Councillors in Wales
As a councillor of a Welsh county council or county borough council, you can join the LGPS as long as:
- you are offered membership of the Scheme under the council’s scheme of allowances, and
- you are under age 75.
It is up to you whether you decide to join the LGPS. It is important that you complete a joining form if you decide to become a Scheme member. You can join the LGPS if you are already paying into another pension scheme.
This section provides some basic information about the LGPS for councillors in Wales. See the Full guide to the LGPS for councillors for more detailed information about the Scheme.
Pay and contributions
You pay 6% of your basic and responsibility allowances into the LGPS. If you pay tax, you will get tax relief on your contributions. Your council pays the rest of the cost of providing your LGPS benefits. This is generally around double what you pay.
Your LGPS benefits are based on your career average pay. Your career average pay is the average of:
- your basic and responsibility allowances for each Scheme year ending 31 March
- adjusted by the change in the cost of living between the end of the relevant Scheme year and the date you leave the Scheme.
You can increase your benefits by paying additional voluntary contributions (AVCs).
What are the benefits?
As long as you are in the Scheme for at least three months you will build up:
- a pension based on 1/80th of your career average pay for each year of membership of the LGPS plus
- a tax-free lump sum of three times your pension.
The normal pension age in the LGPS is 65,but you can take your pension benefits from age 55 onwards. If you take your benefits before age 65 they will generally be reduced for early payment. If you take them after age 65 they will be increased.
The LGPS also offers:
- life cover: a lump sum of two times your career average pay will be paid if die as a member under age 75
- cover for your family: a pension for your spouse or civil partner and for eligible children when you die
- immediate benefits: if you have to retire because of permanent ill health at any age.
If you leave the Scheme and do not take your pension benefits straight away, you will have the same options as a councillor in England. See the section above covering Options on leaving the Scheme for more information. If you re-join the LGPS as a councillor in Wales in the same administering authority, you will have the option of combining your two periods of membership together.