPS news

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Changes to your pension – Active Members

Posted on by Joanne White

There have been changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). These changes, unless indicated otherwise, came into effect from 14 May 2018.

Pre-April 2014 Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) contracts

If you are – or were – paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) and the contract to pay those AVCs started before 1 April 2014, you will see some changes to the way your AVCs are calculated and how you can take your AVC plan.

If you are currently paying AVCs:
• you can now pay up to 100% (rather than 50%) of your pensionable pay into your AVC plan.
• AVCs will now also be deducted from any voluntary overtime you work (if you pay AVCs as a percentage of your salary).

When you take your AVC plan:
• if you leave the scheme with a deferred benefit you can now buy additional pension from the LGPS with your AVC plan when you take your benefits from the scheme.
• when you take your main scheme benefits you will no longer be able to leave your AVC invested and take it later.
• if you die before taking your AVC and a lump sum is to be paid from your AVC plan your pension fund now has absolute discretion over who to pay that sum to (rather than it having to be paid to your estate). If the lump sum is paid at the discretion of the pension fund it does not form part of the estate and will not be subject to inheritance tax.

Expansion of underpin protection

Underpin protection has now been extended to also apply to people who were active members of a different public service pension scheme on 31 March 2012 and who were within 10 years of age 65 on 1 April 2012; if these people join the LGPS and transfer their pension benefits from the other public service pension scheme into the new LGPS scheme and part or all of that transfer buys final salary benefits in the LGPS, subject to certain conditions, the underpin will apply.

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Changes to your pension – Deferred Members

Posted on by Joanne White

There are changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). These changes, unless indicated otherwise, came into effect from 14 May 2018.

When you can take your pension

  • If you left the LGPS with a deferred benefit before 31 March 2014 you can now choose to take early payment of your deferred benefits from the later of age 55 or 14 May 2018 (rather than 60).
  • If you were awarded a share of your ex-spouse’s LGPS pension as part of a divorce settlement and you are a pension credit member in the LGPS, you can now elect to take payment of these benefits from age 55 regardless of when the pension sharing order took effect.
  • If you choose to take your deferred benefits earlier than your Normal Pension Age (NPA) they will normally be reduced to take account of the fact that your pension will be paid for longer.

How you can take your Additional Voluntary Contributions

If you were a member of the LGPS on or after 1 April 2014 and you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) and the contract to pay those AVCs started before 1 April 2014, you will see some changes in how you can take your AVC plan.  When you take your AVC plan:

  • You can now buy additional pension from the LGPS with your AVC plan when you take your benefits from the scheme.
  • When taking your main scheme benefits you’re no longer able to leave your AVC invested and take it later.
  • If you die before taking your AVC and a lump sum is to be paid from your AVC plan, your pension fund now has absolute discretion over who to pay that sum to (rather than it having to be paid to your estate). If the lump sum is paid at the discretion of the pension fund it does not form part of the estate and will not be subject to inheritance tax.

Underpin protection extended

The underpin protection has also changed and has been extended to also apply to people who were active members of a different public service pension scheme on 31 March 2012 and who were within 10 years of age 65 on 1 April 2012; if these people join the LGPS and transfer their pension benefits from the other public service pension scheme into the new LGPS scheme and part or all of that transfer buys final salary benefits in the LGPS, subject to certain conditions, the underpin will apply.

For more information look out for more information in the post or on Members’ Self Service.

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Scheme Member Survey

Posted on by Joanne White

Scheme member survey

The Scheme Advisory Board (SAB), as part of the cost management process, is looking to ascertain the reason for the low take up of the 50/50 section and tasked the LGPC Secretariat to produce an online survey.

The survey is now live on the homepage of www.lgpsmember.org

e anticipate it will take around 30 seconds to complete as there are a maximum of three questions to be answered.  Once the survey has been completed you will not be asked to complete the survey again.

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Pensions Wise

Posted on by Joanne White

We’ve just added a link to the Pension Wise website on our ‘useful links’ page – take a look for free and impartial government advice on what to do with your pension pot. The site is easily laid out and gives comprehensive information on the options available.

