The LGPS is one of the main public sector pension schemes and is considered to be one of the best in the country. Membership provides you with a secure, regular income in retirement linked to inflation, along with other valuable benefits including:

  • A reliable pension for life when you retire - based on your membership and pay – not linked to the ups and downs of financial markets
  • The option to take a lump sum when you retire
  • A pension for your dependants after you die
  • Valuable ‘peace of mind’ life cover at no extra charge – if you die whilst being an active member of the scheme, your nominated beneficiary will receive a lump sum death grant based on 3 x your assumed pensionable pay. If you have either a separate deferred benefit or are receiving a pension in the LGPS when you die, this may impact on the death grant payable
  • You may qualify for an early pension if you have to retire through ill health at any age or are made redundant after age 55
Did you know as a member of the LGPS:
  • Your employer pays into your pension too – typically twice as much as you do
  • You may pay less tax as your pension contributions are taken out of your
    pay before tax. For example, if you pay £100 a month into your pension,
    your tax is reduced by £20 a month (if you are paying tax at the basic
    20% rate).

For more information, please read our Do I Really Want to Opt Out? guide.

Reducing your contributions

If money is a bit tight, you may think about joining the 50/50 section.

For any period you spend in the 50/50 section you will pay half of your normal monthly contributions and build up half of your normal pension in return. You will still get the same level of life and ill-health cover as you do in the main section of the scheme.

You can choose to move to the 50/50 section at any time and can switch between the main and 50/50 sections as many times as you like – you just need to send an Option to switch between sections of the Scheme form to your employer.

The 50/50 section is designed to be a short-term solution, so your employer will always bring you back into the main section when:

  • you choose to move back into the main section of the scheme
  • it is your employer’s automatic enrolment anniversary date
  • you get nil pay due to sickness or injury

More information on reducing your contributions through the 50/50 section can be found on the LGPS website.

Further help with rising living costs

MoneyHelper provides help and guidance about managing your money in uncertain times – this includes practical advice about living on a squeezed income and help if you’re struggling with bills and payments.

You can also get help from the Citizens Advice – it provides information about what help is available from your local council, the Government and other forms of support.

Help with energy bills – the Government has announced it will help all households in Great Britain with energy bills. Extra help is also available for households on lower incomes.

Beware of scams

Watch out for scams related to the rising cost of living - beware of investments that appear too good to be true.

To protect yourself you should:

  • reject offers that come out of the blue
  • beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for or sponsored adverts online
  • use the Financial Services Register and Warning list to check who you are dealing with
  • not click links or open emails from senders you don’t know
  • avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision
  • not give out personal details, bank account details, your address or information about your existing insurance policies, pensions or investments.

Be ScamSmart - find out more about how scammers work and get advice on the FCA website.
If you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud right away on 0300 123 2040.

Help for pensioners on lower incomes

There is a welfare benefit for pensioners called Pension Credit. Pension credit provides extra income for people over State Pension age on lower incomes.

In April 2022, it was estimated that about 850,000 households are missing out on Pension Credit because they think it isn’t meant for them. Pension Credit can be worth up to £3,300 a year and you may be eligible even if you have your own home or have savings.

Even if you find out you are only entitled to a small amount of pension credit, it is worth claiming. This is because it may help you qualify for other benefits, such as help with heating bills, housing costs, NHS dental care, council tax, and if you are over 75, a free TV licence.

Use the online calculator to check if you are missing out on Pension Credit – it only takes a few minutes. Or call 0800 99 1234.