The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is one of the UK’s largest public sector pension schemes. It is open to most employees in local government and some other organisations.
The government has introduced new laws designed to help people save for their retirement. It requires all employers to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are not already in one. This is known as automatic enrolment.
Your employer may have to enrol you in the LGPS under automatic enrolment rules, but if you want to opt out after you start work you can complete an LGPS opt out form available from our website and return it to your payroll department which is responsible for opting you out of the scheme.
As the scheme regulations changed on the 1 April 2008, the way your pension is calculated will be different for any membership prior to this date.
Your pension is calculated by using a simple calculation:
Your final pay ÷ 60 x the number of years you have been in the scheme.
Since 1 April 2008 there is no longer an automatic lump sum.
However, you can exchange £1 of annual pension for £12 of lump sum. The lump sum you can take is up to 25% of the capital value of your pension benefits providing the total lump sum does not exceed £375,000 (2013/14 figure) less the value of any other pension rights you have in payment. Details of the maximum tax-free cash payment you can take will be given to you shortly before your retirement. It is at that time you need to make a decision.
You will receive an annual benefit statement each year giving you a summary of your benefits to date.
Producing a summary of your benefits involves a lot of work as we have to get accurate information from your employer. If you need a statement of your benefits and think your annual benefit statement is not suitable then please let us know
Who can join?
How to join?
Re-joining in current employment
Your contribution rate will be assessed on the whole time equivalent pay for your job, unless you are a term time worker*. Your employer will inform you what contribution rate you are in.
*Term time workers for this purpose:
If you have previous pension benefits, you may wish to transfer them into the Hampshire Pension Fund. Transfers must usually be made within the first 12 months of your Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) membership in your current employment.
Unless you elect to combine the benefits you built up in your previous membership(s) with those from your new membership, your earlier deferred benefits will remain separate.
Benefits for your old LGPS membership are based on your final pay at the time it ceased, and benefits for current membership are based on final pay in your current employment
Benefits are based on combined LGPS membership from both your old and current job and using the final pay from your current employment.
Before deciding whether to combine your previous LGPS pension benefits you should read the notes available on our Starter information and membership option form. To elect to do this you will need to complete this form and return to us at Pension Services.
You may be able to transfer pension rights into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from:
You may not transfer benefits into the LGPS which are derived from a pension credit or from previous membership in the LGPS as a Councillor or Mayor. Pension credit refers to benefits granted to a spouse by a court under a Pension Sharing Order or by a qualifying agreement in Scotland following a divorce or annulment of marriage.
The transfer of your benefits needs to be completed within 12 months of you joining the Hampshire Pension Fund.
The transfer process is described in detail in the Pension transfer booklet. Alternatively your employer can provide you with a copy when you join the LGPS.
The normal retirement age for all members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is 65.
We cannot advise you whether you should remain a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme, nor can your employer force you or opt you out of your Local Government Pension. However, if you choose to opt out of the scheme:
If you change your mind and you wish to start paying contributions again in the same employment, you should complete part one of the Application to re-join the LGPS in a current employment form and send onto your payroll provider. For HCC employees this should be addressed to HCC Employer Team and sent to Pensions Services.
There are a two ways you can increase your retirement benefits within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS):
Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs)
Regular contributions to buy extra amounts of pension (in multiples of £250 per year)
Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)
Pay additional contributions to buy an annuity, increase your tax-free lump sum or both
Making contributions into pension saving can be a cost effective way of increasing your retirement benefits as they qualify for immediate tax-relief through your employer’s PAYE system.
You can pay additional regular contributions (ARCs) to buy extra amounts of pension in multiples of £250 per year up to a maximum of £5,000 per year.
How much you pay will depend on:
You can use the attached calculator to calculate the cost of buying additional pension over a chosen period depending on your age; at the date contributions would begin.
You can also find more details, including costs in the ‘Purchase of additional pension’ guidance and 'Paying additional regular contributions booklet and application form'.
ARC payments are deducted from your pay in the same way as your normal LGPS contributions.
You can pay AVCs into one of our in-house schemes by deduction from your pay, up to a maximum monthly contribution of 50% of your monthly pensionable pay. Please check first with your employer that they provide this investment opportunity.
When you retire, you can use your AVC fund to buy an annuity, increase your tax-free lump sum or both!
AVCs are managed by external providers. The current in-house providers you can choose from are Zurich and Prudential Each year you will receive an AVC annual benefit statement from the company you choose.
Information about which Zurich funds are available to you can be found in the Zurich’s starter pack.
Not all Zurich funds are available to members of the Hampshire Pension Fund, you should discuss your options directly with Zurich.
Please check with Zurich.
Please check with Prudential
How to apply
Contact Zurich and ask for a starter pack. It includes an application form for you to complete and send to your employer
Email or post application form,
alternatively you can phone to apply
Phone: 0800 015 0617
Phone: 0800 731 0433, quote AVCSF
The value of your investment may go down as well as up and the fund value in the future may be less than the payments you have made.