Membership and contributions

For information about how your benefits are worked out when you retire see "how are my benefits worked out?".

How much does it cost?

How much it costs you depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.0% of your pay.

Your rate will depend on the level of your pensionable pay.

The real cost to you will be less because you do not pay tax on the amount you pay into your pension.

If you work part time or term time your contribution rate will be based on your actual pay and you will only pay contributions on that actual pay.

 

Example

Alex works full time and his pay is £30,000 a year, so he will pay 6.2% of £30,000.

This works out at £155 a month, but the real cost to him will be £123 after accounting for tax relief savings.

If he worked part time (half the hours) he would only pay 5.5% but only on his £15,000 pay.

Contribution rates

What do I pay?

Your contribution rate depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.0% of your pensionable pay. The rate you pay depends on which pay band you fall into.

If you work part-time or term time, your rate is based on the actual rate of pay for your job, so you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn.

These are the pay bands that apply from April 2018:

Pay band If your yearly pay is: You pay a contribution rate of:
1 Up to £21,300 5.5%
2 On earnings above £21,300 and up to £26,100 7.25%
3 On earnings above £26,100 and up to £35,700 8.5%
4 On earnings above £35,700 and up to £47,600 9.5%
5 On earnings above £47,600 12.0%

*The pay band ranges will be increased each April in line with the cost of living.

 

 

Contribution rate

Actual Pay Min

Actual Pay Max

Contribution rate

Actual Pay Min

Actual Pay Max

5.5

Up to

21,926

8.4

61,535

63,267

5.6

21,927

23,296

8.5

63,268

65,101

5.7

23,297

24,850

8.6

65,102

67,044

5.8

24,851

26,377

8.7

67,045

69,107

5.9

26,378

27,411

8.8

69,108

71,301

6.0

27,412

28,530

8.9

71,302

73,639

6.1

28,531

29,744

9.0

73,640

76,135

6.2

29,745

31,066

9.1

76,136

78,807

6.3

31,067

32,511

9.2

78,808

81,672

6.4

32,512

34,097

9.3

81,673

84,754

6.5

34,098

35,796

9.4

84,755

88,078

6.6

35,797

37,052

9.5

88,079

91,673

6.7

37,053

38,400

9.6

91,674

95,574

6.8

38,401

39,849

9.7

95,575

99,822

6.9

39,850

41,411

9.8

99,823

104,465

7.0

41,412

43,102

9.9

104,466

109,560

7.1

43,103

44,936

10.0

109,561

115,179

7.2

44,937

46,933

10.1

115,180

121,405

7.3

46,934

48,301

10.2

121,406

128,342

7.4

48,302

49,362

10.3

128,343

136,121

7.5

49,363

50,471

10.4

136,122

144,903

7.6

50,472

51,632

10.5

144,904

154,896

7.7

51,633

52,847

10.6

154,897

166,370

7.8

52,848

54,120

10.7

166,371

179,680

7.9

54,121

55,456

10.8

179,681

195,304

8.0

55,457

56,860

10.9

195,305

213,904

8.1

56,861

58,337

11.0

213,905

236,421

8.2

58,338

59,893

11.1

236,422

264,235

8.3

59,894

61,534

11.2

264,236

and above


How can I increase my pension?

You can pay more to top up your pension.

There are two ways you can currently increase your pension from the Scheme.

  • Buying extra pension (i.e. APC's)
  • Paying Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVCs)

Don't forget you get tax relief on extra contributions which lowers their real cost to you.

There are limits on the amount of extra contributions you can pay. To find out more please contact us.

 

Please note

Under previous regulations there have been different ways to buy extra membership or pension.  You may have one of these arrangements in place and this will be honoured.  These previous options have now been closed and we can't accept any new applications. However, from 1st April 2015 there is a new means of buying extra pension and this is detailed below.

Find out about other ways you can boost your pension.

Buying extra pension

You can buy more pension, right up to a maximum of £6,565.

The extra pension you buy will be paid the same way as your retirement pension.

How much does it cost?

The cost to you will depend on a number of factors.

Here are some general examples, you can additionally use the online calculator developed by the Local Government Association (LGA) to get an idea of how much the purchase of additional pension might cost you.  This can be accessed via the following link:

LGA Additional Pension Calculator 

Your pension fund administering authority may require a satisfactory medical report to be submitted, at your cost, before your application is accepted.  Where this is the case you will be notified of the process to be followed after submitting your application to pay APCs

To find out more, please contact us

Pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

You can pay more contributions to our AVC schemes (sometimes called "in house" AVC schemes).

You choose how much to pay in AVCs and how they are invested. The money will come straight out of your pay and go to the AVC provider who will invest it for you.

What happens when I retire?

You can either use your AVCs to take a lump sum from the fund when you retire or you can buy additional pension in the scheme or an annuity from an insurance company.

If you are interested in paying AVCs please contact us for further information.


Example of the cost to buy extra pension

Example 1

Kyle is 25 and wants to buy £1,000 additional yearly pension for himself.

He wants to pay the additional contributions he would have to make over 20 years.

The cost of buying £1,000 of additional yearly pension is £35.84 each month for the next 20 years (£8,601.60 in total).

Example 2

Marion is aged 47 and wants to buy £750 additional yearly pension for herself.

She wants to pay for this over 10 years.

The cost of buying £750 of additional yearly pension would be £85.05 each month for the next 10 years (£10,206.00 in total).


What if I work part-time?

From 1st April 2015 you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn. Each April, your employer will decide your appropriate rate of contributions for each employment by matching your actual pensionable pay to the appropriate band in the contributions table.

Example

Kate works part time. She works half the hours of a full time colleague.

If she were a full time employee her pay would be £25,000 per year, with an employee contribution rate of 5.8%. As she only works half of this time her actual part time pay is £12,500 so this makes her contribution rate 5.5%.

See "how are my benefits worked out?" for more details about how your benefits are worked out when you retire if you work part time.


What if I am absent from work?

There are many reasons why you might be absent from work and each may have a different effect on your pension benefits. These can include:

  • Family leave (maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave)

  • Sick leave

  • Reserve Forces leave

  • Authorised leave of absence

  • Strike action

  • Jury service

Please contact us for more information.


Transferring benefits

You may be able to transfer a pension into the Scheme from your previous pension schemes or arrangements, including other LGPS schemes.

If you want to transfer a pension into the Scheme you should complete the transfer form (see Related Documents in the "Helpful Information" section).

  • We will provide you with an estimate of what the transfer payment would buy you in the Pension Scheme.

  • You can then decide if you want to go ahead with the transfer.

You only have 12 months from joining the Scheme to transfer a previous pension into the Scheme.

Deciding whether or not to transfer a previous pension is an important decision.

You should get independent financial advice before making any decision to transfer pension rights into the Scheme.