Current members' guide to the LGPS | Oxfordshire County Council

Current members' guide to the LGPS

Details about the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

A brief guide to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) provides a background to the scheme for members and prospective members in Oxfordshire.   

Use the national site for scheme members the scheme's national website for information, videos and interactive tools explaining the costs and benefits of LGPS membership.

When you join the LGPS your employer will let you know about the scheme you have joined and about your pensionable pay and your contribution rate. Your employer  will give you the outline to the scheme by linking to  the Brief Guide or giving you a printed copy. Your employer will have a named individual to respond to your questions about membership of the LGPS with them. 

Your employer informs the pension fund you have joined, and in response Pension Services will ask you about any other pension scheme membership. We receive information from employers once every month.

Information leaflets

To support the Brief Guide, the following leaflets build into a full and detailed guide for the LGPS, for active current scheme members  

The leaflets are for employees in England or Wales and reflect the provisions of the LGPS and overriding legislation at the time of publication April 2017

In the future the Government may make changes to overriding legislation and, after consultation with interested parties, may make changes to the LGPS.

These leaflets are for general use and cannot cover every personal circumstance nor do they cover specific protected rights that apply to a very limited number of employees. In the event of any dispute over your pension benefits, the appropriate legislation will prevail as these leaflets do not confer any contractual or statutory rights and are for information purposes only.

The leaflets explain the benefits available to you as a member of the LGPS, describing how the scheme works, what it costs to be a member and the financial protection that it offers to you and your family.

  1. About the LGPS (pdf format, 297Kb)
  2. Your Pension’s Choice (pdf format, 183Kb)
  3. ‚ÄčContribution Flexibility (pdf format, 77Kb)
  4. Your Pension (pdf format, 412Kb)
  5. Transfers into the LGPS (pdf format, 151Kb)
  6. Leave of Absence and the LGPS (pdf format, 151Kb)
  7. Leaving your job before retirement (pdf format, 278Kb)
  8. Life cover protection for your family (pdf format, 238Kb)
  9. Pensions and Divorce (pdf format, 278Kb)
  10. Tax controls and your LGPS Benefits (pdf format, 278Kb)
  11. Help with Pension problems (pdf format, 123Kb)
  12. If you have joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014 (pdf format,123Kb)

 

Additional guidance and information

Leaving employment due to redundancy

Buying back 'lost pension' after authorised leave

Open to members of the main section of the scheme and to the 50/50 section

Your employer should tell you about the way you can pay additional pension contributions to restore lost pension because you have taken a period of unpaid leave. The full details are in the leaflet Leave of Absence and the LGPS (pdf format, 163Kb) If you ask to pay extra contributions (APC) to restore your pension within the 30 days of your return to work, (or such longer period as your employer may agree to) your employer MUST pay 2/3rds the cost.

To get an idea of the costs and a formal quote to buy ‘lost’ pension please use the calculator on the LGPS website.

The formal quote issued by the site is based on the information you supply. If you want to continue, print out three copies, sign and date them and send one to Pension Services, one to your employer and keep one for your records.

Be sure to read all the terms and conditions on the website with the calculator.

The Oxfordshire Pension Fund will not accept contracts where your instalment payment is less than £5 a month. Unless your employer has agreed to amalgamate short periods of your unpaid leave, and this will be their decision, you will need to set up a new quote for each period or a single lump sum payment

If you miss the 30 day deadline, you could ask your employer whether they have any terms to extend the deadline, or if they have policy on ‘shared costs’, each of these options are for your employer to decide. They should have a written public policy on the shared cost, and a process for receiving any requests to extend the 30 day deadline.

You will also find more information about APCs, the conditions for their use in your pension and other ways to increase your pension in the booklet Contribution Flexibility (pdf format, 100Kb) and on our increasing pension benefits page.

Tax controls and your LGPS pension

There are two levels of taxation which may apply to your pension saving - an annual allowance and also a lifetime allowance. We have a factsheet on each.

You can request a pension saving statement from Pension Services, although we automatically send a statement to those who may be close to the annual limit with their Oxfordshire LGPS pension.

It is your personal responsibility to declare the tax liability of your combined pensions saving to HMRC.

HMRC will accept online alterations to lifetime allowance protections from November 2016. Members will need to log into their personal tax accounts and select ‘pensions’ to change amounts entered for individual protections 2014 and 2016 if you made a mistake, or if the pension debit from a sharing order has been changed or newly issued.      

If you lose your lifetime allowance protection you must advise HMRC in writing including:

  • full name, address and national insurance number
  • the exact date that they lost protection
  • the reason why protection was lost - benefit accrual, auto enrolment etc
  • the type of pension arrangement (defined contribution or defined benefit)
  • their original lifetime allowance protection certificate where relevant

 and send to:

HM Revenue and Customs - Pension Schemes Services
Ferrers House
Castle Meadow Road
Nottingham
NG2 1BB

For more information on  the annual allowance and life time allowance use the HMRC web site.

The tax reference number for Oxfordshire County Council Local Government Pension Scheme Fund  is PSTR 00328822RP 

Freedom and choice

6 April 2015 is the effective date for reforms to workplace pensions which offer flexibility to individuals aged at least 55 in the way they access their pension savings.

It's important that as a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) you understand that you are a member of a public sector Defined Benefit (DB) scheme and therefore the flexibilities being introduced under 'Freedom and Choice' do not impact on how you can take your Defined Benefits from the LGPS.

There are, however, some indirect changes which will impact upon any members of the LGPS who are considering transferring the value of their accrued LGPS Defined Benefit pension rights from the LGPS to a DC arrangement offering 'flexible benefits'.

The Q and A for LGPS members pdf format, 139Kb) answers some of the most frequent questions being raised by this change.

2016 - new state pension scheme and National Insurance changes

Questions and answer information (pdf format, 252Kb) to introduce the forthcoming changes to national insurance contributions from April 2016 and the new state pension. Most scheme members will be affected by this change. 

The LGPS will no longer be a contracted – out occupational pension scheme from 6 April 2016.

The new state pension is operational from 6 April 2016.  Read about how this may affect you in this introduction leaflet (pdf format, 237Kb) from the DWP for members of the LGPS.

Topping up your state pension

An informative leaflet about options (pdf format, 302Kb). Please follow up any enquiries resulting from this with the Department of Work and Pensions at www.gov.uk      

You can see the full set about the State Pension Scheme on the gov.uk website.

Other guides

Ill health retirement  

This leaflet gives you an idea about the process you and your employer will encounter. 

  • Reduction in pay (pdf format, 93 Kb)
    How might your pension, based on membership before 1 April 2014, be affected by a reduction in pay.   This leaflet was prepared before scheme changes in April 2014 but remains relevant as the final salary provision is protected for many scheme members  
Last reviewed
19 June 2017
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