Absence from work

In order to build pension credit in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) you must pay pension contributions.  However, there are occasions when you may be absent and receive reduced or nil pay.

Certified Sickness

If you receive reduced or nil pay due to certified sickness you will continue to pay your contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off sick.  If you are on unpaid sick leave, you will not pay any contributions.

Your pension for this period is calculated using your assumed pensionable pay, rather than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive while on sick leave.  This means that you will continue to build up a pension in the section of the LGPS you are in, as if you were working normally and receiving pay.

If you are in the 50/50 section and go onto unpaid sick leave, you will automatically be moved into the main section of the scheme from the beginning of the next pay period if you are still on no pay at that time. This means from that point forward you will build up full pension benefits in the LGPS even though you are not paying pension contributions.

Authorised Leave of Absence

If you are granted unpaid leave of absence, including jury service, you will not be able to count the period of unpaid leave for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of absence.

Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Leave

During any period of paid maternity, paternity or adoptoin leave you will continue to pay your contributions on any pay that you receive.

Your pension for this period is calculated using your assumed pensionable pay, rather than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive while on child related leave.  This means that you will continue to build up a pension in the section of the LGPS you are in, as if you were working normally and receiving pay.

You will not be able to count any period of unpaid leave for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of unpaid absence.

Trade Dispute

If you are absent for a day or more due to a trade dispute, the period will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of absence.

Buying back ‘lost pension’

You will not be able to count any period of unpaid leave or trade dispute for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of unpaid absence/trade dispute.

The amount of pension lost is calculated as 1/49th of your assumed pensionable pay for the period of absence if you were in the main section of the scheme, or 1/98th if you were in the 50/50 section.

If you wish to purchase the amount of lost pension and make the election within 30 days of returning to work then the cost of the APC is split between you and your employer. You will pay one-third of the cost and your employer will pay the rest. This is known as a Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions (SCAPC). You can pay these additional contributions as a one-off lump sum or through regular payments from your wages over an agreed period.

The maximum period of absence you can elect to buy back by a SCAPC is a period of 3 years.

If you have membership of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 , if you choose to pay for the lost pension in the scheme the amount you pay will count towards the protections connected with the pre 1 April 2014 membership. Please see Membership before 1 April 2014.

You can use the link here to an on-line calculator which will show how much it would cost to buy back ‘lost pension’.  If you decide to proceed with the purchase, please print off and sign the application form and forward to the Pension Section. A medical certificate will be required as proof that you are of good health with regard to your age and details will be sent to you upon receipt of the application form.

Alternatively, please contact the Pension Section for further information on paying Additional Pension Contributions to buy back lost pension.

Please note, any additional pension contribution contract already in existence must continue to be paid in full during the absence.

Reserve Forces’ Leave

If you go on reserve forces service leave and elect to remain in the LGPS, your pension will be worked out using your assumed pensionable as if you were in work rather than on reserve forces service leave. Any pay received from your employer will not have pension contributions deducted from it.

Your employer will need to tell you the amount of pension contributions you and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) must pay, the amount of any additional contributions you are paying in the LGPS, and the amount of assumed pensionable pay the contributions must be collected on. You will need to pass this information on to the MoD so that they can deduction you contributions from your pay and pay them across to the Pension Fund together with the employer contributions due.

Unauthorised Leave of Absence

You cannot pay additional pension contributions in respect of any unauthorised leave of absence, however you must continue to pay any additional pension contribution contract in full.