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For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales

Frequently asked questions

A list of questions on popular topics. This is where you will find information about death benefits, the McCloud court case and pensions and divorce.

  • What happens if I leave and I have more than one job?

    Many people pay into the LGPS in more than one job at the same time. If this applies to you and leave one or more of those jobs, but not all of them, your LGPS pension will be affected. Your pension from the job that has ended will be transferred automatically to your continuing pension account.

    If you qualified for a deferred pension in the post that has ended, you may elect to keep your benefits separate. Your pension fund will give you more information that will help you make your decision. You must make this choice within 12 months of the date the job ended, unless your employer allows you longer. This is an employer discretion and you can ask your employer what their policy is.

    If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014 in the post that has ended, then you would be transferring final salary membership to your ongoing pension account. This final salary membership is adjusted to reflect the difference in the whole-time rates of pay in the job that has ended and the continuing job. When you eventually leave the scheme, your final salary benefits will be based on the pay in the continuing job. If the continuing job is higher paid, then the final salary membership is reduced. If the continuing job is lower paid, then the final salary membership is increased.

  • What happens to my LGPS pension if I get divorced?

    If you get divorced or dissolve a civil partnership, the Court will take your the value of your pension into account when determining any settlement.

    You and your ex-spouse or partner will each need to tell the Court the value of your pension pot(s) and/or the value of the benefits you have built up. You don’t have an automatic right to know the value of your ex-spouse’s or partner’s benefits, and vice versa but you can each decide to tell each other. Contact your pension fund to request the information you need.

    If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it is the value of your pension benefits at the date of divorce or dissolution of the civil partnership that is counted.

    If you live in Scotland, it’s the increase in the value of your pension benefits over the course of the marriage or civil partnership that is counted. This means that pensions should be valued at the date of separation.

    When you go to Court, you and your ex-spouse or partner can decide how any pension benefits are split:

    Pension sharing – the pension is split at the time of divorce or dissolution. You each receive a separate pension pot and can continue to build pension benefits for the future

    Pension offsetting – you each keep your own pension benefits but adjust the proportion of other assets to take account of the value of the pension benefits. For example, you could keep your pension, and your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner could get a larger share of the value of the house.

    Pension earmarking – arranging that when one person’s pension benefits start to be drawn down, part of them will be paid to the other person.

    You may wish to get legal advice from your solicitor on how to deal with your LGPS benefits during any divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

    You can find out more about pension sharing and earmarking in the other FAQs in this section.

  • What is a pension credit?

    If you get divorced or your civil partnership is dissolved and your ex-spouse or civil partner has pension benefits in the LGPS, the Court could award you a share of those benefits. The Court could issue a pension sharing order or the benefits could be subject to a qualifying agreement in Scotland.

    When the pension sharing order is implemented you will have the choice of a ‘pension credit’ in the LGPS or transferring your share to another pension scheme. Your ex-partner’s pension fund will inform you of:

    • the amount of pension that would be paid to you if you took a pension credit in the LGPS, and
    • the cash equivalent value of your share should you wish to transfer it to another pension scheme.

    If you do not make a decision in the relevant time period, you will be awarded a pension credit in the LGPS.

    If you are awarded a pension credit in the LGPS you can still choose to transfer it to another pension scheme at a later date. However, you are not allowed to transfer if you are within 12 months of your normal pension age.

    You may need to take independent financial advice before you can complete a transfer. If your pension fund thinks you are at risk of being scammed they may also require you to attend a guidance appointment with MoneyHelper - This link opens in a new browser window. Unfortunately, pension scams are on the rise in the UK. Falling victim to a pension scam could mean that you lose some or all of your pension savings. See the pension scam section for tips on how to protect yourself.

    Pension credit benefits in the LGPS are personal benefits. You hold them in your own right and they are completely separate to those of your ex-spouse or civil partner.

    No partner’s pension will be paid if you re-marry and die before the new spouse, nor will any children’s pensions be payable when you die. Children’s pensions remain ‘attached’ in full to your ex-spouse’s or ex-civil partner’s benefits in the LGPS.

  • What is paid when I die?

