Employer administration guide

New members

Index

Who can join the pension scheme

Anyone under age 75 can join if they are employees of the following:

  • Scheduled bodies
  • Designation bodies whose employer has designated them – or a class of employees they belong to – as eligible for scheme membership
  • Admission bodies whose employer has designated them, or a class of employees they belong to, as eligible for scheme membership under the terms of our admission agreement
  • Employees of other bodies who are deemed, for the purposes of the LGPS, to be employed by a scheduled, admission or designation body

But they can’t join if

  • they’re age 75 or older
  • they’re eligible to be a member of another public sector pension scheme (although some people can have ‘dual’ eligibility for the LGPS and NHSPS), or
  • they’re employed by an admission body that’s a member of another occupational pension scheme.

Employees with a contract of more than 3 months

If an employee is eligible for membership and their employment contract is for at least 3 months, they are contractually enrolled from the first day of employment or the first date they become eligible, if later, providing they have a contract of employment for at least 3 months.

Employees with a contract of less than 3 months

If the employee’s contract is for less than 3 months and they want to join the pension scheme, ask them to fill in form NMOPT.

Note - employees with a contract of less than 3 months: if you’ve reached your automatic enrolment staging date, either enrol the member automatically if they’re an eligible job holder, or issue a postponement notice delaying the automatic enrolment date.

Note – contract extended: if a member employed under a contract of less than 3 months has the contract extended to 3 months or more and they have not already joined the pension scheme they should be brought into the scheme on the first day of the payment period following the extension to their contract of employment.


What counts towards pensionable pay

Employer factsheet – Pay

Pensionable pay is all payments for the job, except those excluded in the regulations.

Extracted from the regulations:

  1. An employee's pensionable pay is the total of 

    1. all the salary, wages, fees and other payments paid to him for his own use in respect of his employment*
    2. any other payment or benefit specified in his contract of employment as being a pensionable emolument.

*This now includes non-contractual overtime that was previously excluded from pensionable pay before 1 April 2014.

What’s excluded from pensionable pay?

Extracted from the regulations:

  1. Any sum that has not had income tax liability determined on it
  2. any travelling, subsistence or other allowance paid in respect of expenses incurred in relation to the employment
  3. any payment in consideration of loss of holidays
  4. any payment in lieu of notice to terminate a contract of employment
  5. any payment as an inducement not to terminate employment before the payment is made
  6. any amount treated as the money value to the employee of the provision of a motor vehicle or any amount paid in lieu of such provision
  7. any payment in consideration of loss of future pensionable payments or benefits
  8. any award of compensation (excluding any sum representing arrears of pay) for the purpose of achieving equal pay in relation to other employees
  9. any payment made by the Scheme employer to a member on reserve forces service leave
  10. returning officer, or acting returning officer fees other than fees paid in respect of
    1. local government elections,
    2. elections for the National Assembly for Wales,
    3. Parliamentary elections, or
    4. European Parliamentary elections

HMRC approved salary sacrifice arrangements (for members who give up remuneration for a tax-assessable benefit in kind that income tax liability is then removed from) remain pensionable in LGPS2014 (if the benefit in kind is specified as a pensionable emolument in the employee’s employment contract).


How to allocate a contribution band

Members pay contributions on all the pensionable pay they get for that job (or at half that rate if the employee is in the 50/50 section). Use actual pay the member receives to decide which pay band applies. If the member is part time you should use their part time earnings.

You should assess the contribution rate in a reasonable and consistent manner. Allocating a contribution rate for members is relatively straight forward although it can be less straight forward if a member does additional hours or overtime and the number of additional hours or overtime they may work in a year is not known.

