Additional contributions - information for employers | Oxfordshire County Council

Additional contributions - information for employers

How members of the Local Government Pension Scheme can increase their benefits.

Members actively contributing to the  LGPS can pay additional contributions to increase their pension benefits. There are a number of options available for member-only contributions and also opportunities for employers to assist with the employee cost to buy additional pension.  

Additional contribution types

If a member wants information about paying additional contributions, they should contact Pension Services. 

Additional pension contributions (APC)

From 1 April  2014, members paying into the main section of the LGPS can pay additional contributions over a period they choose to buy  additional pension, or by a single lump sum.  

For more details and a formal quote a member should use the national members' LGPS website.

Please be ready to assist employees who do not have access to the website or a printer  or ask them to contact Pension Services .

The www.lgpsmember.org site will supply a quote, a formal letter and has details of the terms and conditions.

The member should print out at least two copies of the quote and letter, and send one copy to Pension Services, to check and provide further information to the member and the employer.  

When a member wants to buy extra pension by instalments

A GP must supply a note about the member’s general health. Pension Services will confirm the deduction and contract period of the additional contributions to both the employer and the member - employers must supply deduction and payment confirmation monthly to:

  • Pension Services using the APC tab on the MARS return and
  • Pensions Investments noting the monthly contribution return     

When a member wants to buy extra pension by lump sum

Pension services receives a correct request from the member  

- we will send payment request, timetable and bank details to member 

On receipt of payment we will acknowledge and note pension record. The next year’s annual statement should confirm addition to the member’s pension account.

Some general features of APCs include :

  • the contract is at a fixed rate of deduction amount and not a percentage rate of pay
  • there are no employer contributions payable
  • a contract to buy additional pension cannot be started while the member contributes to the 50/50 section of the scheme and stops if the member moves from the full section to the 50/50 section  
  • the contract stops if the members takes flexible retirement 
  • the Government Actuaries Department (GAD) may, at any time, amend the APC cost   When this happens, Pension Services will contact each employing authority and the member  to change the instalment rate which would apply from the following 1 April. At the end of the contract the employing authority should inform Pension Services of the date of the last contribution payment.

What happens if the member's pay does not cover the this contractual contribution?  

Please get in touch with Pension Services

If the member is on certified sick leave with no pay- you should treat the contract as if the member has been paid.   Note the MARS report. 

Shared cost additional pension contribution (SCAPC)

All employers in the LGPS are required to have a policy on how they may exercise the option to assist employees with the purchase of additional pension.

There is also the compulsory application of SCAPC when an employee elects within 30 days to restore lost pension following an approved absence with no pay.

Employers may wish to consider using the discretionary powers where the member cannot use the regular APC facility mainly due the inescapable delays the employer experiences in supplying the correct and required information to allow the member to take steps to restore lost pension following an absence.

Compulsory shared cost APC

There is more information on how this works within the ABSENCES tab of this toolkit   

Additional voluntary contributions (AVC)

Additional voluntary contributions are a flexible arrangement for members of the LGPS to pay an additional percentage of their pay into a money purchase arrangement.

If a member asks for contact details to start an AVC, the telephone number to Prudential's Pension Connection is 0845 607 0077. The employee should be prepared with:

  • Current salary, and hours of employment
  • National Insurance number
  • Expected date of retirement.

If a member has elected to pay AVCs, Prudential will notify your payroll department to deduct the relevant percentage. It is your payroll department's responsibility to ensure that the AVC contribution does not exceed the appropriate maximum percentage of the member's pay.

New AVC joiners after April 2014 can pay up to 100 percent of their pay into the AVC arrangement. Members joining before have different limits. Please check the individual’s limits with Pension Services  

Paying over AVC contributions

Each employer will have a reference specific to them such as e.g.  L622 / CZB6  If you would like reminding of your specific references or if you are new to Prudential deductions from pay, please contact Prudential.

Each reference you have been provided assumes that only one contribution schedule and payment will be forwarded for each payment frequency stated. If you intend forwarding contributions and payments on a more frequent / irregular basis, you will need to contact Prudential and they will issue you with further references.

Member contribution schedules should be sent to Prudential in an emailed spreadsheet with a supporting BACS or cheque payment. The AVC listing template (xls format, 25 KB) is a template of the spreadsheet Prudential would like you to use. Please be aware that daily interest and bonus accrues in members' accounts from the date of payment receipt and delays should be minimised. Schedules must be received within five days of payment.

