The Scheme for councillors is a tax approved defined benefit scheme. New councillors will be automatically brought into the Scheme but can opt out. The benefits built up and paid under the Scheme are based on the length of your membership and your career average pensionable pay. The pensionable pay for a councillor consists of Basic Responsibility Allowance and Special Responsibility Allowance payments only.
The benefits of the Scheme are summarised below:
- At retirement you will receive a pension based on your average pay while a member of the Scheme.
- Your pension will be revalued each year to keep pace with the cost of living.
- Your council makes contributions towards your pension benefits.
- You can boost your pension benefits by paying additional voluntary contributions to build up an additional pension fund with the in-house AVC provider, Prudential.
- Survivors’ pensions are payable to your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner and children.
- Life cover is automatically provided of three times pensionable pay and you can say who you would like to receive the death grant.
- You get tax relief on your pension contributions.
- Normal retirement is at your normal pension age (state pension age) but you can retire early from age 55 onwards (early retirement reductions will apply).
- You can remain in the Scheme until the day before age 75.
- You can retire on ill-health grounds at any age providing you qualify.
- You can transfer your benefits out to another scheme once you have left active membership.