    The LGPS provides valuable life cover and financial protection for your family. Your dependents will be paid a pension. A lump sum death grant may also be payable. Watch the protection for your family video for a general overview.

  • What is the McCloud case about?

    When the Government reformed public service pension schemes in 2014 and 2015 it introduced protections for older members. In December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that younger members of the Judges’ and Firefighters’ pension schemes have been discriminated against because the protections do not apply to them.

    The Government has confirmed that there will be changes to all the main public service pension schemes, including the LGPS, to remove the discrimination. This ruling is often called the ‘McCloud judgment’ after a member of the Judges’ Pension Scheme involved in the case.

  • Where can I find help with rising living costs?

    The pandemic and the rising cost of living have left lots of people with new money worries. MoneyHelper - This link opens in a new browser window provides help and guidance about managing your money in uncertain times – this includes practical advice about living on a squeezed income and help if you’re struggling with bills and payments.

    You can also get help from the Citizens Advice - This link opens in a new browser window – it provides information about what help is available from your local council, the Government and other forms of support.

    Help with energy bills - This link opens in a new browser window – the Government has announced it will help all households in Great Britain with energy bills. Extra help is also available for households on lower incomes.

  • Will my deferred pension increase?

    In the year you leave the LGPS, there is an adjustment to the pension you built up from 1 April 2014 onwards. It is revalued up to the date of leaving in line with the cost of living. Your pension fund will apply the adjustment applies on 1 April after you leave. If the cost of living has gone down in the scheme year that you leave, it is possible that the value of the deferred pension in your pension account could reduce.

    For the period after your date of leaving, your total deferred benefits (including the benefits you built up before 1 April 2014) will be increased in line with the cost of living. However, if the cost of living goes down your deferred benefits will not be reduced. Your pension will also continue to receive cost of living increases every year once it is paid to you.

  • Will my pension account increase?

    Every 1 April that you are paying into the LGPS your pension account is adjusted to take into account the cost of living. The amount in your pension account could reduce if the cost of living falls.

    The cost of living adjustments for each Scheme year since the LGPS career average scheme was introduced in 2014 are:

    • 1 April 2015: 1.2%
    • 1 April 2016: -0.1%
    • 1 April 2017: 1.0%
    • 1 April 2018: 3.0%
    • 1 April 2019: 2.4%
    • 1 April 2020: 1.7%
    • 1 April 2021: 0.5%
    • 1 April 2022: 3.1%

    See How your pension is worked out for more information.

  • Can I reduce or stop my pension contributions?

    Yes, you can reduce your pension contributions if you join the 50/50 section of the LGPS. If you do, you’ll pay half your normal contributions and build up half your normal pension. You’ll keep full life and ill health cover in the 50/50 section. You can move back to the main section when you are ready. Find out more about the 50/50 section on the Paying less page.

    You can use the Contributions calculator to check how joining the 50/50 section would affect your take-home pay.

    If you want to stop your pension contributions you can opt out of the LGPS. Contact your pension fund for an opt out form. You should take independent financial advice before opting out.

  • What does it mean for the LGPS?

    When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2014, members who were within ten years of their Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 were given protection from the changes. The Normal Pension Age in 2012 was generally 65. In simple terms, when a protected member takes their pension, the benefits payable under the career average and final salary schemes are compared. The higher amount is paid. This protection is called the underpin.

    To remove the discrimination, the Government will need to provide younger members with protection equal to the underpin protection already given to older members. It consulted on the proposed changes to the LGPS - This link opens in a new browser window to do this in 2020. In May 2021, the Government issued a statement confirming the key changes it will make to the LGPS - This link opens in a new browser window to remove the discrimination. We expect a full response to the 2020 consultation in 2022.

  • What happens if my job is transferred to a private contractor?

    If your job is transferred to a private contractor, your pension may be affected. There are two possible outcomes:

    • The contractor will commonly become an admission body in the LGPS. This will allow you to stay in the LGPS as long as you continue working on the delivery of the same service. The pension benefits you built up before the transfer will be joined to your continuing pension account, unless you choose to keep them separate. See the section on transferring in for more information.
    • The contractor may offer you a broadly comparable scheme. This does not mean that the new scheme must match the benefits of the LGPS exactly, but the value of the package offered by the new scheme must be broadly equivalent to the LGPS. If you are offered a broadly comparable scheme, your options concerning your LGPS benefits are the same as those open to anyone leaving before retirement.
  • What information will I need?

