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FAQs

    Where is the LGPS 2015 website?

  • The Scottish LGPS funds member website is at http://www.scotlgps2015.org/

  • Why should I be a member of the LGPS?

  • To protect your loved ones and to build up an income (and lump sum) for your retirement.

  • What benefits does the LGPS offer?

  • * A guaranteed pension for life

    * A tax free lump sum at retirement

    * Death benefits for your family

    * Ill-health retirement benefits

    * Redundancy retirement benefits from age 55 (age 50 for members as at 6 April 2006)

    * Optional retirement from age 60

    * Cost of living based pension increases

  • How much will it cost me?

  • Your contribution depends on your actual pay on 1 April as shown in the table below, with those in 50/50 paying half.

    Pay tranche                 Contribution rate paid on that tranche in 2017 / 2018

    Up to and including £20,700               5.50%
    Above £20,700 and up to £25,300       7.25%
    Above £25,300 and up to £34,700       8.50%
    Above £34,700 and up to £46,300       9.50%
    Above £46,300                                12.00%

    To see the effect of using the above tranches on any pay, your contribution rate is available from our contribution calculator in the Tools area.

    Your employer pays the rest of the cost of providing your benefits. This amount varies but it's always enough to make sure your pension can be paid and will be at least 19.3% of your pay.

    You get tax relief on your contributions - the tax you pay on your salary is calculated after your pension contributions are deducted.

     

  • What happens if I have to retire early due to ill health?

  • If you have two years' membership and a Strathclyde Pension Fund approved independent registered doctor certifies you're unable to work because of ill health, you will receive your pension immediately.

    Your pension can only be paid early if your employer decides you are permanently unable to perform the duties of your job due to ill health and you are not immediately capable of undertaking other work.

    The pension can take account of some or all of your prospective service to your state pension age (min 65) depending on whether you are likely to be capable of working again.

    No enhancement to your actual service is granted if you have previously received a tier 1 enhancement or an enhancement under LGPS regulations prior to 1 April 2009.

  • What if I should die while still in employment?

  • A death grant is payable, as well as a spouse's pension and children's pension, where appropriate.

    From your rights as an active, deferred and pensioner member, only one (the highest) death grant right is paid. You do not receive a separate death grant payment from each type of membership.

    To protect your loved ones, make sure you have nominated them. You can make and update your nominations using SPFOnline. Alternatively you can fill in a Nomination Form

    If you fail to nominate someone for any lump sum death benefit, it might take longer for the payment to be made. The person receiving the lump sum might also have to pay inheritance tax if they've not been nominated using the form.

  • What happens if I go part time?

  • A change of hours affects any pension you build up from 1 April 2015 from the date of the change.

    A change of hours does not affect your benefits built up before 1 April 2015.

  • When can I retire?

  • From state pension age (min 65) you can retire and receive your benefits with no reductions. From age 60 you can choose to retire, but this may reduce your benefits if you do not have protection under The Rule of 85. If you are interested in flexible or early retirement before 60, you will need to obtain your employer's permission.

  • How are my retirement benefits calculated?

  • From 1 April 2015 you build up a pension of 1/49th of your pay in your Pension Account each year.

    Your Pension Account is revalued each year by the Consumer Prices Index up to your date of retirement.

    The total pension in your Pension Account is adjusted at your date of retirement if you do not retire at your state pension age (min 65).

    Up to 31 March 2015 the LGPS was a final salary pension scheme. This means the payment you get for service up to that date is based on your final year's pensionable pay and your total length of membership.

    Up to 31 March 2009 the annual pension payment is worked out by dividing your final pay by 80 and multiplying this by your total membership.

    To work out your lump sum for service up to 31 March 2009 divide your final salary by 80, multiply this by your total membership, and then multiply the final figure by 3.

    For any service after 31 March 2009 to 31 March 2015, your annual pension will be worked out by dividing your final pay by 60, and you will have the option to take part of this as a lump sum.

  • What if my employer retires me on redundancy or efficiency grounds?

  • If you are aged 55 (50 if you were a member as at 6 April 2006) or over and have at least two years' total membership, you will receive your pension and lump sum immediately with no reduction for early payment.