The contribution rate is determined by you estimating the annual equivalent of the actual (not full time equivalent) pay a member will receive in a scheme year, 1 April to 31 March. This can be done in a number of ways:

  1. annual rate of contractual pay
  2. weekly contractual rate multiplied by 52.143
  3. hourly contractual rate multiplied by an estimate of the number of hours to be worked in a full year
  4. annual rate of contractual pay plus an estimation of the non-contractual overtime or hours worked in excess of the contractual hours which might be worked in a full year
  5. weekly contractual rate multiplied by 52.143 plus an estimate of other pensionable payments to be made in a full year

If you use points 1 or 2 to allocate the contribution rate i.e. place the member in the band applicable to their contractual hours only and do not include any additional hours or overtime, you could then review the contribution rate at a later date. 

If you use points 3 or 4 or 5 to allocate a contribution rate and take into account the additional hours or overtime worked by a previous jobholder (if any) of the post, you could review the contribution rate at a later date. 

Once you have determined the contribution rate you must notify the member of the contribution rate to be deducted from their pensionable pay and the date from which the rate is payable.

It’s your decision how you notify the member i.e. on their pay slip, but the notification must contain a statement giving the address from which further information about the decision may be obtained and you must tell the member of the right to appeal to an adjudicator (i.e. the person you have appointed to consider appeals) against the decision.

The member must do this within six months of being notified of the initial decision or longer if the adjudicator allows. You must give the member the job title and address of the adjudicator and you must also tell the member that if they are unhappy with the adjudicator’s decision they have the right to ask the pension fund within six months of the adjudicator’s decision to undertake a further review of the decision.

Note - contribution bands: if members have more than one job with you and you treat them as separate jobs, decide the contribution rate separately for each job. For example, one job could have a rate of 5.8% and the other a rate of 6.5% depending on their pensionable pay.

Member contribution rate table from April 2022

Pay Contribution rate
Up to £15,000 5.5%
£15,001 to £23,600 5.8%
£23,601 to £38,300 6.5%
£38,301 to £48,500 6.8%
£48,501 to £67,900 8.5%
£67,901 to £96,200 9.9%
£96,201 to £113,400 10.5%
£113,401 to £170,100 11.4%
£170,101 or more 12.5%

 

Click here for a list of historic member contribution bands.

The pay bands will increase (under the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971) in line with the Consumer Prices Index every April.


What to do when an employee joins the scheme

When a new employee joins the pension scheme, or when a member starts a new job complete the monthly return making sure you enter the date of joining. We’ll use these details to set up a pension record for the member.

Please tell us about the new member within six weeks of the date of joining. We’ll create a record and send the member a welcome pack that tells them how they can transfer other pensions into the pension fund if they want to. We also send a death grant expression of wish form so they can nominate someone to receive their death grant.

Once the record has been created from the monthly return an exception report will be created and uploaded onto the employer portal. This will show all the new starters we have created from your monthly return. If this is correct no further action needs to be taken. However, if a record has been created and it is incorrect let us know as soon as possible.

Note – Temporary national insurance number: If you have to use a temporary national insurance number please use the prefix TN. The correct NI number, once known, should replace the temporary national insurance number on your monthly return as soon as possible. If you are still using a temporary national insurance number after 3 months of the member joining, the pension account will be closed and any contributions refunded.

LGPS2014 is a career average revalued earnings scheme (CARE) and each member has an active member’s pension account, and we will create a new account for each employment they have.


50/50 section

Employer factsheet – The two sections

Member factsheet – The 50/50 section

LGPS2014 has an option which allows members to contribute less and receive less benefit instead of opting out of the scheme.

Members pay half their normal rate contribution and build up half pension during any period they elect to pay 50/50. The member still retains the full value of other benefits such as the death in service lump sum and ill health enhancement. Any survivor benefits payable following the member’s death are also not affected by the member being in the 50/50 section.

An employee cannot elect for the 50/50 section

  • before employment has started
  • immediately before their automatic enrolment or automatic re-enrolment date
  • immediately before opting in

Members electing for the 50/50 section will pay half their contribution from the beginning of the pay period in which they are placed in the 50/50 section and from that date their accrual rate becomes one 98th instead of one 49th.

