News and Newsletters

 

This section provides specific news and newsletters for Active members in the scheme.

For more information on the new LGPS 2014 please click the 'LGPS 2014' tab

Active Members Newsletter



Changes to Survivor Benefits

Changes to survivor benefits for same sex spouses and civil partners

Changes have been made to the scheme rules that provide survivor benefits payable to a same sex spouse or a civil partner. They now equal those paid to the widow of a male member. 
 

Why has the change been made? 

The change has been made as a result of a Supreme Court judgment (Walker v Innospec) which found that Mr Walker’s male spouse was entitled to the same benefits that would have been paid if Mr Walker had left a widow in an opposite sex marriage.
 

Why does this apply to the LGPS? 

The government believes that the implication of this judgment for all public service pensions schemes, including the LGPS, is that surviving civil partners or surviving same sex spouses should be provided with benefits equal to those that would be left to the widow of a male member. 
 

When does the change take effect from? 

The change is backdated to the date the civil partnerships and same sex marriages were introduced – this is 5 December 2005 for civil partnerships and 13 March 2014 for same sex marriages. 

This means that where a member of the LGPS has died leaving a surviving civil partner or a same sex spouse, the survivor’s pension in payment will need to be reviewed and any additional amounts paid, where applicable. We are in the process of reviewing the impact of this change and will be contacting affected civil partners and same sex spouses in due course.
 


New look Member Self Service

Have you seen the new look Member Self Service! online portal allows you to obtain information about your pension quickly and easily. This means that you can start planning for retirement early and may help you to decide whether you would like to top up your pension. A face-lifted version of My Pension Online – Member Self Service is due for release early 2019 which will be aesthetically more pleasing and all existing members who have signed up will be moved onto the new version automatically. There will be no requirement to re-register!       

In addition to running retirement estimates independently you will be able to

  • Produce tailored pension forecasts at different retirement ages including lump sum options
  • View annual benefit statements
  • Change contact details quickly and securely
  • View nominated beneficiaries for death grant
  • Receive e-communications

 



Revised guidance for Transfer Values

On 29 October 2018, the Government confirmed that the SCAPE discount rate will reduce from 2.8% above CPI to 2.4% above CPI. The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) use this rate when setting the factors that we must use to work out cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs). As such for a short period of time we were unable to issue new CETV quotations however; on 19 November 2018, the government issued some of the revised factors. These factors allow us to recommence processing CETVs for divorces and transfers-out.

We are still unable to process transfer-in quotations.

We thank you for your patience,

Engagement Team

 



Pension case verdict in the news!

Denise Brewster, who was refused payments from her former partner's pension, has won her battle to extend benefits automatically to those who are unmarried, in a case which could benefit large numbers of public sector workers. Her victory at the Supreme Court marks a significant extension of the rights of unmarried cohabitees after five justices ruled the refusal to pay her the pension was unlawful. Her partner had worked for 15 years at Translink, which runs Northern Ireland's public transport services, and had paid into Northern Ireland's local government pension scheme. Shlomit Glaser, a solicitor specialising in family law at the London firm Glaser Jones said: It has wide implications for public sector schemes. The Supreme Court emphasised that no convincing economic or social reasons had been put forward for the policy of excluding a cohabitee, solely because a form had not been filled in.

This case highlights the importance of having an up-to-date nomination form. You can find these forms here: Nomination Forms



Working past 65

As you may already be aware by working past age 65 your pension benefits receive an actuarial increase applied to the pension benefits you have built up when you belatedly take your benefits to recompense you for the pension being paid for a shorter period.

 

In January 2017 the Government Actuary Department issued revised factors for those who delay their retirement beyond Normal Pension Age. The factor for actuarial increase has been reduced from 0.014% to 0.01% for annual pension (for each day worked past State Pension Age) and from 0.007% to 0.001% in respect of lump sums. Actuarial increases for late retirement are calculated based on the factors in force at the ultimate date of retirement, therefore after 4th January 2017 this change applies to all days worked past age 65. This will result in a reduction in the additional pension earned prior to 4th January if a member retires after this date.

 

If you are thinking of retiring beyond your normal pension age log into My Pension Online where you can run an estimate for yourself.

 

Below is an example comparison of the actuarial increases earned by a member whose pension was due into payment on 31/12/2015 but who had delayed their retirement by 1 year, and by 1 year and 1 month in example B (notional values used for example). This illustrates the overall reduction in actuarial increases as a result of the new factors being used in the calculation for a member retiring after 4th January 2017.

 

Example A

 

Basic Value

Calculation under existing Factors

Increase for Late Retirement

Annual Pension

£11,000

365 days x 0.014% x £11,000

£562.10

Lump Sum

£25,000

365 days x 0.007% x £25,000

£638.75

 

Example B

 

Basic Value

Calculation under post 4th January 2017 Factors

Increase for Late Retirement

Annual Pension

£11,000

395 days x 0.01% x £11,000

£434.50

Lump Sum

£25,000

395 days x 0.001% x £25,000

£98.75

Please note that these new factors will come into effect from 4th January and will apply to all the benefits that have been delayed beyond age 65, for some members this could be a significant reduction. If you wish to discuss the impact this will have on our own pension benefits please contact: Ealing@localpensionspartnership.org.uk.



