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Joining the Scheme and contributions

All eligible employees are automatically brought into the Scheme on their first day of work but can opt out.
More information on automatic enrolment.

Members must be younger than age 75 to join the Scheme and their pension benefits must be paid out before their 75th birthday.

Members’ contribution rates depend on how much they are paid, but it will be between 5.5% and 10.5% of their pensionable pay. View our Contribution Rates page for more information.

Members can elect to join the 50/50 section of the Scheme where they pay half of the contributions and build up half of the amount of pension. This is designed as a short-term option.

All members of the LGPS (NI) were contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P) until 5 April 2016.

CARE pensionable pay is used to calculate all benefits built up from 1 April 2015.

This is the total of a member’s salary, wages and payments on which pension contributions are based. It includes basic pay, overtime (contractual and non-contractual), additional hours, shift allowance, bonus, acting up allowance, maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, shared parental pay and any other taxable benefit specified in their contract as being pensionable.

Assumed pensionable pay is the estimated pay that is used if a member is no longer receiving full pay due to sickness, injury, relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave. It is usually calculated using the pensionable pay that the member received during the three months or twelve weeks before their pay was reduced or they started a period of relevant child related leave or reserve forces service leave. However, if the pensionable pay received during this period was materially different than the member normally received, their employer may use a revised figure to reflect this. This ensures that the member continues to build up pension on their unreduced pay. It will also be used to calculate the benefits payable to the member if they die in service or retire due to ill-health.

The definition of final salary pensionable pay for pre-1 April 2015 pension benefits is the same as the definition of pensionable pay apart from:
• It does not include non-contractual overtime
• It does not include additional hours.

If a member re-joins the Scheme any benefits that they have previously built up in the LGPS (NI) will not be automatically joined with their new active pension account unless they request to have them combined. If the member wishes to combine their benefits they must choose to do so within 12 months of re-joining unless their employer allows them a longer period. More information on re-joining.

A member can transfer other pension benefits that they have into the LGPS (NI) within the first 12 months of joining the Scheme. More information on transferring in.

A member can register on My NILGOSC Pension Online and check their dates of joining or leaving the Scheme.

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