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Leicestershire County Council Pension Fund is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
The LGPS is a nationwide scheme. It’s administered by Local Authorities for the local government employers within the county along with other non-profit organisations, and companies who are carrying out a service which was, or could be, carried out by the Local Authority. This excludes, Teachers, Fire Fighters and Police Officers who have their own pensions schemes.
Register for the online pensions service
By registering with the online service you can:
View details of your own personal benefits
View annual statements
Use the benefits projector to help plan for your retirement
Date: Monday 18 November 2019 Time: 12:30pm Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester, LE3 8RA
It is open to all members and fund employers.
Changes to survivor benefits for same sex spouses and civil partners
A change to the scheme rules has been made to provide that survivor benefits payable to a same sex spouse or a civil partner are equal those paid to the widow of a male member.
Why has the change been made?
The change has been made as a result of a Supreme Court judgment (Walker v Innopsec) which found that Mr Walker’s male spouse was entitled to the same benefits that would have been paid if Mr Walker had left a widow in an opposite sex marriage.
Why does this apply to the LGPS?
The government believes that the implication of this judgment for all public service pensions schemes, including the LGPS, is that surviving civil partners or surviving same sex spouses should be provided with benefits equal to those that would be left to the widow of a male member.
When does the change take effect from?
The change is backdated to the date the civil partnerships and same sex marriages were introduced – this is 5 December 2005 for civil partnerships and 13 March 2014 for same sex marriages.
This means that where a member of the LGPS has died leaving a surviving civil partner or a same sex spouse, the survivor’s pension in payment will need to be reviewed and any additional amounts paid, where applicable. We are in the process of reviewing the impact of this change and will be contacting affected civil partners and same sex spouses in due course.
IF YOU THINK THIS APPLIES TO YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION FROLLOWING THE DEATH OF YOUR CIVIL PARTNER AND YOU HAVE NOT HEARD FROM US, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATLEY.
The change will automatically be taken into account in survivor benefits paid to civil partners and same sex spouses in the future.
High Court judgement in the case of Elmes v Essex – co-habiting partners
This case was heard in the High Court on 18th January 2018. The outcome of the case effectively removes the requirement for a nomination form to be in place in order for cohabitees (who meet the other regulatory requirements) to be eligible for a partner’s pension in the LGPS. Previously the requirement to nominate a partner only existed for deaths between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014 for the LGPS in England and Wales as the necessity to nominate a co-habiting partner was removed for all deaths following the implementation of the new regulations on 1 April 2014.
If your co-habiting partner was a member of the Leicestershire County Council LGPS prior to their death, and their death took place between April 2008 and March 2014 it therefore might not have been possible to pay an ongoing pension entitlement under the legislation at the time, even if the qualifying conditions had been met because no nomination form had been completed.
If you think you could be affected and would like to discuss whether this ruling alters your own situation, please contact the Pension Section to discuss the matter further.
Topping up your state pension
With the ending of contracted out status in 2016, a leaflet has been produced for LGPs members about topping up their national insurance contributions to increase their state pension. Topping up the state pension may be particularly appealing to former public sector workers who have either retired, and have not yet reached State Pension Age (SPA), or have reached their SPA since 6 April 2016.
Government legislation became effective from 1 April 2015 about pension freedoms, flexibility and choice. These ‘Freedom and Choice’ rules DO NOT change the rules of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The changes affect what are known as 'defined contribution schemes', such as a private personal pension plan. The LGPS is not one of these schemes. It is what is called 'a defined benefit scheme'. That is to say the rules and benefits of our scheme are set out in law already.
The Government changes brought greater flexibilities to personal pensions. However the LGPS already includes some of these measures in its own rules. Small pensions can sometimes be paid up front as a lump sum within certain limits. Also, scheme members can, should they wish to, draw reduced pension benefits should they elect to, if they retire after age 55.
The LGPS has produced a factsheet to help members understand how these freedoms either do or do not affect LGPS pensions.
Freedom and Choice – In house Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)
Members and Deferred Members who have reached age 55 with an AVC Fund need to be aware of the options that are available to them when it comes to their AVC, both in respect of Freedom and Choice transfer rights, and also their options within the rules of the LGPS. A leaflet has been produced detailing those options to help members decide on the right course of action for their AVC, either now or in the future.
A contributions calculator is available for you to use, which allows you to check the effect on your monthly pay should you join the LGPS. The net monthly effect may not be as much as you think. If you want to join the LGPS, simply write to your employer and instruct them to commence LGPS pension contributions from the next available pay date.
The contents of this website do not override the provisions of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations. The information provided is to assist and inform employees and should not be treated as a definitive statement of law. The scheme regulations in force at the time will be used to reach a decision on any dispute or disagreement.