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Annual Benefit Statements FAQs

I haven't received a statement.  What should I do?

My personal details are incorrect.  What should I do?

I think my statement is incorrect.  What should I do?

How do I update the nomination details for the lump sum death grant?

How do I know how much my pension will be if I take it early?

I've been absent from work.  How is my pension affected?

What is final salary pensionable pay?

What is CARE pensionable pay?

What is membership?

I am paying additional contributions.  Is this shown on the statement?

Can I pay more to increase my pension benefits?

Will my co-habiting partner be eligible for a survivor's pension if I die?

What is the Annual Allowance?

What is the Lifetime Allowance?

 

 

I haven't received a statement.  What should I do?

If you are currently paying into the Bedfordshire Pension Fund Local Government Pension Scheme and have been paying in since before 1 April 2017 then you should have received a statement.  Please contact us on 01234 276912 or at pensions@bedford.gov.uk if you have not received a statement.

Your employer provided Bedfordshire Pension Fund with your home address details.  If you need to tell us about a change of address, please send us the new details in writing.

 

My personal details are incorrect.  What should I do?

In order for us to be able to make corrections to your personal information we need written notification of the correct details.  If your name has changed due to a change in marital or partnership status you can complete our Marital/Partnership Status form which can be found on our Forms for Active Members page

 

I think my statement is incorrect.  What should I do?

Most of the information that appears on your statement has been provided by your employer so your employer will need to provide Bedfordshire Pension Fund with correct details before we can make any changes to your pension record.  If you don't know who to contact in order to get your details corrected, please email pensions@bedford.gov.uk with a brief explanation of which details are incorrect and we will let you know how to go about getting the details amended.  Please be patient in waiting for a response as we always receive a large number of queries when the annual benefit statements are issued.

 

How do I update the nomination details for the lump sum death grant?

In order to make a nomination for payment of the lump sum death grant or to change existing nomination details, you will need to complete a lump sum death grant expression of wish form.  You can find the form on our Forms for Active Members page.   Please note that a signed copy of the form has to be sent to Bedfordshire Pension Fund in order for us to be able to update the details on your pension record.  The expression of wish is not legally binding and the final decision on payment rests with Bedfordshire Pension Fund.


How do I know how much my pension will be if I take it early?

If you are thinking of retiring and taking your benefits before your normal pension age, you can visit our page on early retirement to see what reductions may apply.  More information is also available on the national LGPS member website which you can visit by clicking here.  You can email or write to Bedfordshire Pension Fund to request an estimate of benefits that would be payable at a date before your normal pension age.  Please note that we expect a large number of estimate requests in the next few weeks and priority will be given to those members closest to retirement.  It is expected that it will take 15 working days to process an estimate request so we thank you for your patience at this busy time.

 

I've been absent from work.  How is my pension affected?

Please see our leaflet on periods of absence for more information about how being absent from work affects your pension.  There is also more information available on the national LGPS member website which you can visit by clicking here.

 

What is final salary pensionable pay?

If you were a member of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 then you will have built up benefits in the final salary scheme.  The pay used to calculate benefits built up before 1 April 2014 is called ‘final salary pensionable pay’.  Final salary pensionable pay is a full time equivalent figure, even if a member works part time.  It includes your normal pay, contractual shift allowance, bonus and contractual overtime.  It does not include non-contractual overtime, which is one of the main differences between final salary pensionable pay and CARE pensionable pay.     The full definition of final salary pensionable pay can be found here.  On the annual benefit statements calculated as at 31 March 2017, for those members who have pre-1 April 2014 membership, the final salary pensionable pay is the full time equivalent final salary pensionable pay received in the year to 31 March 2017.  If the pay you received in that year was reduced because of sickness or relevant child related leave, then the final salary pensionable pay is the pay you would have received if you had not been on sick leave or child related leave.    

 

What is CARE pensionable pay?

The ‘pensionable pay’ used to calculate benefits built up from 1 April 2014 onwards is the pay on which you normally pay pension contributions.  This includes your normal salary or wages (if you work part time it is your actual part time pay) plus any shift allowance, bonuses, overtime (both contractual and non-contractual), maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, shared parental pay and any other payments that your contract states are pensionable.

Some payments are excluded from pensionable pay.  Examples of payments excluded from pensionable pay are: travelling or subsistence allowances, pay in lieu of notice, pay in lieu of loss of holidays, payments that are not subject to income tax.  A full list of payments excluded from pensionable pay can be found here.

Please see 'I've been absent from work.  How is my pension affected?' for more information on what pensionable pay figures are used if you have been absent from work. 

 

What is membership?

If you were a member of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 then you will have membership details shown in section 4 of your annual benefit statement.  This is the period of service during which you have been a member of the LGPS, up to 31 March 2014.  If you are part time this counts as the proportion of full time.  Membership also includes any previous pension rights you transferred in from a previous pension provider.

Depending on when you joined the pension scheme you may have some membership before 1 April 2008 and some membership between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014.  The benefit statement notes for section 4 of your statement explain how we calculate your pension benefits.  You can also visit our page How is My Pension Calculated? for more information.

 

I am paying additional contributions.  Is this shown on the statement?

The summary of total benefits at 31 March 2017 (section 2 of your statement) includes the proportion of additional benefits you have purchased up to 31 March 2017.

The estimated benefits if you stay in the scheme until normal pension age (section 6) include the total additional benefits you will have purchased by the time you reach normal pension age. 

If you are paying towards Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) you will receive a separate statement. 

 

Can I pay more to increase my pension benefits?

As a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme, you can pay extra in order to increase your pension benefits.   You can improve your LGPS retirement benefits by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) or Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).  Please see our page on Increasing Your Benefits for more information.

 

Will my co-habiting partner be eligible for a survivor's pension if I die?

Please see our page on co-habiting partners to see the list of requirements that co-habiting partners need to meet in order to qualify for a survivor's pension

 

What is the Annual Allowance?

The Annual Allowance is set by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).  It is the amount your pension savings can increase in any one year without there being a tax charge payable.   Please see our Annual and Lifetime Allowances page for more information, including a factsheet.  If you would like to speak to someone regarding your annual allowance, please call 01234 228065 or put your enquiry in writing to pensions@bedford.gov.uk

 

What is the Lifetime Allowance?

The Lifetime  Allowance is set by HMRC and is the total value of all pension benefits you can have without triggering an excess tax charge.  Your  statement shows the percentage of your Lifetime Allowance which is used up by your LGPS pension.  This percentage will need to be reported on retirement to any other pension provider you may have before you receive payment of that pension.  Please see our Annual and Lifetime Allowances page for more information, including a factsheet.