NILGOSC was set up by the Government in April 1950 to operate a pension scheme for the local councils and other similar bodies in Northern Ireland. The pension scheme is known as the Local Government Pension Scheme (Northern Ireland), the ‘Scheme’, and is a defined benefit scheme, which will provide benefits on a career average revalued earnings basis from 1 April 2015. Prior to this date pension benefits were calculated on a final salary basis.
The administration of the Scheme is governed primarily by the Scheme’s regulations and other relevant legislation e.g. HMRC legislation. Many of these sets of regulations are listed in the document library section of this website.
From 1 April 2015 a member will build up pension at a rate of 1/49th of their pensionable pay each year. Any membership during the period from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2015 provides for a retirement pension calculated at the rate of 1/60th of pensionable pay for each year of membership. Before 1 April 2009 a member of the Scheme accrued retirement benefits at the rate of 1/80th (pension) and 3/80ths (tax-free lump sum) of their pensionable pay for each year of membership up to 31 March 2009. At retirement, members may give up some pension for additional lump sum, subject to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) limits. The conversion rate is £12 additional lump sum for every £1 of pension given up.
The Scheme is funded by contributions made by both employees and employers who have been designated as employing authorities or admitted to the Scheme. Prior to 1 April 2009, employees’ contribution rates were fixed at 6% of their pensionable remuneration (except for those who were entitled to contribute to the scheme at 5% before 1 February 2003 and have remained in continuous employment). Tiered employee contribution rates, determined by the whole-time equivalent rate of pay, were introduced from 1 April 2009.
Employer contribution rates are determined by the Scheme’s actuary every three years. Following the results of the 2019 actuarial valuation, the Committee agreed with its actuary the employer contributions and deficit recovery contributions for the following three years, effective from 1 April 2020. The next valuation is due as at 31 March 2022.