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Understanding the Scheme

Helping you know more about your pension benefits including your contribution rates, calculating your pension, death benefits and pensions for councillors.

Summary of benefits

What is a pension – Video Transcript

Read Transcript (86KB, PDF)

As an active member you benefit from the following features of the Scheme:

  • Your employer shares the cost – most of our employers pay 19% whereas members pay between 5.5% and 10.5% (these percentages are not linked to the accrued member benefits).
  • You can retire early from age 55 without your employer’s permission (pension benefits may be reduced for early payment).
  • Protection if you ever have to retire on ill-health grounds at any age (providing you meet the requirements).
  • You get tax relief on all your pension contributions.
  • Your benefits will be paid without reductions if you are made redundant or retired on efficiency grounds and are aged 55 or over.
  • The 50/50 section allows you to pay half the contributions and build up half the amount of pension, but keep the full value of life cover.
  • A lump sum of three times your yearly assumed pensionable pay is automatically paid if you die and you can nominate who you would like to receive it.
  • Survivors’ pensions may also be paid to your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.
  • You can boost your pension benefits by paying additional contributions to buy extra pension or build up an additional pension fund with the in-house AVC provider.
  • You can transfer other pension benefits into the Scheme during your first 12 months of membership.
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