Contribution Bands 2019/20

The following table displays the 2019/20 bands

If your actual pensionable pay is:
You pay a contribution rate of:
 
Main Section
50/50 Section
Up to £14,400
5.50%
2.75%
£14,401 to £22,500
5.80%
2.90%
£22,501 to £36,500
6.50%
3.25%
£36,501 to £46,200
6.80%
3.40%
£46,201 to £64,600
8.50%
4.25%
£64,601 to £91,500
9.90%
4.95%
£91,501 to £107,700
10.50%
5.25%
£107,701 to £161,500
11.40%
5.70%
£161,501 or more
12.50%
6.25%

 



Pension Liberation Fraud

 

Recent news reports have highlighted an increasing number of fraudulent pension liberation schemes. Companies are singling out savers like you and claiming that they can help you cash in your pension early. If you agree to this you could face a tax bill of more than half your pension savings.

‘Pension loans’ or cash incentives are being used alongside misleading information to entice savers as the number of pension scams increases. This activity is known as ‘pension liberation fraud’ and it’s on the increase in the UK. In most cases, promises of early cash before age 55 from your  current scheme will be bogus and are likely to result in serious tax consequences. Tax charges of over half the value of your pension could fall on you for taking an ‘unauthorised payment’ from your pension fund in this way. In addition, fees deducted from your pension for the transfer are unlikely to be recovered. Such fees tend to be very high and could be 20% or more of your pension savings in some cases. Most of the time, people targeted by pension fraudsters or scammers are not informed of the potential tax consequences involved.

LPP is well aware of these schemes and have a rigorous process in place to minimise the possible transfer into one of these arrangements.

LPP’s administration teams only allow the transfer of pension benefits into an ‘authorised’ company (subject to necessary paperwork) unless instructed by our Technical team.

Our Technical team will firstly go through the following checks before allowing the transfer. 

  • Check the HMRC list of ‘dubious’pension arrangements
  • Issue a letter to the member warning them of the dangers of pension liberation which will include the Pensions Regulator’s document on the subject and a declaration of understanding to be completed by the member.
  • Complete further checks with HMRC and the Pensions Regulator if we continue to suspect the transfer is related to pension liberation.

If you require any more information download the leaflet on pensions liberation or feel free to contact us.



Annual Benefit Statements

Annual Benefit Statements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Benefit Statements are issued on an annual basis to all of our active and deferred members to disclose your benefits accrued to date and your projected benefits on retirement. They are an important tool to help you plan for your retirement and to check that the personal information held by us is correct and up to date.

Deferred member will receive their benefit statements in May and active members by 30th September each year. If you do not receive a statement by these dates it means you are likely to have a query on your record – maybe due to a pay increase or reduction. We will be checking this with your employer and you will receive a statement within the financial year.    

An Annual Benefit Statement Q&A document has been created to answer some commonly asked questions including how your benefits are calculated

Did you know you can view your pension records online?

Our member self service enables you to view personal and financial information about your pension securely. To access your account click here: axise.yourpension.org.uk

Our secure system now allows you to:
  • View and update personal details and changes of address
  • Find out how much you will receive on retirement
  • Calculate the amount of additional lump sum you can take on retirement
  • View your service history, including any service which has been transferred
  • View your nominated beneficiaries

Why wait until your benefit statement comes through – sign up now and we will send you an activation code. 

 


Pension Freedom & Choice

With effect from the 6 April 2015, the Government have introduced ‘Freedom & Choice’ which will allow members of defined contributions schemes to access their pension pots from age 55 without the need to resort to annuities.

These changes do not affect the Local Government Pension scheme, however it is anticipated that some organisations will seek to encourage members with defined benefits scheme benefits to transfer to schemes that will allow such access, this is unlikely to be in the best interest of scheme members and anyone tempted to seek such transfer should access the Pension Wise website at www.pensionwise.gov.uk further checks against potential Pension Liberation Fraud would be carried out before any transfer would be paid.

A Q&A for LGPS members which covers the implications of the Freedom and Choice policy in respect of transfers of safeguarded benefits in the LGPS to defined contribution (DC) schemes offering flexible benefits is available here.



LGPS National Insurance Database

A data sharing project with other LGPS pension funds in England, Wales and Scotland has been undertaken in order to comply with legal requirements contained in the LGPS’s governing regulations.

Provisions contained in the LGPS Regulations 2013 mean that, if a member of the LGPS dies, it is necessary for the scheme’s administrators to know if the individual also had other periods of LGPS membership elsewhere in the country so that the right death benefits can be calculated and paid to the deceased member’s dependants.

LGPS National Insurance Database - Privacy Notice

 

 


March 2011 - Review of public sector pensions - Hutton's final report.

Lord Hutton's final report on Public Sector Pensions was published on 10th March 2011.

A summary and graphical representation of Hutton's recommendations and related implications has been prepared by LPFA but please see the HM Treasury website for the full report.

Please note these are recommendations only at this stage and the Government will announce how these will be turned into policy or a new Local Government Pension Scheme.

A dedicated site covering the Hutton review can be found at www.affordable-lgps.org.uk