Firstly, we’d like to thank you for choosing the Local Government Pension Scheme. The LGPS is a ‘Career Average Revalued Earnings’ (CARE) scheme, which means your benefits are based on your salary for each year you are in the scheme. In addition, each year it is revalued in line with Pensions Act increases.
For up-to-date information about your pension, register for a Member Self-Service account.
This section tells you more about the benefits available to you as a member of the LGPS, and links you to relevant information, to help you realise those benefits.
A secure pension
Your pension will be worked out and added to your pension account every year you are in the scheme so the longer you are a member and the more you pay in, the more benefits you will get when you retire.
If you are in the main section of the LGPS, the contribution rate added to your account at the end of the year is equal to 1/49th of your yearly pensionable pay. At the end of every year that you are in the scheme, the total amount of pension in your account is adjusted to recognise the cost of living (as currently measured by the Consumer Prices Index).
Flexibility to pay more or less contributions
You can choose to pay more into your pension to increase the benefits available to you. Once you are in the scheme, you also have the option to pay half your normal contributions in return for half your normal pension. This is known as the 50/50 section of the scheme and is designed to help members stay in the scheme during times of financial hardship.
If you no longer wish to contribute at all you can choose to opt out of contributing to the LGPS at any time. Under Government rules, you will be opted into the scheme every three years, although you are able to then opt out again should you wish.
When you draw your pension, you have the option to exchange part of it for tax-free cash.
Peace of mind
Your family can enjoy financial security. In the event of your death in service or if you die after leaving having met the 2 years vesting period, the LGPS offers immediate life cover and a pension for your spouse, civil partner / eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.
Also, if you ever become seriously ill and you’ve met the 2 years vesting period, you could receive immediate ill health benefits.
Freedom to choose when to take your pension
Remember, you do not need to have reached Normal Pension Age in order to take your pension. Once you’ve met the 2 years vesting period, you can choose to retire and draw your pension at any time between age 55 and 75.
Your Normal Pension Age is the age you can retire and take the pension you’ve built up in full. However, if you choose to take your pension before your Normal Pension Age it will normally be reduced. You can find out more on our When can I retire? page.
If you’re over 55 and have been made redundant or have had to retire in the interests of business efficiency, you will receive immediate payment of the main benefits you’ve built up. Again, this is provided you’ve met the 2 years vesting period.
However, please note that there would be a reduction for early payment of any additional pension you have chosen to buy.
If you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position, and you’re over the age of 55, you can draw some or all of the benefits you have already built up. This flexibility enables you to ease into retirement, although your benefits may be reduced. Flexible retirement is a great option, but depends on your employer agreeing and you having met the 2 years vesting period.
If you’re a taxpayer, you will receive tax relief when your contributions are deducted from your pay.