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Active Members FAQ

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I have pre-2014 benefits, what protections do I have following the changes to the LGPS?

  

The CARE salary which has been used to calculate my benefits is incorrect. What should I do?

 

The Final Salary pay which has been used to calculate my pre-2014 benefits is incorrect. What should I do?

  

When will my benefits be paid?

  

Can my benefits be paid early if I am ill?

  

How have my benefits been calculated?

  

Are there ways of increasing my benefits?

  

Why doesn’t my statement show my service history?

  

I currently have an Added Years contract, why isn’t this showing?

  

Am I able to link my active membership to other LGPS membership?

  

Can you tell me more about the protections for my family and dependants in the event of my death?

  

How do I inform you where I want my lump sum death grant to be paid in the event of my death?

  

Why doesn’t my statement show all of my nominated beneficiaries?

  

Who can help me if I have a query or complaint?

  

How is my CARE pension calculated - an example

  

I have both Final Salary and CARE membership – how are my benefits calculated? An example

  

How have my projected benefits been calculated - an example

  

What are the ERPF’s contact details?

 

Glossary of Terms

 

 

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I have pre-2014 benefits, what protections do I have following the changes to the LGPS?

 

On 1 April 2014, if you were paying into the LGPS, you were automatically enrolled in the new career average pension scheme. The entire pension you built up prior to this date is fully protected.

 

This means that your pension will continue to be based on your final pay when you leave. Your Normal Pension Age is also protected, which for most members is age 65.

  

Further protections are in place if you are nearing retirement. This is referred to as the “underpin” and ensures that you will get a pension at least equal to that which you would have received had the scheme not changed on 1 April 2014.

  

The underpin applies if:

  

·          you were paying in to the scheme on 31 March 2012 and,

·          you were within 10 years of your Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 and,

·          you have not had a disqualifying break in service of more than 5 years and,

·          you have not drawn any benefits in the LGPS before Normal Pension Age and,

·          you are leaving with an immediate entitlement to benefits.

  

The Normal Pension Age referred to in the underpin is the protected Normal Pension Age under the 2008 scheme.

  

If you are covered by the underpin a calculation will be performed at the date you cease to contribute to the scheme, or at your Normal Pension Age if earlier, to check that the pension you built up (or if you have been in the 50/50 scheme at any time, the pension you would have built up had you always been in the main section of the scheme) is at least equal to the amount you would have received had the scheme not changed from Final Salary to CARE on 1 April 2014. If it is not, the difference will be added to your pension.

  

The Fund will carry out the underpin checks for all applicable members when they leave the scheme.

  

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The CARE salary which has been used to calculate my benefits is incorrect. What should I do?

  

If, for any reason, you do not agree with the salary which has been used to calculate your CARE benefits, you should first of all contact your employer who will try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Please note that you should contact your employer before 31 March 2016 to report any suspected inaccuracies.

  

If you are unhappy with your employer’s decision, you have the right to have your complaint independently reviewed under your employer’s Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP) and details would be sent to you.

  

Unfortunately we cannot accept changes to your pay directly from you and therefore it is your employer’s responsibility to contact us to report any inaccurate salary information.

 

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The Final Salary pay which has been used to calculate my pre-2014 benefits is incorrect. What should I do?

 

If, for any reason, you do not agree with the salary which has been used to calculate your pre-2014 benefits, you should first of all contact your employer who will try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we cannot accept changes to your pay directly from you and therefore it is your employer’s responsibility to contact us to report any inaccurate salary information.

 

Please be reassured that when you leave the ERPF, your final pension benefits will be assessed on an individual basis and your exact pensionable pay figures will be supplied to the Pensions section by your employer’s payroll department.

 

Your statement is for illustration only and you should not make any financial decisions based on the details shown without first contacting the Pensions section.

  

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When will my benefits be paid?

 

The Normal Pension Age in the LGPS is linked to your State Pension Age (but with a minimum of age 65). You can choose to retire and draw your pension from the LGPS at any time from age 55 to 75, provided you have met the 2 years vesting period in the scheme.  If you choose to take your pension before your Normal Pension Age it will normally be reduced because it’s being paid earlier. If you take it later than your Normal Pension Age it’s increased because it’s being paid later. You must draw your benefits in the LGPS before your 75th birthday.

 

You may have to retire at your employer’s instigation perhaps because of redundancy, business efficiency or permanent ill health. Your LGPS benefits even in these circumstances can,provided you have met the 2 years vesting period in the scheme, provide you with an immediate retirement pension which may even be enhanced.

 

If you voluntarily choose to retire before, on or after your Normal Pension Age you can defer drawing your benefits but you must draw them before age 75. If you draw your pension after your Normal Pension Age, your benefits will be paid at an increased rate to reflect late payment.

 

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Can my benefits be paid early if I am ill?

  

If you have to leave work due to illness you may be able to receive immediate payment of your benefits.

 

To qualify for ill health benefits you have to have met the 2 years vesting period in the scheme and your employer, based on an opinion from an independent occupational health physician appointed by them, must be satisfied that you will be permanently unable to do your own job until your Normal Pension Age and that you are not immediately capable of undertaking gainful employment. 

 

Ill health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced on account of early payment – in fact, your benefits could be increased to make up for your early retirement.  There are graded levels of benefit based on how likely you are to be capable of gainful employment after you leave. 

  

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How have my benefits been calculated?