    Note: any gap in LGPS membership after 5 April 2006 means you need to be 55 to have a redundancy retirement.

  • Am I able to transfer in service from a previous employer?

  • If you have previous LGPS rights, it is very important that you contact us, as there are LGPS rules that we have to apply if you do not provide us with any instructions and applying these rules may not be to your advantage.

    You may be able to transfer pension rights into the LGPS from any other public sector scheme provided that you ask within 12 months of joining.

  • Can I buy more pension?

  • Yes, you can pay extra to increase your pension either by paying additional contributions to buy an increased LGPS pension known as Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) or by making Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).

    Our AVC scheme is administered for us by Prudential and details are available on their website or you can the Prudential on 0800 032 6674.

  • Can I opt out of the LGPS?

  • You can opt out of the LGPS at any time by providing your employer with the opt out form that is available from the Publications > Members > Forms area of our website.

    It is important to read the For your future leaflet and to seek advice before opting out of the LGPS.

    If you do opt out of the LGPS and are entitled to a refund, your employer will usually pay this to you if you have been in the LGPS for less than 3 months.

    If you do opt out of the LGPS with more than 3 months pensionable service but less than 2 years pensionable service and are entitled to a refund, your employer will pass us your request for a refund. Your refund will take account of any tax and national insurance (up to tax year 2015 / 2016) reliefs you have received. By law we cannot pay a refund within one month of you opting out.

  • What happens if I change my job?

  • If you change jobs but stay working in the local government or for another employer who's part of the LGPS, you can ask to have your pension transferred to your new employer. They will not be transferred automatically. If you're getting paid less in your new job, it might not be in your best interests to transfer your pension. Remember to consider taking financial advice.

    If you leave local government completely, or choose not to transfer the pension you've accumulated, it will be treated as a deferred pension. See the Deferred Members area for more information.

  • What do you mean by pensionable pay?

  • Pensionable pay is any part of your pay from which contributions have been deducted - basic pay, bonus payments, contractual overtime, and weekend enhancement.

  • What were the April 2016 changes to state pension, contracting out and NI?

  • How do annual allowance (AA) and lifetime allowance (LTA) work?

  • The AA factsheet has information about the annual allowance and you can view how much of your annual allowance you have used on SPFOnline.

    The LTA factsheet has information about the lifetime allowance.

    Our Guide to the LGPS also has information about tax.

     

  • Should I notify you if I change address?

  • Yes.

    We contact all of our members at least once a year about their pension.

    We are required to have an up-to-date address for all our pensioners. If we do not have one, we may have to suspend payment of your pension.

    You can change your address on SPFOnline.

    You can contact us by phone, email or post to let us know your new address.

  • Where can I find LGPS legislation?

  • LGPS 2015 regulations and some guidance for Payroll / HR practitioners is available at http://scotlgpsregs.org/. NOTE: tiered contributions guidance is Appendix 1 of the Payroll Guide.

    Pre LGPS 2015 material is available at http://lgpsregs.org/timelineregs/Default.html

     

  • How does Freedom and Choice in pensions affect LGPS members?

  • Reforms offering greater flexibility, 'Freedom and Choice', in the way that individuals aged 55 and over can access their defined contribution (DC) pensions became effective on 6 April 2015.

    As the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a public sector defined benefit (DB) scheme, 'Freedom and Choice' does not apply to it.

    However, before retiring, members do have the right to transfer their pension rights out of the LGPS to a DC arrangement offering 'flexible benefits'.

    As a transfer out of the LGPS is a major financial decision requiring careful consideration and can only be done after taking advice, we suggest that any members contemplating this course of action first read our Freedom and Choice Q & A for LGPS members.

  • What is COPE?

  • If you ask the DWP for a State Pension Forecast, you may come across the term COPE, Contracted Out Pension Equivalent.

    If you were a member of the LGPS between 1978 and 2016, you will have paid less National Insurance (NI) contributions than had you not joined the LGPS.

    A consequence of paying less NI is that you are entitled to less state pension.

    The amount of state pension that you are not entitled to is called COPE.

    Your benefits from the LGPS will be more than COPE.