Note – employer contributions: the employer contributions are not halved and remain payable in full.

Members can elect to move from the main section to the 50/50 section and vice versa as many times as they want. Each election takes effect from the next available pay period. Members who move between the two sections should be shown on the monthly return within 6 weeks of the date of the election.

Members with more than one job can opt to pay 50/50 in any or all the jobs they have.

Although employees can’t join the 50/50 section until they’ve become a member of the main section, if they tell you they want to join before you close your first payroll, they can in effect be in the 50/50 section from the day they start working for you. And if they do this you can tell us the member is in the 50/50 section on the monthly return spreadsheet.

Pay Contribution rate 50/50 section contribution rate for that employment
Up to £15,000 5.5% 2.75%
£15,001 to £23,600 5.8% 2.90%
£23,601 to £38,300 6.5% 3.25%
£38,301 to £48,500 6.8% 3.40%
£48,501 to £67,900 8.5% 4.25%
£67,901 to £96,200 9.9% 4.95%
£96,201 to £113,400 10.5% 5.25%
£113,401 to £170,100 11.4% 5.70%
£170,101 or more 12.5% 6.25%

 

 

If a member is in the 50/50 section and goes on to no pay due to sickness or injury the member must be moved back into the main section from the beginning of the next pay period if they are still on no pay.

If a member is in the 50/50 section they must be moved back into the main section from the beginning of the pay period following your automatic re-enrolment date. A member can make a further election to be in the 50/50 section and if they do it before payroll is closed this would mean the member has continuous 50/50 membership.

Note – APCs: Members can’t start APCs for extra pension if they are in the 50/50 section.


Opting out within three months of joining

If members opt out within three months of joining they’ll be treated as never having joined and you can refund their contributions through your payroll. They can’t opt-out before they start work, but they can do it on their first day by filling in opting-out form OPTOUT and giving it to you.

You must not give members the opting out form. They can get the form from www.wypf.org.uk or by phoning or writing to us.

Add them to your monthly return spreadsheet. to show them as a new member, and show them as a negative the next month when they have opted out and you have refunded their contributions (if any have been deducted). Don’t forget to recover any member and employer contributions you have paid to us.

Tell us about members who opt out under three months within 6 weeks of opting out.


Re-joining

Any member who has opted out or decided not to join the pension scheme can join at any time. If they decide to join the pension scheme they can complete the NMOPT form and they are brought into the main section from the next pay period but can elect for 50/50. If a member elects before the payroll is closed they can be brought into the 50/50 section from their first day of joining.

Complete the monthly return spreadsheet. making sure you enter the date of joining with the details of the new member within 6 weeks of the date of joining.

A member can opt out of the scheme and rejoin as many times as they wish.

Once you have determined the contribution rate you must notify the member of the contribution rate to be deducted from their pensionable pay and the date from which the rate is payable.

It is your decision how you notify the member i.e. on their pay slip, but the notification must contain a statement giving the address from which further information about the decision may be obtained and you must tell the member of the right to appeal to an adjudicator (i.e. the person you have appointed to consider appeals) against the decision.

The member must do this within six months of being notified of the initial decision or longer if the adjudicator allows. You must give the member the job title and address of the adjudicator and you must also tell the member that if they are unhappy with the adjudicator’s decision they have the right to ask the pension fund within six months of the adjudicator’s decision to undertake a further review of the decision.


Linking previous membership (aggregation)

From 1 April 2014 we need to know if new members

  1. have any other rights in the LGPS in England or Wales, because a member’s deferred refund must be aggregated with their active pension account and their deferred benefits can be aggregated with their active pension account, or
  2. have been members of a public service pension scheme and if so whether they have a continuous break in active membership of such a scheme for more than five years*.

*If the break in membership is five years or less, there’s no break in the final-salary link for their pre 1 April 2014 LGPS membership, or any final-salary benefits they transfer into the LGPS from another public service pension scheme.