COVID-19 Member FAQs

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NILGOSC has compiled a list of FAQs for our members.

Please note, an updated version of this FAQ is available in our Member’s section. You can find it here: https://nilgosc.org.uk/members/help-support/covid-19/

Please see the following FAQs for answers to a range of member questions regards Covid-19.

Yes. NILGOSC has robust processes in place to ensure that your pension will still get paid every month, when due. We have also implemented additional measures to ensure that normal service is not affected at this time.

No, the LGPS is a defined benefit pension scheme which means your pension is based on your salary and how long you’ve paid in. Your pension is not linked to stock market performance, so both your contributions and your pension, whether in payment or not, will be unaffected.
The only exception to this is Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). If you have an AVC, it is possible the value may have reduced – this will depend on the funds you have chosen to invest in. You should contact your AVC provider for more information about this.

No. We continue to actively monitor the situation and are implementing additional measures to ensure that the retirement application process isn’t affected. NILGOSC remains fully functional for all key member service delivery functions and we will continue to deliver great service to our members with minimal disruption.

Possibly. We continue to actively monitor the situation and are implementing additional measures to ensure transfer payments are paid.  Given the volatility of the markets at the moment, NILGOSC may seek approval from yourself and your IFA that a transfer at this time is still your intention.

This will depend on the reason for the reduction:

Sick leave
If your pay is reduced or you receive no pay because you are off work due to sickness or injury, your pension builds up as if you were at work receiving normal pay.
You will continue to pay contributions on any pay you receive during your sick leave.

Authorised unpaid leave

If your employer allows or requires you to take a period of unpaid leave for less than 30 consecutive days, pension contributions are made to cover the period of the absence. This mean your pension builds up as normal.
If the absence is for longer than 30 consecutive days, pension contributions are made for the first 30 days of the absence only.  After this you will not build up any pension for the period unless you choose to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost.
If you choose to pay APCs to purchase the amount of pension lost and you make your election to do this within 30 days of returning to work, the cost will be split between you and your employer.
Visit Additional Pension Contributions to find out more about APCs, use an online calculator and download an application form.

Coronavirus job retention scheme
If your employer is able to use the job retention scheme and you both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.

If this applies to you, your employer could pay 80% of your wages up to a monthly cap of £2,500. The Government will fund your employer to do this. Employers can choose to top up your pay to 100%, but if you receive less pay when you are ‘on furlough’, the amount of pension you build up during this period will also be reduced. You will continue to pay pension contributions on the pay you receive.  In addition, from 1 September, employers will have to start paying 10% of the employee’s wages (and can recover 70% from HMRC) and from 1 October the employer’s share will increase to 20% (and can recover 60% from HMRC).  The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to close on 31 October 2020 but has been extended until 30 April 2021.  You can pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to buy extra pension to make up for the pension lost during this period. Your employer does not have to pay towards the cost, but they can choose to.  NILGOSC will waive the requirement for a Good Health Medical if the reason for buying additional pension is because you were on furlough.

Visit Additional Pension Contributions to find out more about APCs, use an online calculator and download an application form.

Emergency Volunteering Leave (EVL)
The Government has introduced a new volunteering scheme to allow the public to contribute to the coronavirus response. The scheme allows workers to take unpaid statutory emergency volunteering leave to volunteer in health and social care authorities.
If you take a period of EVL, your LGPS pension benefits will build up in the same way as if you were working normally.
You will only pay contributions on any actual pay your employer pays you during the period.

Other reasons
For information about the impact on your pension if you are away from work for any other reason, such as child related leave or reserve forces leave, please visit our Absences Page.

The office is now open to visitors, however to keep everyone safe we are operating an appointment-only basis. Please contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

In order to provide members with the most efficient service as possible, during these very trying times, there are a number of ways you can return information to NILGOSC:

Online
Go to our website and upload documents via our online portal ‘My NILGOSC Pension Online.  You can upload documents or send us secure messages once you are registered. If you are not already registered, please Visit My NILGOSC Pension Online.

Email
Email your documents to us at: admin1post.incomingemails@nilgosc.org.uk

Mail
We can receive documents by post or you may wish to use the document upload service available through ‘My NILGOSC Pension Online’ or the email address above to return documents or forms to us.

In person

The office is now open to visitors, however to keep everyone safe we are operating an appointment-only basis. Please contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

Information on the benefits that the Scheme provides if you die can be found by clicking on the links below. The benefits can be different depending on if you are currently paying into the Scheme, if you have left the Scheme but are not yet receiving your pension or if you are currently receiving a pension from us. 

I am currently paying into the Scheme (Active Member)
I have left the Scheme but am not yet receiving my pension (Deferred Member)
I currently receive a pension from NILGOSC (Pensioner Member) 

No. Upon receipt of the relevant paperwork from your employer NILGOSC will arrange a face to face assessment with the Committee doctor.  Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, you may be required to complete a COVID-19 health screening questionnaire.  Should NILGOSC determine that ill-health benefits can be paid, claim forms will be issued promptly.  NILGOSC remains fully functional for all key member service delivery functions and we will continue to deliver great service to our members with minimal disruption.