What to expect from your pension fund and employer
Your pension fund administering authority has to provide you with certain information by law.
Basic information about the scheme
Your pension fund must provide new and prospective members with basic information about the LGPS, such as how benefits are worked out, how member and employer contributions are calculated etc. as soon as possible, but in any event, with one month of the date your employer informs your pension fund of your details (such as date of birth and your National Insurance number) or within two months of the date you became a member of the scheme.
Your pension fund must issue an annual benefit statement to its members (other than pensioners). The statement must be issued no later than five months after the end of the scheme year to which it relates. The scheme year in the LGPS runs from 1 April to 31 March, therefore, your pension fund must issue annual statements to its members by 31 August each year.
Material changes to the scheme
Your pension fund administering authority must inform you if any material changes are made to the LGPS. They must give this information to you as soon as possible after the change takes effect, but in any event within three months after the change.
Pension fund annual report
Your pension fund administering authority must prepare and publish an annual report on or before the 1st December after the end of each scheme year. The scheme year in the LGPS runs from 1 April to 31 March. This report will detail the management and financial performance during the year of each of the pension funds maintained by the authority.
Your pension fund administering authority must prepare, maintain and publish a written statement setting out its funding strategy.
You pension fund administering authority must prepare, maintain and publish a written statement setting out its policy concerning communications with members, representatives of members, prospective members and scheme employers.
Your employer and pension fund pension administering authority have certain powers which enable them to choose how they will apply the scheme in respect of certain provisions. These are called discretions.
Your employer and pension fund administering authority are obliged to consider how to exercise their discretion and, in respect of some (but not all) of these discretionary provisions, to have a written policy on how they will apply their discretion. For example your employer must have a written policy on whether they will:
- allow flexible retirement
- award, or pay towards the cost of, additional pension
- waive any reduction to your pension if it is paid early (except for ill health, redundancy & business efficiency retirements where your employer is obliged to meet the cost of paying your pension without a reduction for early payment).
- grant early payment of deferred benefits and whether they will waive any reductions
They have a responsibility to act with 'prudence and propriety' in formulating their policies and must keep them under review. You may ask your employer or your administering authority what their policy is in relation to a discretion. You can find the contact details for your pension fund administering authority here.