  

Pre 1 April 2014 benefits are calculated as follows:

  

·          service up to and including 31March 2008:

 Final Salary Pay x Service (in years and days) x 1/80

 ·          service from 1 April 2008 to 31March 2014:

 Final Salary Pay x Service (in years and days) x 1/60

 ·          the pre 1 April 2008 automatic lump sum:

 Final Salary Pay x Service (in years and days) x 3/80

If you worked part time your service would have been reduced by the proportion of the full time equivalent hours you worked.

  

Post 1 April 2014 benefits are calculated as follows:

 

 ·          main section membership: CARE Pensionable Pay x 1/49

 

 ·          50/50 section membership: CARE Pensionable Pay x 1/98

 

After 1 April 2014, your service no longer affects the calculations and looks only at your actual pay.

  

Prior to 1 April 2014, your final pay figure ignores times when you may have been on reduced contractual pay or no pay due to sickness or injury, on ordinary or paid additional maternity/paternity/adoption leave, paid shared parental leave, or on reserve forces service leave.  After 1 April 2014, an Assumed Pensionable Pay for these periods of leave will be included within the CARE figure.

 

Please note that there are examples at the end of this document to provide further clarification on the different accrual rates and calculations.

  

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Are there ways of increasing my benefits?

 

As a member of the LGPS you can pay extra contributions in order to top up your benefits by the purchase of Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) or Additional Pension Contributions (APCs).  Whichever method you choose, the extra contributions will come straight out of your pay. As they all count as pension contributions, you get tax relief (normally at your highest rate) if you are a tax payer. Further information is available on the following web pages:

 

http://pru.co.uk/guides_tools/calcs/avc/ - to see how much you might need to save to get the taxable pension income and/or tax free cash you would like from your AVCs. 

  

http://www.lgps2014.org/content/how-do-i-buy-extra-or-lost-pension  - this is an online calculator which shows how much it would cost to buy extra or lost pension through APCs.

 

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Why doesn’t my statement show my service history?

 

We have not included service information this year as it is no longer relevant within the new LGPS 2014 scheme.

 

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I currently have an Added Years contract, why isn’t this showing?

 

If you have an Added Years contract, the full amount of this will not show on your statement unless your contract has ended.  If your contract is still active, the statement will only include the proportioned amount of service relevant to the scheme year – this will be included in Section 3 of the statement.  If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us using the information below.

 

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Am I able to link my active membership to other LGPS membership?

 

The rules about linking LGPS membership changed on 1 April 2014. The complex new rules mean that we have had to wait for government guidance before writing to members with their linking options. We are still waiting for some of the necessary documentation to be prepared.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused however we will write to members with their linking options as soon as we can.

 

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Can you tell me more about the protections for my family and dependants in the event of my death?

 

If you die before your benefits become payable, there will be a lump sum payable.  This is referred to as a death grant.

  

The value of your death grant is shown in your Annual Benefit Statement 2015 and is calculated as three times your Assumed Pensionable Pay.

  

However, if you also have earlier membership in the LGPS in England or Wales, e.g. a deferred pension, a suspended tier 3 ill health pension or a pension in payment, the death grant payable would be the greater of the lump-sum detailed in the annual benefit statement(s) for your active membership of the scheme or the death grant due from your earlier benefits.

 

As well as the death grant, if you leave dependants when you die there may be benefits for them as well. These can be payable to either:

 

 ·          your husband or wife

 ·          your registered civil partner or,

 ·          your eligible cohabiting partner

 

Any eligible dependent children will also receive benefits in the event of your death.  Further details are available upon request.

  

You should complete a death grant ‘expression of wish’ form which will tell us of your wishes with regards to whom or where you would like your death grant to be paid to.  This form is available on our website for you to download and complete.

 

We will endeavour to respect your wishes as far as we can, but the Fund will always have the final decision as to the recipient(s) of any death grant.

 

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How do I inform you where I want my lump sum death grant to be paid in the event of my death?

 

You should complete a “death grant expression of wish” form to tell us of your wishes with regards to whom or where you would like your death grant to be paid – these are referred to as your nominated beneficiaries. 

  

The form is available on our website for you to download and complete, or you can contact us and ask us to send you one.

 

We will always endeavour to respect your wishes but the Fund will always have the final decision as to the recipient(s) of any death grant.

 

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Why doesn’t my statement show all of my nominated beneficiaries?

 

This will only apply if you have more than 8 nominated beneficiaries. If you believe that the full details are not showing on your statement and you would like a copy to check, we are more than happy to provide this on request.  Please note that if you have made a contingent nomination (i.e. where you would like your death grant to be paid in the event that your current nominated person(s) predecease you), then these are not shown on the statement.

 

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Who can help me if I have a query or complaint?

 

If you are in any doubt about your LGPS benefit entitlements, or have a problem or question about your LGPS membership or benefits, please contact us by using the information detailed below. We will seek to clarify or put right any misunderstandings or inaccuracies as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

If your query is about your contribution rate or the pay used on your statement, please contact your employer.

  

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How is my pension calculated - examples and a Glossary of Terms Used

 

Examples of how your benefits have been calculated and a glossary of terms used in this document is available here

 

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What are the ERPF’s contact details?

 

 

Our address:

 

 

East Riding Pension Fund

PO BOX 118

Council Offices

Church Street

Goole

East Riding of Yorkshire

DN14 5BG

 

 

Our telephone number:

 

 

01482 394104

 

 

Our email for Annual Benefit Statement queries:

 

 

abs@eastriding.gov.uk

 

 

Our email for general enquiries:

 

 

erpf@eastriding.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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