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Joining the scheme

Joining the scheme

What is the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)?

The LGPS is a national pension scheme for employees of local councils and related employers. Nationally, the scheme has over 1.5 million contributing members and large numbers of pensioner and deferred benefit members.

The rules of the scheme are contained in regulations and cover many events that can affect the scheme member during their time in the pension scheme and after leaving.
At SYPA we have produced a scheme booklet, and many individual subject-based booklets, to tell you all you need to know about the rules of the scheme and how they apply to you. These booklets can be viewed on our booklets page.

How can I find out what pension I will get if I join?

If you want to find out about the benefits the scheme has to offer through an easy to use website, you can use LGPS Members. opens in new window The website has information on the different types of membership in the Scheme and a helpful pension account modeller to show you what pension you can expect to receive when you retire.
The website is maintained and run by the Local Government Employers (LGE). For existing members who moved to the new scheme on 1 April 2014 there is also a helpful Q&A.

Why should I join the scheme?

These are the top 10 reasons you should join the scheme:
  1. Your employer shares the cost – In fact, employers pay much more than scheme members.
  2. Life cover of three years pay – from the second you join. Unlike other forms of life insurance, there's no medical - it's open to all.
  3. If you are a taxpayer, you get tax relief on all your contributions - even on extra payments you make to top up your pension.
  4. At retirement, you will receive a pension for life with an option to convert some of it to a tax-free lump sum.
  5. There are no hidden fees or charges - you simply pay a percentage of your pay.
  6. Two years membership is you need to build up a pension. If you leave before retirement, you will still receive a pension when you do retire.
  7. No investment risk - you get a guaranteed package of benefits which are backed by law.
  8. Protection for you in case you have to draw your benefits early because of permanent ill health. There is also protection for your loved ones, in the form of dependant pensions if you die.
  9. If you are struggling financially, you can pay lower contributions to still build up benefits. To link to the 'The 50 50 Section - Flexibility to Pay Less' form, use the URL for the factsheet page.
  10. After you retire, your pension it will go up with inflation, protecting you from rising prices.
How do I join the scheme?

When you start working for an employer that is part of the LGPS, you should be auto-enrolled into the scheme. If you don’t know if this happened, you have been you should speak to your employer.

How much will I pay?

The rate of contributions you will pay is based on how much you are paid. When you join, and every April afterwards, your employer will determine your contribution rate. If you have more than one job your contribution rate will be determined separately for each job. If your pay changes throughout the year, your employer may decide to review your contribution rate at that time, rather than wait until the following April.

To view the member contribution rates, please view the Contribution Pay Bands page

Alternatively, you can access the member contribution rate calculator by visiting the LGPS Member - Contribution Calculator opens in new window