Frequently asked questions
Can I change my address or bank details?
If you want to change your personal details, you can do so by filling in an address change form or change of bank details form and returning it to us either by post or by scanning it and sending it to our email address (address and email address can be found at the bottom of this page). Or, you can log into ‘My Pension Online‘ and change your details through the online system.
I want to update my death grant ‘expression of wish’.
You'll need to fill in an expression of wish form and return it to us. Or, you can update it online through 'My Pension Online'.
Can I make an appointment to speak to someone in pensions?
If you wish to hand in forms or certificates, we run a drop-in service between 8.45am to 5pm Monday to Thursday at the Shirehall. If you want to discuss your pension with a member of the pensions team, we encourage you to book an appointment. To book an appointment, you can call our helpdesk number or send us an email. Please note, we don't offer a drop-in service on Fridays.
I need to tell you about the death of a member.
Please either write to us, or phone our helpdesk number. Contact details can be found at the bottom of the website.
I am about to go off on maternity (or other child related) leave. Do I need to do anything?
If you are on paid maternity or another type of paid child related leave, your pension is worked out using your assumed pensionable pay. This means you will keep building up pension benefits in the section of the LGPS you are in, as if you were working and being paid normally. For more information, read the 'child related leave' section on the 'absence and pension contributions' page of this website.
However, if you go on to a period of unpaid additional maternity leave or adoption leave (normally from weeks 39-52) or unpaid shared parental leave, this will not count for pension purposes. You can if you want to, cover this period of missed pension contributions by paying additional pension contributions (APCs). If you buy back the lost pension contributions within 30 days from returning to work, the cost of the APC is split between yourself and your employer. For more information, read the 'authorised unpaid leave' section on the 'absence and pension contributions' page of this website.
Can you tell me about my State Pension?
I’m sorry, we don’t deal with State Pension benefits. You should call the State Pension Scheme on 0345 606 0265 or visit the gov.uk website.
I think my tax code is wrong, who should I contact?
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) works out your tax code, so you'll need to contact them directly if you think it's wrong. They tell us the correct code to apply. You can contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300.
How much will I pay in contributions?
The contributions you pay towards the LGPS are based on your salary and any overtime and/or additional hours. This makes up your pensionable pay which is used to work out your benefits. Visit the web page, 'what will I pay', to see the current contribution rates.
When can I take my pension?
Your normal pension age is linked to your State Pension age which is based on when you were born. This is the age you can take your pension without reductions.
However, you can take your pension early from 55 but a reduction would be applied to your benefits as they would be in payment for longer. It's also possible to continue paying into your pension after your normal pension age, continuing to build up benefits that will be increased for late payment.
What reductions are applied if I take early retirement?
Early payment of your benefits are subject to an actuarial reduction. The reduction applied depends on the number of years early you take payment of your benefits. Visit the page on early retirements to view the reductions table.
I'd like a pensions quote
If you'd like a pensions quote it's now possible to work out your own benefit quotes through ‘My Pension Online‘.
For more general pensions information, we produce an annual benefit statement for members still paying into the LGPS, and an annual deferred benefit statement for members who have left the LGPS before retirement.
Will I be charged if I ask for information?
Our current policy is not to charge members for their first quote or request. A second request within the same year for the same reason (e.g. a second transfer quote) could lead to a charge.
Charges may also apply for a divorce. If you're undergoing divorce proceedings please contact our helpdesk on the below number to find out more about the possible charges.
I'd like to take my pension as a lump sum under freedom and choice rules
The LGPS is a defined benefit scheme not a defined contribution scheme. This means freedom and choice doesn't apply to the LGPS. For more information about freedom and choice, please read the freedom and choice Q&A.
Why have I been taxed on my refund?
HMRC rules state that tax should be taken at a rate of 20% before any refund is paid. We don't have any control over this. This tax is taken whether you're a taxpayer or not. You also can't claim the tax taken back from the Tax Office, even if you do not earn enough to pay tax.
Visit the web page 'Leaving the scheme before retirement' to find out more about refunds.
Can I re-join the LGPS if I’m receiving a pension?
If you're under age 75 and your new employer offers membership of the LGPS, you can re-join the scheme even if you’re in receipt of a pension.
However, your pension may be affected if you,
- have previously received compensatory added years from your employer.
- are being paid a tier 3 ill-health pension (which is the type that is stopped if you take up any gainful employment). You must inform the employer who awarded you the ill-health pension if you start a new job (whether in local government or elsewhere). They’ll let you know if the payment of your pension should be stopped.
My pension online
View your pension account and update your personal details.