News 

This section provides specific news for Active Members of the scheme, from our upcoming events, to the latest contribution bands. 

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.
 


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: Expression of Wish



Working Past Age 65

Working Past Age 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. The Government Actuary Department have now issued revised factors for those who delay their retirement beyond age. These changes come into effect from 4th  January 2017 and are significantly reduced from those in place previously.

The factor for actuarial increase has been reduced from 0.014% to 0.01% for annual pension (for each day worked past SPA) 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 4thJanuary this change will apply 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.

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 4thJanuary 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 the Havering Pensions Team on 01708 433333 or email havering@localpensionspartnership.org.uk



Salary Bandings for 2019

Salary Bandings for 2019