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Linking Membership Fact Sheet - points to consider
Paid extra contributions before

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In the LGPS there are a number of ways members can pay more contributions to increase their benefits. You may have had one of the following arrangements in your old employment. If so, you need to understand what happens to any payments you have already made and whether you can continue to pay these extra contributions in your new employment.

The types of arrangements you may have had are:

  1. Added Year (extra membership)
  2. Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs)
  3. Additional Pension Contributions (APCs)
  4. Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

1. Buying Added Year (extra membership)

These are existing contracts to purchase extra membership and the contract must have commenced before 1 April 2008.

If you link your deferred benefits with your new active pension account and your final salary benefits continue to be treated as pre 1 April 2014 benefits then your existing contract can continue only if:

  • The break between leaving your old employment and starting your new employment is less than 12 months, and
  • Within 3 months of re-joining the LGPS in your new employment you make an election to continue paying your extra contributions to buy added years, and
  • In those 3 months you pay any extra contributions towards your added years contract that would have been due during the break (if any) between employments.

If you link, we’ll write to you if this applies.

These added years count towards your benefits in the final salary scheme.

If you link your deferred benefits with your new active pension account and your final salary benefits are treated as career average pension (i.e. they have bought an amount of earned pension in the career average scheme) then your existing contract cannot continue. Any extra membership you have already bought and that has been credited is used to work out the extra earned pension to be added to your new active pension account, i.e. it would count as career average pension.

You cannot make a new election to buy extra membership but if you do wish to pay more contributions in your new employment, the current options are:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs), and
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Click here to go to our paying extra section for more information about these.

If you choose not to link your deferred benefits any existing added years contract cannot continue and any extra membership you have already bought will be included in your deferred benefits.

2. Paying Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs)

These are contracts to purchase extra pension taken out between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2014.

Whether or not you elect to link your benefits with your new active pension account, there are no circumstances where an existing ARC contract can continue.

If you do link your benefits with your new active pension account and your final salary benefits continue to be treated as pre 1 April 2014 benefits then the amount of ARCs which you have already bought will be added to the value of your final salary pension.

If you link your benefits with your new active pension account and your final salary benefits are treated as career average pension (i.e. they have bought an amount of earned pension in the career average scheme) any extra pension you have already bought and been credited with is taken account of when calculating the extra earned pension to be added to your new active pension account.

If you do wish to pay more contributions in your new employment, the current options are:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs), and
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Click here to go to our paying extra section for more information about these.

If you choose not to link your benefits, any extra pension you have already bought will be included in your deferred benefits.

3. Paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs)

These are contracts to purchase extra pension taken out on or after 1 April 2014.

Whether or not you elect to link your benefits with your new active pension account, there are no circumstances where an existing APC contract can continue.

Any extra pension built up via an APC will be added to your new active pension account if your benefits are linked.

If you do wish to pay more contributions in your new employment, the current options are:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs), and
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Click here to go to our paying extra section for more information about these.

If you choose not to link your benefits any extra pension you have already bought will be included with your deferred benefits.

4. Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs):

These are extra payments that have been paid into an AVC plan set up by your old Local Government fund with a separate Provider (for example Prudential).

Usually these plans build a fund value that can then be used to buy pension benefits for you at retirement.

If you link your benefits, then:

If you are still with the same Local Government Fund in your new job

  • We will note you have AVCs on your new pension account.

OR

If you are with a different Local government Fund in your new job

  • The AVC fund value will automatically be linked to your new Funds AVC plan unless your linking letter states you have the option not to link your AVCs but this only applies if:

Your AVCs in your former Fund started on or before 31/03/2014;

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Your Linking Type is either:

  • B2; or
  • D2 (A or B) - except if you have re-joined on or after 14/05/2018 and you link on a care pension basis; or
  • D3 (A or B) – except if you have re-joined on or after 14/05/2018

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You choose to keep your AVCs separate within the deadline given.

Where AVCs are linked to your new Local Government Fund’s AVC plan you will usually have to:

  • Choose a new investment Fund for the AVCs (as different Local Government Funds usually have a different range of investment funds available - even where the AVC Provider is the same).
  • Complete an AVC application for the AVC transfer (You do not have to start paying again but you can do this if you want to).

Any AVCs linked to your new Fund’s AVC plan will be treated as AVCs paid under the 2014 LGPS scheme.

For more details about the AVCs plans available to your Fund go to our paying extra section.

If you choose not to link your benefits, then your AVCs will remain attached to your deferred benefits and be included in the options available when these are paid (they cannot be attached to your new pension account in your new employment).

If you do wish to pay more contributions in your new employment, the current options are:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs), and
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

Click here to go to our paying extra section for more information about these.