    You will need specific information about your LGPS benefits as part of the proceedings for a divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, or for dissolution, separation or nullity of a civil partnership. You or your solicitor should contact your pension fund for this information, including an estimate of the cash equivalent value of your pension rights. The Court will take this value into account in your settlement. In Scotland, only the pension rights built up during your marriage or civil partnership are taken into account.

    You usually get one free cash equivalent value estimate each year. Any other costs for supplying information or complying with a Court Order will be recovered from you and/or your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. You can ask your pension fund for a schedule of charges.

    All correspondence received by your pension fund in connection with divorce or dissolution proceedings will be acknowledged in writing. If you do not receive and acknowledgement, you should contact your pension fund to make sure your correspondence has been received.

  • When can I take a pension credit?

    Your pension credit is paid without a reduction for early payment from your normal pension age. Your normal pension age depends on two things:

    • when the pension sharing order took effect
    • whether your ex-spouse or civil partner was paying into the LGPS after 31 March 2014.

    If the pension sharing order took effect after 31 March 2014 and your ex-spouse or civil partner was paying into the LGPS after 31 March 2014 your normal pension age is linked to your State Pension Age. This means:

    • You can take the pension credit from age 55 but it will be reduced for early payment
    • You can take the pension credit later than your NPA, but you must take it by age 75. If you delay payment, the pension credit will be increased.
    • You may have the option of swapping part of your pension for a cash lump sum. However, this will not be possible if your ex-spouse or civil partner had taken payment of their pension before the pension sharing order took effect and they had swapped part of it for lump sum.

    If the pension sharing order took effect before 1 April 2014 or your ex-spouse or civil partner left the LGPS before 1 April 2014, your normal pension age is 65. This means:

    • you can take the pension credit from age 55 but it will be reduced for early payment
    • you must take the pension credit by age 65
    • your pension credit can be paid from any age as a lump sum equal to five years of pension payments if you suffer serious ill health. Serious ill health means that you have less than one year to live. You should contact your pension fund if you wish to claim the pension credit on the grounds of serious ill health. They will arrange for an independent doctor to provide an opinion on your serious ill health.
    • you will not be able to swap pension for lump sum when you take the pension credit. However, if your ex-spouse or civil partner left the LGPS before 1 April 2008 and had not already received a lump sum on the transfer date, a lump sum may be payable to you.

    The date that your pension credit benefits in the LGPS are payable from is totally independent of the date that your ex-spouse or civil partner takes their pension.

  • When is a lump sum death grant paid?

    A lump sum death grant is paid if, when you die, you are under age 75 and one of the following applies:

    • you are still paying in the LGPS
    • you have left the LGPS but have not taken payment of your pension
    • you left after 31 March 2008 and have been receiving your pension for less than 10 years
    • you left the LGPS between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2008 and have been receiving your pension for less than 5 years.

    If you left before 1 April 1998 and are receiving your pension, a death grant may be paid when you die. The calculation is complex and you can ask your local pension fund for an estimate of the amount that may be payable.

  • Will my LGPS pension be affected if State Pension age changes?

    The Normal Pension Age in the LGPS is linked to State Pension age. If your State Pension age changes in the future, this would change your Normal Pension Age in the LGPS. This would apply to the pension you have built up in the Scheme after 31 March 2014. The age that you can take your pension without any reduction for early payment would change.

    If you were a member of the LGPS before April 2014, then you have membership in the final salary scheme. These benefits have a different Normal Pension Age, which is age 65 for most members. You can find out more about the Normal Pension Age in the LGPS on the Taking your pension page.

    If you are unsure, you can use a calculator to Check your State Pension age - This link opens in a new browser window.

    If your State Pension age changes after you take your LGPS pension, this will not change the amount of pension that you receive.

  • Will my pension in payment increase?

    Your pension will increase in line with the cost of living (Consumer Price Index) each April if you are over the age of 55.

