Absences & Leave

If you are absent from work, depending on the circumstances, you may still continue to pay pension contributions.

Sick Leave

You will continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off sick.

If your pay is reduced or you don't receive any pay then the figure used to work out your pension for this period is your assumed pensionable pay. Your assumed pensionable pay is simply the pay you would have received if you were not off work. This allows you to continue building up pension as if you were working normally and ensures you are not penalised for any absence due to ill health.

If you are on unpaid sick leave, you will not pay any contributions but you will still build up pension benefits during this time.

 

Maternity, Adoption & Paternity Leave

You will continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off on relevant child related leave.

During any period of relevant child related leave the figure used to work out your pension is your assumed pensionable pay. Your assumed pensionable pay is simply the pay you would have received if you were working as normal.

However, any period of unpaid additional maternity, or adoption leave or unpaid shared parental leave will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during the period of unpaid absence.

If you wish to purchase lost pension and make the election within 30 days of returning to work then the cost of the APC is split between you and your employer (you pay 1/3rd, your employer 2/3rds). If you make the election out with 30 days of returning to work then you will pay the full cost of the APC.

To buy lost pension visit the APC Calculator and select "Buy Lost Pension".

 

Unpaid Leave

If you are granted unpaid leave of absence, including jury service, you may continue to pay contributions depending on the length of the break.

If the period of unpaid leave is less than 31 continuous days, contributions should be deducted automatically by your employer based on what you would have received had you not been absent. This means that you will not have a break in membership for pension purposes.

If the period of leave is for 31 continuous days or more, the period will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to buy the lost pension. If you wish to purchase lost pension and make the election within 30 days of returning to work then the cost of the APC is split between you and your employer (you pay 1/3rd, your employer 2/3rds). If you make the election out with 30 days of returning to work then you will pay the full cost of the APC.

For unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave, or unpaid shared parental leave, the above does not apply and you will have to pay APCs to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period regardless of how many days the unpaid leave is.

To buy lost pension visit APC Calculator and select "Buy Lost Pension".

 

Strike & Industrial Action

Absence due to strike action for one or more days will not count for pension purposes and will not be included in the calculation of your benefits.

You can buy back the pension you "lost" while on strike through an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) contract. This can be paid either as a one off lump sum or over a period of time. The amount of pension "lost" is calculated as 1/49th of the pensionable pay (i.e. pay/49) you would have received if you were not on strike (or 1/98th of pensionable pay lost if you are in the 50/50 section). The payment will attract full tax relief in the same way as normal contributions. There is no time limit to elect to purchase your "lost" pension.

To buy lost pension visit APC Calculator and select "Buy Lost Pension".

 

Reserve Forces Special Leave

If you are on reserve forces leave and decide to remain a member of the LGPS while on leave, pension contributions should still be paid.

While on leave contributions are based on your assumed pensionable pay. This is the pay you would have received had you been at work as normal. During this period the Ministry of Deference is responsible for deducting all employee contributions and additional employee contributions (if any) from the reservist and paying those contributions, together with the employer contribution and any additional employer contributions (e.g. Shared Cost AVCs) directly over to the Pension Fund or to the AVC provider. 

If during the period of Reserve Forces Service Leave:

  • the person attains Normal Pension Age,
  • becomes incapable for health reasons of working efficiently in local government employment, or
  • dies

he/she shall be treated as if he/she were in that local government employment at that time with the appropriate pension benefits being payable.

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