Contribution Flexibility - the 50/50 section
The LGPS offers you the flexibility to pay half your normal contribution rate and build up half your normal pension whilst retaining full life and ill-health cover. This is called the 50/50 section of the LGPS, it is designed to help members stay in the scheme, building up valuable pensions benefits, during times of financial hardship. Use the Contributions Calculator to see the effect on your take home pay of moving to the 50/50 section.
When you join the LGPS you will automatically be put into the main section of the LGPS where you will pay the normal contribution rate in return for normal pension build up. Once you are a member of the main scheme you are then be able elect in writing to move to the 50/50 section. You can ask your employer or pension fund for a 50/50 election form. Once you make an election you will start paying reduced contributions from the next available pay period.
The 50/50 section is designed to be a short-term option, your employer is required re-enrol you back into the main section of the scheme approximately every three years on a re-enrolment date set by them. You are also able to revert back to the main section of the LGPS at any time by informing your employer in writing. You can obtain an election form to do this from either your employer or your pension fund.
If you are in the 50/50 section and your pay is reduced to zero because of sickness, your employer will move you back into the main section of the scheme from the next pay period (if your pay is still zero). This will also apply if your pay reduces to zero during a period of ordinary maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
Please note, if you have taken out an Additional Pension Contract (APC) to buy extra pension in the LGPS you will not be able to continue with this if you move to the 50/50 section of the scheme. The contract will cease and you will be credited with the amount of additional pension you have purchased up to the date the contract ended. This does not apply to Shared Cost APCs where you and your employer are paying contributions to buy pension lost during a period of authorised absence.