    If you take your pension in the same year as your LGPS membership ended, there is an adjustment to the pension you built up from 1 April 2014 onwards. It is revalued up to the date of leaving in line with the cost of living. This adjustment applies on 1 April after your leaving date in line with HM Treasury Revaluation orders. If the cost of living has gone down in the scheme year that you leave, it is possible that your pension could reduce.

    If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014 and you take your pension in the same year as your LGPS membership ended, you may not receive the full increase in the first year. Instead you will receive a proportion of increase based on how many months your pension has been paid for since the last April. The increase takes effect from the first Monday after 5th April of each year.

  • Could pension scams increase?

    Yes. Watch out for scams related to the rising cost of living. These scams may take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pension transfers or high risk investment opportunities, including investments in crypto-assets.

    Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things. They are likely to target the vulnerable. Beware of investments that appear too good to be true.

    To protect yourself you should:

    If you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud - This link opens in a new browser window right away on 0300 123 2040.

  • Is my pension affected by uncertainty in the financial markets?

    No. The LGPS is a defined benefit pension scheme which means your pension is based on your salary and how long you pay into the Scheme. Your pension is not affected by how well investments perform. The LGPS provides you with a secure and guaranteed income every year when you stop working.

  • What is an earmarking order?

    If the Court makes an Earmarking Order, your LGPS benefits still belong to you, but some are earmarked for your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. The earmarked benefits will be paid to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner when your benefits are paid, reducing the amount paid to you.

    The Order can require that your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner receive one or a combination of the following:

    • all or part of your LGPS pension – this doesn’t apply to divorces / dissolutions in Scotland
    • all or part of any lump sum payable to you, and
    • all or part of any lump sum payable on your death.

    When earmarked benefits become payable, your pension fund will contact your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner to check that the Earmarking Order is still valid and arrange to pay the earmarked benefits.

    You can transfer your benefits to another pension arrangement on leaving the LGPS, as long as your new pension provider can accept the Earmarking Order.

    Earmarking has limitations and is not widely used. As the pension rights remain with you, your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner must wait for you to retire or die to receive the earmarked benefits. If your former spouse or civil partner remarries or enters into a new civil partnership, an Earmarking Order against pension payments would cease and the full pension would be restored to you. This would not affect any lump sums, unless the Order directs otherwise.

    Pension payments to your former spouse or civil partner would stop on your death, although any earmarked lump sum death grant would then become payable to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner.

  • Who is a death grant paid to?

    Your local pension fund has absolute discretion over who receives any lump sum death grant. This means it can be paid to:

    • the person(s) you name on your expression of wish form
    • your personal representative(s) – this is someone who is responsible for your looking after your estate when you die
    • anyone who appears to have been, at any time, a relative or dependent.

    You can let your pension fund know who you would like any death grant paid to by completing an expression of wish form. Your pension fund will take your wishes into account when deciding who the death grant is paid to. Contact your pension fund to ask for a form.

    If a death grant is not paid within two years it must be paid to your personal representative(s) and a tax charge may apply.

    If you paid AVCs and were a member of the LGPS on or after 1 April 2014, your local pension fund will use its discretion to decide who receives any lump sum due from your AVC pot when you die. If you left the LGPS before 1 April 2014, your local pension fund must pay any lump sum due to your estate.

  • Will my ill health pension increase?

    If you retired from your LGPS employment due to permanent ill health, you qualify for pension increases whatever your age.

    If your deferred pension benefit is paid to you early because of permanent ill health, you may qualify for pension increases before age 55. These increases would be paid if an independent doctor who is qualified in occupational health medicine certifies that you are permanently incapacitated from undertaking any regular full-time employment.

    If you do not qualify for pension increases, at age 55 your pension will increase to the level it would have been if it had increased every year since your date of leaving.

  • Will my pension credit increase?

    The pension payable to you from the LGPS is payable for life and will increase in line with the cost of living.

  • Will the changes apply to me?

    We understand that the changes will apply to members who:

    • were in service on or before 31 March 2012
    • have service after 31 March 2014, and
    • do not have a disqualifying break. A disqualifying break is a period of more than five years when you were not a member of a public service pension scheme.

    If you left the LGPS before 1 April 2014, you built up benefits in the final salary scheme only. These changes will not affect your pension.

