What is the LGPS?
The Local Government Pension Scheme in Scotland (LGPS) is a funded, defined benefit, statutory pension scheme. It's one of Scotland’s largest public sector pension schemes serving more than 236,000 active members, over 140,000 deferred members and over 169,000 pensioners and dependents.
In Scotland the scheme is administered through 11 local government administering authorities, however it also operates in England and Wales, where it is administered locally through a further 90 pension funds.
The North East Scotland Pension Fund (NESPF) administers the LGPS for employers located throughout the North and North East of Scotland. With an asset value of over £4.3 billion and 71,000 members we are the third largest LGPS fund in Scotland serving over 50 public sector or charitable organisations.
Day to day administration is overseen by six dedicated teams; Accounting, Benefit Administration, Employer Relationship, Governance, Investment and Technical.
Meanwhile overall responsibility for the North East Scotland Pension Fund has been delegated to the Fund's Pensions Committee which carries out a role similar to that of trustees and is the key decision maker for all matters regarding administration and investment management. We also have a Pension Board who are responsible for assisting with compliance of scheme regulations and requirements.
The LGPS is one of the best ways to plan for retirement and has an excellent range of benefits including:
• A secure pension guaranteed by law – so you don’t have to worry about poor investments or economic downturns affecting your pension.
• A guaranteed income in retirement which increases with the cost of living - so as the price of goods increase, so too does your pension.
• Pensions are available for your spouse/partner and any eligible children in the event of your death.
• A tax-free lump sum of 3 x salary will be paid if you die in service.
• Option to boost your pension by paying more, or if you want, you can reduce your contributions.
• Option to swap some pension for a tax free cash lump sum when you retire.
• Early retirement available from age 55.
• Flexible, ill health and redundancy & efficiency retirements are available too.
How to Join
Most individuals who join the pension scheme are automatically put into the LGPS - this is known as auto enrolment. Those who are automatically enrolled;
• have a contract of employment of 3 months or more, and
• earn at least £10,000 per year, and
• are under age 75.
Members who are not automatically enrolled, or who opted out and wish to rejoin, can join the scheme by completing an Opt In form.
Where Does My Money Go
When you are a member of the Scheme, you pay contributions to the LGPS. Your employer pays too, however employer contributions don't increase your pension, rather they help cover the cost of the pension scheme including administration and pension payments. Generally employers cover 2/3rds of the costs while members pay 1/3rd. In personal or private pensions, members would have to pay for all fees and contributions.
Contributions received from employees and employers are invested by the North East Scotland Pension Fund in order to meet long term costs. The Pension Fund invests in a range of assets including equities, bonds and property in order to maximise returns whilst spreading investment risk. For more information on the Fund’s investments click here.
If you would like to find out more about the NESPF visit the About Us section of our website.