Automatic enrolment – The ins and outs

Around 10 years ago, the government introduced “automatic (auto) enrolment”, an initiative which is designed to get more people saving for later life through workplace pensions.

Auto-enrolment has been hugely successful in increasing the amount of people saving into a pension.

If you are employed by an organisation within the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme), you will join the pension scheme provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You work for a local authority or employer who offers membership to the pension scheme and
  • You are under age 75, and
  • You earn at least £10,000 per year, and
  • You are not eligible to join another public service pension scheme such as teachers, police or NHS

If you start a job in which you are eligible to join the LGPS based on the above, you will automatically be put into the pension scheme if your contract of employment is for 3 months or more. Normally you will generally join the LGPS on your first day of employment.

When you become a member of the LGPS, you will see pension contributions being deducted from your salary on your pay slip. You will also receive written notification confirming your membership from your employer and us.

If you do not wish to join the LGPS, you can opt out of the scheme. Don’t be surprised if you rejoin as by law your employer must re-enrol you approximately every 3 years. You’ll be warned in advance and can choose to opt out again.

Pensions can seem like another expense but it’s not just your retirement you’re saving for there are a range of benefits on offer:

  • A secure pension guaranteed by law – you don’t have to worry about poor investments or economic downturns affecting your pension.
  • Contribution flexibility - boost your pension by paying more or if you want, you can reduce your payments.
  • Pensions available for family members 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 swap some pension for a tax-free cash lump sum when you retire.
  • Early retirement available from age 55 plus a range of other retirement options including redundancy, ill health and flexible retirement.
  • A pension which is paid for life and increases with the cost of living, so as costs rise so too does your pension.

For more information on auto enrolment visit the Joining section of our website. If you are already paying into the scheme each month, you can find a wealth of information on your pension in the Active members section.


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