  • How are pension increases calculated?

    Your pension is increased in line with the cost of living in order to maintain its spending power. The increase is based on the September to September adjustment in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The increase applies to your pension from the following April. If the cost of living has gone down, your pension will not be reduced – it will remain payable at the same rate. There is no limit on the increase that applies to your pension if the rise in the cost of living is high.

    The CPI index for the year up to September 2021 was 3.1%, therefore an increase of 3.1% applied to pensions in payment from 11 April 2022.

    The first increase to your pension after retirement will normally only be a proportion of the full increase, depending on how many months your pension has been in payment during the year.

    Previous years’ increases are shown below:

    • April 2021: 0.5%
    • April 2020: 1.7%
    • April 2019: 2.4%
    • April 2018: 3.0%
    • April 2017: 1.0%
    • April 2016: 0.0%
    • April 2015: 1.2%
    • April 2014: 2.7%
    • April 2013: 2.2%
    • April 2012: 5.2%
    • April 2011: 3.1%

    From State Pension Age, payment of the increases to your pension benefits may be shared between your LGPS pension fund and the Government. See the next question for more information.

  • How does a pension sharing order affect my LGPS pension?

    If the Court issues a Pension Sharing Order, or your benefits are subject to a qualifying agreement in Scotland, part of your benefits are transferred to your ex-spouse’s or ex-civil partner.

    Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will hold those benefits in their own right. This is known as a pension credit. You can find out more about pension credits by looking at the pension credit FAQs.

    Your pension and any lump sum will be reduced by the amount allocated to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner at the point of divorce/dissolution. The reduction is called a pension debit.

    The value of the pension debit will increase each year in line with the cost of living between the date it applies from and the date your pension is paid. When you take your pension, the increased amount will be deducted from your pension benefits. The pension debit amount will be adjusted if you take your pension before or after your normal pension age.

    You may wish to increase your pension to make up for the reduction following a pension share. You can find information on paying extra to increase your pension in the Paying more section.

    If your LGPS pension is subject to a Pension Sharing Order, you can still transfer your remaining benefits to another pension arrangement. If you transfer within the LGPS, your new fund will reduce your benefits by the pension debit when you take your pension.

  • Is there any help for pensioners on lower incomes?

    Yes, there is a separate welfare benefit for pensioners called Pension Credit. Pension credit provides extra income for people over State Pension age on lower incomes.

    In April 2022, it was estimated that about 850,000 households are missing out on Pension Credit because they think it isn’t meant for them. Pension Credit can be worth up to £3,300 a year and you may be eligible even if you have your own home or have savings.

    Even if you find out you are only entitled to a small amount of pension credit, it is worth claiming. This is because it may help you qualify for other benefits, such as help with heating bills, housing costs, NHS dental care, council tax, and if you are over 75, a free TV licence.

    Use the online calculator - This link opens in a new browser window to check if you are missing out on Pension Credit – it only takes a few minutes. Or call 0800 99 1234.

  • What death grant is paid if I die when I am still paying into the LGPS?

    If you die in when you are still paying into the LGPS, a lump sum death grant of three times your assumed pensionable pay is paid. It does not matter how long you have been a member of the LGPS, provided you are under age 75 at the date of death.

    If you also have a deferred benefit and/or a pension in payment from a previous period of membership of the LGPS, the lump sum death grant paid is the greater of:

    • the total of any lump sum death grants payable from the deferred and/or pensions in payment
    • three times your assumed pensionable pay at the date you die

    Where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours.

    If you pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS, the value of your AVC fund is also payable.

  • Will a death grant be paid when I die?

    If you die before the pension credit has been paid to you, a death grant of three year’s pension will be payable. This will include any cost of living increases due since the pension sharing order took effect.

    If you die within five years of the pension credit being paid to you, the balance of five years of pension payments will be paid as a lump sum death grant. There will be an adjustment to this figure if you swapped pension for lump sum when you took the pension credit.

  • Will my pension increase?

    There will be no change to your pension until you take it. This means that any adjustment for early or late payment can be taken into account when your pension fund compares your career average and final salary benefits.