BACS payment details

Prudential's preferred method of payment is BACS.

Please find below Prudential's bank account details for the payment of AVC contributions:
Bank name: HSBC Bank plc
Bank address:
City of London Corporate Office
PO Box 125
27-32 Poultry
London
EC2P 2BX
Sort code: 40 02 50
Account number: 31029142
Account name: PACCORPPMS6000
Prudential AVC website
The payment must be sent with Prudential's standard references for identification, stating scheme number, paypoint number and payment period e.g. T665/12345/September 07.
The same account details and references can be used for any CHAPS payments.

AVC Monthly listings

Prudential's ability to offer an efficient service relies on contribution data being submitted in a standard format. If you are using a direct download from your own payroll system, the file must be in a Microsoft Excel, ASCII or comma delimited file format. Prudential can provide a AVC listing template (xls format, 25 KB), if required, view the completed AVC example (pdf format, 28 KB) for guidance.

Mandatory information:

References must include your employer name, scheme number, Prudential paypoint reference, and payroll period, i.e. month or week. Please ensure each member is listed only once, National Insurance Numbers are mandatory, single deductions must be separate from regular payments, as must any employer contributions. Submit separate files and payment if you have more than one Prudential paypoint.

To improve Prudential's data security we have introduced a secure email facility. Please contact us to set up an account.

In the subject header please provide your reference details, that is:

  • employer name
  • scheme number
  • Prudential paypoint reference
  • payroll period i.e. month or week.

In the body of the email we suggest:

Please find attached the AVC member contribution schedule in respect of month year for employees of (insert your payroll). I confirm that a BACS/ cheque payment amounting to £amount will be paid in to your bank account on dd/mm/yyyy.

If you have any queries, please contact me on (your tel number).

For cheque payments - a copy of the email may be printed and forwarded with your cheque, saving the need to prepare a covering letter. Please make any cheques payable to 'Prudential'

Prudential contact details

Customer Services
LGAVC
Prudential
Stirling
FK9 4UE

Contribution information on diskette

If you prefer to submit member contribution schedules on diskette, please ensure that the correct Prudential references are quoted, and mandatory member information is provided, as described above.

Data security

All emails should be encrypted. In addition, ensure your file attachments are password protected, whether sent by disk or emailed to us. You should advise Prudential of your password by telephone or in a separate email.

It is helpful for Pension Services to have a copy of your monthly return to Prudential.

Please do not

  • send any money due to the Prudential to the OCCPF ( Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund, or
  • list AVC values taken from pay on the MARS return

Arrangements under previous regulations

Additional regular contributions (ARC)

From the 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014, members of the LGPS could start to pay additional contributions to buy additional pension over a period they chose.

The Government Actuaries Department (GAD) may, at any time, amend the cost of the ARCs contract. If this happens, Pension Services will contact each employer  and the member about the change to the additional contribution rate. The new rate will be effective from the following 1 April.

Although there cannot be any new ARC contracts there could still be changes to those active contracts

At the end of the contract the employing authority should inform Pension Services of the date of the last contribution payment.

If the member's pay does not cover the monthly additional contribution payment for any reason other than being on sick pay, the contract should stop immediately. No further additional pension contributions should be deducted and employers should inform Pension Services.

Paying over the contributions  to Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund is covered on the page https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/monthly-lgps-contribution-payments

Added years contracts

Added years contracts have now been taken out of the LGPS. This means that no new requests to pay into an added years contract should be accepted, but nothing should change for those members who already have a contract in place.

On completion of the contract, inform  Pension Services that the contract has finished by email to pension.services@oxfordshire.gov.uk or making a note on the appropriate MARS return. 

Arrangements set up before April 2014

Where an arrangement began before April 2014, it will continue until the person writes to Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund (Pension Services) with instructions to stop or  leaves their job.

A new starter could bring in a long established additional regular contribution (ARC) or added years contract with them. Please contact Pension Services for specific advice in those cases.  Additional payments to increase pension are usually  deducted directly from the member's pay before taxation to ensure immediate tax relief and there are no employer contributions.

From April 2014, members have been able to choose to buy additional pension by making single payments. Where the cost cannot be recovered from the salary, it will be up to the member to declare this on their tax return.  The member should always be aware of the effect their choice  will have on their  annual allowance – the annual maximum tax free allowance for pension saving. See Tax Controls and LGPS Benefits.

 

Last reviewed
16 May 2017
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