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Hampshire Pension Services

Administering the Local Government Pension Scheme, Police and Fire schemes

Standards of service

We will:

  • treat you as an individual and with respect
  • listen to what you say
  • be fair, helpful and easy to talk to
  • keep what you say to us confidential
  • give you clear information as you need it, and tell you exactly what you need to do and what information we need
  • deal with you promptly and give you the best possible service according to our standards
  • consider your views before we make any changes
  • show we are accountable for what we do by monitoring the quality of our service and publishing how well we have lived up to our standards

In return, we ask you to:

  • be polite and considerate to our staff
  • have your national insurance number ready when you contact us, or give us relevant information when we ask for it, including any suggestions for improvement
  • tell us if your circumstances change and anyone you are responsible for
  • understand that we can only give you information and not advice
 
 

Membership statutory notification

We will issue a statutory notification of membership to you within one month of receiving a completed notification from your employer.

Transferring into the LGPS

You may investigate transferring your benefits from another pension scheme into your LGPS pension. This is allowed during your first twelve months or any longer period as allowed by your employer.

  • You will be asked to complete forms A and B from our transfers booklet and send them to your previous scheme.  Please send to us all information you receive from your previous scheme, including a transfer value.
  • We may also have to ask HMRC for additional information about your previous pension.

We will send an estimate of the benefits that the transfer value should buy for you in the LGPS within one month of receiving all of the information we need.

If you decide to go ahead with the transfer, we will write to confirm the actual benefits that you have bought in the LGPS using the transfer value. We will do this within one month of receiving:

  • your written acceptance that you would like the transfer to go ahead and
  • payment and satisfactory documentation from your previous pension scheme

Paying extra contributions

Information about paying extra contributions can be found on our website. You can buy additional pension through an APC (Additional Pension Contributions) or an AVC (Additional Voluntary Contributions).

 

Benefit estimates

Normally if you request an estimate of your pension benefit we will refer you to your most recent annual benefit statement.  However, if you are nearing retirement age and you ask us to estimate your prospective benefits; we will issue a quotation within four weeks of receiving your request via your employer, who will provide salary and hours information. You may request one estimate per year free of charge.

Annual benefit statements

Your annual benefit statement will be available for you to view online via Member self service by 31 August or will be sent to you if you have written to ask for a paper statement.  To do this, we must receive a completed annual return from your employer by 30 April. The statement will show:

  • the pay used to calculate your benefits for the year
  • estimated values of  benefits built up at 31 March

  • prospective benefits at normal retirement age

  • death-in-service benefits

  • who you have nominated to receive a death grant

Pension fund annual report

We will make available on our website the pension fund’s annual report.

Retirement

We will send details of the benefits payable to you within four weeks of receiving all the information we need from you and your employer.  We can release your tax free cash lump sum on retirement date or within four weeks of receiving all the information we need if this is later.  Please allow three working days for this to reach your account.

Pensions are paid each month. The first instalment may differ from the normal monthly amount.

Opting out under three months

If you opt out of the LGPS having paid into it for less than three months, your employer will refund your contributions through your pay, less tax and National Insurance contributions (if applicable). Your LGPS membership will be cancelled.

Leaving your job with under three months

If you leave your job having paid less than three months’ membership, including any transferred from another pension scheme or any deferred LGPS pension accounts;

  • Pensions Services will refund your contributions, less a deduction for tax and National Insurance (if applicable).
  • If you are paying into the LGPS in another employment, the pension from the job you’ve left will be added to your ongoing pension account.

Three months to two years

If you leave your job or opt out with more than three month’s membership, but before completing the two years’ vesting period (including any pension that you have transferred into your LGPS pension or any other LGPS pension account you have):

You may:

  • Ask Pensions Services for a refund of your contributions, less a deduction for tax and National Insurance (if applicable) or
  • Transfer your pension to another pension scheme or
  • If you join the LGPS later, the account that you’ve stopped paying into will automatically be joined with your ongoing account or
  • Leave contributions frozen for up to five years. Your contributions will be refunded if you haven’t done anything with them after five years.

If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014, you can choose to have a deferred LGPS pension, which would be due at your normal pension age.

Two or more years

You cannot have a refund of contributions if you leave your job or opt out with two or more year’s membership, including any transferred from other pension schemes.

Your pension will become deferred and will stay in the LGPS until it is paid or you transfer to another pension scheme.

You only qualify for a deferred pension if:

  • You have two or more years’ membership, including any transferred from other pension schemes
  • You joined the LGPS between 1 April 1988 and 1 April 2014 and paid in for at least three months

Cash Equivalent Transfer Values

If you ask us to provide a cash equivalent transfer value for an independent financial advisor or for divorce purposes, we will issue a quotation, guaranteed for three months, within one month of receiving:

  • your request via your employer - who will provide salary and hours information
  • additional information from HMRC where appropriate

One cash equivalent transfer value per year will be provided free of charge.

Death in service

If you die in service, we will write to the executor(s) or next of kin requesting information within one week of notification.

 

Please make sure that you tell us if you change your address. We will notify you of the value of your deferred benefits and when they become payable.  We will send you details of the benefit options available to you as soon as possible after receiving all the information we need from your employer.

Annual benefit statements

If you have deferred benefits at the end of March, a statement will be available via Member  self service by 31 August, or will be sent to you if you have written to ask for a paper statement. . It will show the current value of your deferred benefits, as increased in line with the appropriate Pensions Increase.

Payment of preserved benefits

We write to people whose deferred benefits are due to be paid, enclosing a form for them to complete.

If you wish to claim your pension after age:

  • 55 if you stopped paying into the scheme after 1 April 2014 or
  • 60 if you stopped paying into the scheme before 1 April 2014

but before your normal retirement date, please write to us three months before the date that you would like your benefits to be paid.

Transferring your pension rights to another pension scheme

If you ask us to transfer your pension fund to a different pension provider, we will issue a quotation, guaranteed for three months, within one month of receiving:

  • your request
  • additional information from HMRC where appropriate

When you confirm to us that the transfer is to go ahead and send us all the details needed to make payment, we will pay the transfer value within one month.

Death of a deferred member

If you die with deferred benefits, we will write to the executor(s) or next of kin requesting information within one week of notification.

 

Changes in personal details

If you write to tell us of a change in name, address, bank or building society details, we will amend our records within two weeks of receiving the information.

Newsletters and reports

We will send a newsletter to each of our pensioners every March or April and a summary of the pension fund’s annual report which is available on our website every November.

Changes of PAYE tax cod

If your tax code changes, we will apply a revised tax code within one week of receiving notice of the change from the Inland Revenue. However, due to the nature of payroll administration, the change may not take effect until after the next payroll has been run.

P60s

Each April we send P60s to pensioners who have had income tax deducted.

Payslips

We will only issue an advice slip if the net pension changes each month by £1 or more.

Pensions and divorce

Please make it clear to us if you need information about your pension rights for divorce proceedings. A fee is payable for this service.

Death on pension

If we are notified in writing of your death, we will acknowledge receipt and write to any dependants about their benefits within one week of receiving the notification