    Most members are unlikely to see an increase to their pension. Where there is an increase, it is likely to be small. This is because most members will build up a higher pension in the career average scheme than they would have built up in the final salary scheme.

  • Does a pension debit affect pension tax?

    When you take your LGPS pension, its value will be assessed against the lifetime allowance. The lifetime allowance is the total value of pension savings that you can have before additional tax is payable. If your benefits are subject to a pension sharing order, the reduced value of your benefits after the pension debit has been deducted will be used.

    The current lifetime allowance is £1,073,100. Most scheme members will not be affected by the lifetime allowance.

    If you are a high earner affected by the lifetime allowance, a pension debit may affect any lifetime allowance protection you have.

    Each year that you pay into the LGPS, the increase in the value of your benefits is measured against the annual allowance. The annual allowance is the maximum amount that your pension can increase by in a year before you have to pay extra tax. The reduction in your pension due to a pension debit is ignored in the year that the pension sharing order or qualifying agreement is applied to your benefits.

    You can find out more about the lifetime and annual allowances in the Tax section.

  • Is my pension credit affected by re-marriage?

    Your pension credit is entirely independent of your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s LGPS pension. Your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s remaining pension will not be affected if you re-marry or enter into a new civil partnership. Similarly, your pension credit is not affected by a change in your ex-spouse’s or civil partner’s marital status.

    Your pension credit rights could be subject to a pension sharing order if a future marriage or civil partnership ended in divorce or dissolution.

  • What death grant is paid if I have left the LGPS but not taken my pension?

    If you die after leaving the LGPS and before you take your pension, you hold a deferred benefit in the LGPS. The lump sum death grant payable depends on when you left:

    • if you left after 31 March 2008 – five time your deferred annual pension is paid
    • if you left before 1 April 2008 – three times your deferred annual pension is paid

    However, if you left with deferred benefits and die before receiving them and you are also an active member of the LGPS when you die, the death grant payable is the higher of:

    • your deferred death grant as calculated above, or
    • three times your assumed pensionable pay in your active employment

    If you hold more than one deferred benefit in the LGPS a death grant will be paid from each deferred benefit, provided you are not also an active member of the LGPS.

    If you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS, the value of your AVC fund is also payable.

  • What happens to my LGPS pension from State Pension Age?

    The way your pension increases could change when you reach State Pension Age. This will apply if you reached State Pension Age before 6 April 2016 and you have a period of LGPS membership between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997.

    As a member of the LGPS you would have paid a reduced rate of National Insurance and been ‘contracted out’ of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme for any period of LGPS membership between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997. The LGPS guarantees to pay you a pension that is at least as much as you would have received from the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme. This is known as the Guaranteed Minimum Pension or GMP. The GMP forms part of your LGPS pension, it is not paid in addition to it.

    From your State Pension Age, payment of the increases to your pension may be shared between your local pension fund and the Government. This is because the Government is responsible for paying part of the cost of living increases on your GMP. The GMP part of your pension will receive a full increase even if the rest of your pension is receiving a proportion of the increase because you took payment of your pension part way through the year.

  • When will the changes come into effect?

    We expect the changes to the LGPS rules to come into effect on 1 October 2023.

  • What death grant is paid if I am receiving my pension from the LGPS?

    If you left after 31 March 2008 and you die within 10 years of receiving your pension, provided you are under age 75, the death grant payable is 10 times the amount of your pension before you gave up any pension for lump sum (if applicable), less the pension and lump sum that has been paid to you. There is a slight difference to the calculation for any part of your pension that relates to membership before 1 April 2014.

    If you are also an active member when you die, the death grant payable is the higher of the amount calculated as above, or three times your assumed pensionable pay in your active employment.

    If you left before 1 April 2008 and you die within five years of receiving your pension, provided you are under age 75, the death grant payable is five times the amount of your pension, less the pension already paid to you.

    If you left before 1 April 1998 – the calculation is more complex. You can ask your local pension fund for an estimate of the amount that may be payable.

  • What do I need to do?

    You do not need to take any action. The Government has confirmed that members who qualify for protection do not need to make a claim for the changes to apply to them.

  • What happens if I marry or enter into a new civil partnership?

