From retirement benefits to pensions for your family, your pension is designed to support you at all stages through life. Some of the main benefits of your pension are:
- 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.
One of the main advantages of being a member of the LGPS is contribution flexibility. For example, when times are financially strained, 50/50 offers you the opportunity to reduce your monthly payments while continuing to save for your future. This means you can continue to receive the benefits of the scheme without having to stop payments completely. 50/50 is designed to be a short-term option so you'll be brought back into the main section where you pay full contributions around every 3 years. However you'll be told when this is happening and will have the option to continue with 50/50. For more details visit here.
Alternatively, if you want to give yourself a bigger pension to enjoy when you retire, you can boost your pension by paying extra contributions. The Fund offers two ways for you to pay more, to get more. For more information on paying more visit here.
Absence or Leave
With the average person having several different jobs throughout their life, the NESPF realises you may not be in the same role forever. If you leave your job, take time off or change contract, your pension may be affected in different ways. If you are absent from work, depending on the circumstances, you may continue to pay pension contributions. You will continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off sick. You will also continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off on relevant child related leave.
If you leave your job or opt out of the pension scheme before your pension can be paid, what you can do with your pension will depend on how long you have been a member and if you have any other LGPS pensions. You could:
- Get a refund of your contributions, or
- Transfer your pension to another provider, or
- Leave your pension with us until it can be paid to you - this is known as "Deferred" pension benefits.
Financial Support for Loved Ones
If you die while in service, a tax-free lump sum worth 3 times your pay, is payable. This is known as a Death Grant. You can choose who you would like to receive this grant by updating your nominations online via My Pension or by completing the “Death Grant Nomination” form on our website. A survivor’s pension is also payable to your spouse, civil partner or eligible co-habiting partner and any eligible children in the event of your death. Even if you leave and defer your pension with us, or you retire, your loved ones would still be entitled to a death grant and survivor’s pension, however these are calculated differently.
As always, our website contains a wealth of information for members at different stages of their LGPS journey, from thinking of joining the scheme, to Active, Deferred and Pensioner members. For specific advice relevant to your membership type visit www.nespf.org.uk