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 11.2% 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 6.1% 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 11.2% of your pensionable pay. The rate you pay depends on your pay.

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.

Tiered contribution rates from the below table (Table 1) are used to determine the member’s average contribution rate for the whole of the scheme year. Table 2 is in effect a “lookup table” which breaks down the contribution rates from Table 1 into steps of 0.1% and allocates pay ranges to these steps to simplify the process of allocating contribution rates to members for payroll purposes. These tables are updated annually.

Pensionable Pay (2020/2021)

Rate (%)

On earnings up to and including £22,200

5.5%

On earnings above £22,201 and up to £27,100

7.25%

On earnings above £27,101 and up to £37,200

8.5%

On earnings above £37,201 and up to £49,600

9.5%

On earnings of £49,601 and above

12%

*The pay 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

5.50%

Up to

22,852

8.40%

64,090

65,894

5.60%

22,853

24,281

8.50%

65,895

67,804

5.70%

24,282

25,900

8.60%

67,805

69,828

5.80%

25,901

27,443

8.70%

69,829

71,976

5.90%

27,444

28,519

8.80%

71,977

74,261

6.00%

28,520

29,683

8.90%

74,262

76,696

6.10%

29,684

30,946

9.00%

76,697

79,296

6.20%

30,947

32,322

9.10%

79,297

82,078

6.30%

32,323

33,825

9.20%

82,079

85,063

6.40%

33,826

35,475

9.30%

85,064

88,273

6.50%

35,476

37,262

9.40%

88,274

91,735

6.60%

37,263

38,570

9.50%

91,736

95,479

6.70%

38,571

39,972

9.60%

95,480

99,542

6.80%

39,973

41,481

9.70%

99,543

103,966

6.90%

41,482

43,107

9.80%

103,967

108,802

7.00%

43,108

44,867

9.90%

108,803

114,109

7.10%

44,868

46,776

10.00%

114,110

119,961

7.20%

46,777

48,855

10.10%

119,962

126,445

7.30%

48,856

50,306

10.20%

126,446

133,671

7.40%

50,307

51,412

10.30%

133,672

141,772

7.50%

51,413

52,567

10.40%

141,773

150,919

7.60%

52,568

53,775

10.50%

150,920

161,327

7.70%

53,776

55,041

10.60%

161,328

173,277

7.80%

55,042

56,367

10.70%

173,278

187,140

7.90%

56,368

57,759

10.80%

187,141

203,413

8.00%

57,760

59,221

10.90%

203,414

222,785

8.10%

59,222

60,759

11.00%

222,786

246,236

8.20%

60,760

62,380

11.10%

246,237

275,205

8.30%

62,381

64,089

11.20%

275,206

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.