    If your LGPS benefits are subject to a pension sharing order and you:

    • remarry
    • enter into a new civil partnership, or
    • enter into a cohabiting partnership

    any spouse’s pension, civil partner’s pension or eligible cohabiting partner’s pension payable following your death will also be reduced.

    >If you remarry or enter into a new civil partnership and then divorce or dissolve your civil partnership again, your remaining pension rights can be subject to a further reduction. A pension sharing order cannot be issued if an earmarking order has already been issued against your LGPS pension. Similarly, an earmarking order cannot be issued if your pension benefits are already subject to a pension sharing order.

  • What if I return to work after taking my pension?

    If you built up pension in the LGPS before 1 April 2014, you must tell your local pension fund if you return to work for local government after you take your pension. This also applies if you return to work for another employer who offers membership of the LGPS. You must do this whether or not you join the LGPS in your new job. The local pension fund that pays your pension will let you know if your pension needs to be reduced to take account of your new earnings.

    If you have only built up pension the LGPS from 1 April 2014, you do not need to let your local pension fund know if you return to work for local government or another employer who offers membership of the LGPS, unless you are being paid a tier three ill heath pension.

    If you are being paid a tier three ill health pension, your pension may be affected if you return to work. You must tell the employer that you were working for when your ill health pension was paid about your new job. Your employer will let you know if your ill health pension should be stopped.

    If you took flexible retirement, your pension will not be reduced whilst you continue to work for the employer that granted you flexible retirement. However, if you leave that employer and return to work in local government, or for another employer that offers membership of the LGPS, you must tell your local pension fund about your new job if any your pension was built up before 1 April 2014. This also applies whether or not you join the LGPS in your new job.

  • What happens to my LGPS pension after a divorce?

    After your divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership is completed:

    • your ex-spouse or civil partner will no longer be entitled to a partner’s pension if you die before them
    • if you told your pension fund that you would like your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner to receive some or all of any death grant, this will remain in place unless you change it. You can change it by completing a new expression of wish form.
    • any children’s pensions that are payable after you die are not affected by your divorce or dissolution.
  • What if I have already left the LGPS?

    If you qualify for protection and have membership in the LGPS after 31 March 2014, the changes will apply to you even if you have left the Scheme.

  • Why is it important to keep in touch with my local pension fund?

    It is important that you let your local pension fund know when your contact details change. This will include your home address, email address and telephone number.

    Your local pension fund will provide you with an annual benefit statement every year whilst you are a deferred member. They will also keep you updated with any material changes to the Scheme and contact you about taking your pension.

    When you take your pension your local pension fund will contact every year to let you know about pension increases and provide you with a P60. Your local pension fund may stop your pension if they lose contact with you.

    You may be able to update your contact information online – contact your pension fund to find out if you can.

     

  • Will a pension be paid to my partner when I die?

    Your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner will receive part of your pension. It will be paid for the rest of their life. Generally, this is:

    • 30.625% of the pension you built up from April 2014
    • 37.50% of the pension you built up between April 2008 and March 2014
    • 50% of the pension you built up before April 2008.

    If you die in service as a member of the L G P S, the pension will include a part of the increase you would have received if you had retired on ill-health.

    If you leave before retirement with deferred benefits and die before taking them, the pension is the relevant percentage of your deferred pension.

    If you die after receiving your pension, the pension is the relevant percentage of your pension before giving up pension for tax-free lump sum and before any reductions or increases for early or late payment.

    Some parts of your pension are not counted. This includes extra pension you paid for by making additional pension contributions.

    Pensions for eligible cohabiting partners are only based on your membership after 5 April 1988, unless you elected before 1 April 2014 to pay extra contributions for membership before 6 April 1988 to count.

    Also, the amount may be less where you entered into the civil partnership or marriage after leaving the LGPS.

    Due to recent court cases, the Government is reviewing pensions for male survivors of opposite-sex marriages.

  • What if my LGPS pension is being paid to me?

    If you qualify for protection and have membership after 31 March 2014, the changes will apply to you even if you are already receiving your LGPS pension.

  • Will a pension be paid to my children when I die?

    Your eligible children will receive part of your pension when you die. The amount paid will depend on how many eligible children you have and whether a pension is also being paid to your partner.


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