Membership and contributions

For information about how your benefits are worked out when you retire see "how are my benefits worked out?".

How much does it cost?

How much it costs you depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.0% of your pay.

Your rate will depend on the level of your pensionable pay.

The real cost to you will be less because you do not pay tax on the amount you pay into your pension.

If you work part time or term time your contribution rate will be based on your actual pay and you will only pay contributions on that actual pay.

 

Example

Alex works full time and his pay is £30,000 a year, so he will pay 6.2% of £30,000.

This works out at £157 a month, but the real cost to him will be £124 after accounting for tax relief savings.

If he worked part time (half the hours) he would only pay 5.5% but only on his £15,000 pay.

Contribution rates

What do I pay?

Your contribution rate depends on how much you are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 12.0% of your pensionable pay. The rate you pay depends on which pay band you fall into.

If you work part-time or term time, your rate is based on the actual rate of pay for your job, so you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn.

These are the pay bands that apply from April 2019:

Pay band If your yearly pay is: You pay a contribution rate of:
1 Up to £21,800 5.5%
2 On earnings above £21,801 and up to £26,700 7.25%
3 On earnings above £26,701 and up to £36,600 8.5%
4 On earnings above £36,601 and up to £48,800 9.5%
5 On earnings above £48,801 12.0%

*The pay band ranges will be increased each April in line with the cost of living.

 

 

Contribution rate

Actual Pay Min

Actual Pay Max

Contribution rate

Actual Pay Min

Actual Pay Max

5.5

Up to

22,441

8.4

63,048

64,823

5.6

22,442

23,843

8.5

64,824

66,702

5.7

23,844

25,433

8.6

66,703

68,694

5.8

25,434

26,990

8.7

68,695

70,807

5.9

26,991

28,049

8.8

70,808

73,055

6.0

28,050

29,193

8.9

73,056

75,450

6.1

29,194

30,436

9.0

75,451

78,008

6.2

30,437

31,788

9.1

78,009

80,745

6.3

31,789

33,267

9.2

80,746

83,681

6.4

33,268

34,890

9.3

83,682

86,839

6.5

34,891

36,652

9.4

86,840

90,245

6.6

36,653

37,938

9.5

90,246

93,928

6.7

37,939

39,318

9.6

93,929

97,925

6.8

39,319

40,801

9.7

97,926

102,277

6.9

40,802

42,401

9.8

102,278

107,034

7.0

42,402

44,132

9.9

107,035

112,256

7.1

44,133

46,010

10.0

112,257

118,012

7.2

46,011

48,055

10.1

118,013

124,391

7.3

48,056

49,489

10.2

124,392

131,500

7.4

49,490

50,576

10.3

131,501

139,469

7.5

50,577

51,713

10.4

139,470

148,462

7.6

51,714

52,902

10.5

148,468

158,706

7.7

52,903

54,147

10.6

158,707

170,462

7.8

54,148

55,451

10.7

170,463

184,100

7.9

55,452

56,820

10.8

184,101

200,108

8.0

56,821

58,259

10.9

200,109

219,166

8.1

58,260

59,772

11.0

219,167

242,236

8.2

59,773

61,366

11.1

242,237

270,735

8.3

61,367

63,047

11.2

270,736

and above


How can I increase my pension?

You can pay more to top up your pension.

There are two ways you can currently increase your pension from the Scheme.

  • Buying extra pension (i.e. APC's)
  • Paying Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVCs)

Don't forget you get tax relief on extra contributions which lowers their real cost to you.

There are limits on the amount of extra contributions you can pay. To find out more please contact us.

 

Please note

Under previous regulations there have been different ways to buy extra membership or pension.  You may have one of these arrangements in place and this will be honoured.  These previous options have now been closed and we can't accept any new applications. However, from 1st April 2015 a new means of buying extra pension was introduced and this is detailed below.

Find out about other ways you can boost your pension.

Buying extra pension

You can buy more pension, right up to a maximum of £6,761 (April2019).

The extra pension you buy will be paid the same way as your retirement pension.

How much does it cost?

The cost to you will depend on a number of factors.

Here are some general examples, you can additionally use the online calculator developed by the Local Government Association (LGA) to get an idea of how much the purchase of additional pension might cost you.  This can be accessed via the following link:

LGA Additional Pension Calculator 

Your pension fund administering authority may require a satisfactory medical report to be submitted, at your cost, before your application is accepted.  Where this is the case you will be notified of the process to be followed after submitting your application to pay APCs

To find out more, please contact us

Pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

You can pay more contributions to our AVC schemes (sometimes called "in house" AVC schemes).

You choose how much to pay in AVCs and how they are invested. The money will come straight out of your pay and go to the AVC provider who will invest it for you.

What happens when I retire?

You can either use your AVCs to take a lump sum from the fund when you retire or you can buy additional pension in the scheme or an annuity from an insurance company.

If you are interested in paying AVCs please contact us for further information.


Example of the cost to buy extra pension

Example 1

Kyle is 25 and wants to buy £1,000 additional yearly pension for himself.

He wants to pay the additional contributions he would have to make over 20 years.

The cost of buying £1,000 of additional yearly pension is £30.82 each month for the next 20 years (£7,397.38 in total).

Example 2

Marion is aged 47 and wants to buy £750 additional yearly pension for herself.

She wants to pay for this over 10 years.

The cost of buying £750 of additional yearly pension would be £77.40 each month for the next 10 years (£9,287.46 in total).


What if I work part-time?

From 1st April 2015 you only pay contributions on the pay you actually earn. Each April, your employer will decide your appropriate rate of contributions for each employment by matching your actual pensionable pay to the appropriate band in the contributions table.

Example

Kate works part time. She works half the hours of a full time colleague.

If she were a full time employee her pay would be £25,000 per year, with an employee contribution rate of 5.8%. As she only works half of this time her actual part time pay is £12,500 so this makes her contribution rate 5.5%.

See "how are my benefits worked out?" for more details about how your benefits are worked out when you retire if you work part time.


What if I am absent from work?

There are many reasons why you might be absent from work and each may have a different effect on your pension benefits. These can include:

  • Family leave (maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave)

  • Sick leave

  • Reserve Forces leave

  • Authorised leave of absence

  • Strike action

  • Jury service

Please contact us for more information.


Transferring benefits

You may be able to transfer a pension into the Scheme. Please contact the Fund administrators to discuss transfer options.

If you want to transfer a pension into the Scheme you should complete the transfer form (see Related Documents in the "Helpful Information" section).

  • We will provide you with an estimate of what the transfer payment would buy you in the Pension Scheme.

  • You can then decide if you want to go ahead with the transfer.

You only have 12 months from joining the Scheme to transfer a previous pension into the Scheme.

Deciding whether or not to transfer a previous pension is an important decision.

You should get independent financial advice before making any decision to transfer pension rights into the Scheme.