I am having some time off work
What happens during sick leave?
When you are off work due to sickness or injury and your contractual pay is reduced, or you don't receive any pay, then your assumed pensionable pay is used to work out your pension to make sure your pension is not affected.
You will continue to pay your basic LGPS contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off sick. If you are on unpaid sick leave, you will not pay any contributions.
If you are in the 50/50 section of the scheme and your pay is reduced to zero due to unpaid sick leave, you will automatically be moved into the main section of the scheme from the beginning of the next pay period (if you are still not receiving any pay). This means from that point forward you will build up full pension benefits in the LGPS even though you are not paying pension contributions.
What happens if I am on maternity, adoption or paternity leave or shared parental leave?
During any period of relevant child related leave your pension is worked out using your assumed pensionable pay (where this is higher than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive). Your assumed pensionable pay is a notional figure that is used to make sure your pension is not affected by the reduction in pay. This means that you will continue to build up a pension in the section of the LGPS you are in, as if you were working normally and receiving pay.
If you are in the 50/50 section and go onto no pay during ordinary maternity & adoption leave (usually the first 26 weeks) or paternity leave you will automatically be moved to the main section of the scheme from the beginning of the next pay period. This means from that point forward you will build up full pension benefits in the LGPS even though you are not paying pension contributions.
However, any period of unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave (normally from weeks 39-52) or unpaid shared parental leave will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of unpaid absence. If you are interested in buying the pension lost, please use the LGPS Additional Pension Calculator. You will find an application form in the forms and resources section called Buying Back Lost Pension Due to Absence. If you make an election pay APCs to purchase the amount of pension lost within 30 days of returning to work (or a longer period if your employer allows it), the cost will be split between you and employer.
What happens if I am granted a period of authorised unpaid leave?
If your employer allows you to take a period of unpaid leave, including jury service, the period will not count for pension purposes unless you choose to pay additional pension contributions (APCs) to buy the amount of pension lost during that period of absence. If you choose to pay APCs to buy the amount of pension lost within 30 days of returning to work (or a longer period of your employer allows it), the cost will be split between you and employer.
You can find out more information about authorised unpaid leave on the Local Government Pension Scheme’s member website including a buy lost pension scheme calculator. If you would like to make an application please fill in the buying back lost pension form on the forms and resources page of our website.
What happens if I am on strike?
If you are away from work for a day or more due to a trade dispute the period will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost. The cost of purchasing the amount of lost pension for the period of absence would be met fully by you (unless your employer voluntarily chooses to make a contribution to the APC).
What happens if I am on reserve forces leave?
If you are on reserve forces service leave and elect to remain in the LGPS your pension in the scheme will be worked out using your assumed pensionable pay. Using your assumed pensionable pay ensures that you will continue to build up pension as if you were in work rather than on reserve forces service leave.
Your employer needs to tell you the amount of basic pension contributions you and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) must pay, any additional contributions you are paying and the amount of assumed pensionable pay those contributions must be collected on. You should pass the information to the MoD who will then deduct the appropriate pension contributions and pay them across to your LGPS pension fund along with the employer contributions that are due.
Pension contributions will not be deducted from any pay you receive from your LGPS employer during this period.