 

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State Pension Reforms 2016

Posted on by Joanne White

You may already be aware of the reforms to the State Pension that will start to take place in 2016. This will see the introduction of a new larger single tier-state pension and the removal of National Insurance contracting-out from April 2016. The Department of Work and Pensions has produced a State Pension Toolkit which you may find useful.

 

 

 

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LGPS National Insurance Database – how we share your information

Posted on by Joanne White

Peninsula Pensions participates in a data sharing project with other LGPS pension funds in England, Wales and Scotland in order to comply with legal requirements contained in the LGPS’s governing regulations.

Provisions contained in the LGPS Regulations mean that if a member of the LGPS dies, it is necessary for us to know if the individual also had other periods of LGPS membership elsewhere in the country so that the right death benefits can be calculated and paid to the deceased member’s dependants. As the LGPS is locally administered, each pension fund has its own membership records and in the past it has been difficult to tell if an individual has other LGPS records and where these are held.

To address these issues, a national database has been developed that will enable us to check if our members have LGPS pensions records in other pension funds.

What data is shared?                                                       

For each member of the LGPS, the database contains:

  • a National Insurance Number,
  • a number to denote their membership status,
  • the last calendar year that the membership status changed, and
  • a four digit number confirming the LGPS pension fund where that member’s record is held.

Who hosts the database?

The database is hosted at the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, an LGPS pension fund.

How will the data held on the database be processed?

The data held on the database will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation.

Are there any other purposes that the database will be used for?

An extract of the membership information contained in the database will be shared periodically with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) so  that the LGPS can join the Tell Us Once service. Tell Us Once is a service offered in most parts of the country which means that when an individual registers a death with the DWP,  DWP systems will ensure that the LGPS pension fund is informed of the death, meaning that the member’s records can be processed quickly and simply.

Who is the data shared with?

Other LGPS pension funds. These are all public bodies named in legislation as administering authorities of the LGPS.

For the Tell Us Once service, an extract of the Database containing individuals’ NI Numbers will be securely shared with DWP every month so that they may maintain an up-to-date record of the LGPS’s membership.

How long will this data sharing happen for?

For as long as a) the relevant regulatory requirements remain, and b) the LGPS participates in the Tell Us Once service.

In the event that neither of the above apply, the data sharing will stop.

Can I opt out of this data sharing?

No. As this data sharing is happening partly to comply with a legal requirement, it is not possible for scheme members to opt out.

What do I do if I have any queries?

To find out more or if you have any questions, please get in touch.

 

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Freedom and Choice

Posted on by Mike Germon

The Budget has now confirmed that from April 2016 people who have already bought annuities on the open market will be allowed to exchange their pension pot for a lump sum.  Please click here for more information on this change in legislation

Please note that this change in legislation applies to Defined Contributions pensions (Personal Pensions) and does NOT apply to Defined Contribution pensions (Local Government Pension Scheme).

We have a factsheet (Freedom and Choice) on this for members of the Local Government Pension Scheme to read and this can be found here on our forms and documents page

 

 

 

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Contribution bands 2015/16

Posted on by Mike Germon

Please find below the contribution bands that take effect from 1st April 2015

Contribution Table 2015/16
Band Actual pensionable pay for an employment Contribution rate for that employment
Main section         50/50 section
1Up to £13,6005.5%         2.75%
2£13,601 to £21,2005.8%         2.9%
3£21,201 to £34,4006.5%         3.25%
4£34,401 to £43,5006.8%         3.4%
5£43,501 to £60,7008.5%         4.25%
6£60,701 to £86,0009.9%         4.95%
7£86,001 to £101,20010.5%         5.25%
8£101,201 to £151,80011.4%         5.7%
9£151,801 or more12.5%         6.25%

 

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Shadow Scheme Advisory Board

Posted on by Mike Germon

 

The Shadow Scheme Advisory Board (SSAB) has today published a briefing note in respect of the cost control processes which will be used to assess the costs of the reformed LGPS in England & Wales.

Please click here to see this briefing note.

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Annual Benefit Statements 2014

Posted on by ppension

Our Annual benefit statements for 2014 will be sent to all active staff early October 2014. Please click here to view our FAQ that may answer any questions you may about your statement.

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