Dealing with absences
There are many types of member absences that you'll be faced with as an employer. It's important you know how to deal with these situations if they arise. Some examples include:
- Unpaid leave of absence
- Paid child related leave
- Unpaid child related leave
- Strike break because of a trade dispute
You should always send us the PEN004 form when a member decides to buy back lost pension.
What happens if a member's off sick?
During a period of sick leave your employer contributions will continue to be the same.
If the member receives any pay whilst off sick they'll pay contributions on this. However, their benefits will continue to build up as if they were working normally and receiving full pay.
If a member moves on to unpaid sick leave, they'll not pay any contributions. But, your employer contributions will continue as normal.
What pay is used to work out benefits if the member leaves the LGPS and has been on reduced or no pay?
What do I need to do during strike action?
You must always:
Tell members about their right to buy ‘lost’ pension.
Tell them the amount lost and refer them to the LGPS website where they can find more information, along with the additional pension calculator and the required forms. This calculator will show them how much they need to pay to make up the lost pension.
If they don't have internet access you should help them with their calculation.
Action: You must let us know if a member's gone on strike and chosen to repay the contributions. You should also confirm when there has been a strike but none of the members took part. If they do take part you should let us know their name, national insurance number, payroll number(s), unique identifier(s) of the post(s) in which the member took industrial action (if they have more than one job) and the date(s) of absence.
If you don't tell us about a member paying back the lost pension, we'll assume that the day of the strike doesn’t count for pension purposes. This is particularly important for members with pre 1 April 2014 service, as lost membership still affects these benefits.
Unpaid child related or unpaid authorised leave
If a member has unpaid child related leave or authorised unpaid leave, they can buy the lost pension back. They can pay APCs or shared cost additional pension contributions (SCAPCs).
If they have, or will be, undertaking unpaid leave you should bring this to their attention as soon as possible. They'll have up to 30 days of returning to work to decide to buy back the lost pension. If they decide to buy it back, you'll have to cover two thirds of the cost and the member will pay the remaining third. This will be a SCAPC.
If they decide they want to buy it back after 30 days, they'll bear the full cost themselves, unless you have agreed otherwise. You may wish to include this in your discretion policy.
A member can find out how much they will have to pay by using the online calculator on the LGPS website. If they don't have access to the calculator then you'll need to undertake the calculation on their behalf.
Once the AVC has been set up, you'll be notified. You'll need to inform payroll of the amount being taken, the start date, and make the necessary changes on i-Connect. Please send us a copy of the form you receive about the APC/SCAPC.