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

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

  • Your employer shares the cost – most of our employers currently pay around 19% whereas members pay between 5.5% and 10.5%.
  • 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.