The LGPS is also available to councillors. Councillors under 75 who were elected to a local authority in Scotland automatically join the Scheme.
This website sets out the LGPS rules that apply to employees. These rules apply slightly differently to councillors.
You can find more information in the brief guide for councillors.
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Main differences in how LGPS rules apply to councillors
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- Employers perform several important LGPS functions. Such as paying the balance of the cost of providing the benefits. As councillors are not employees, they do not have an employer. Instead, the local authority performs these functions.
- The automatic enrolment rules do not apply to councillors.
- The meaning of ‘pensionable pay’ is different. You can find out more about this in the section below.
- The benefits councillors built up before April 2015 are worked out differently. You can find out more about this in the section below.
- Local authorities cannot give councillors certificates of protection.
- The underpin protection for councillors who qualify is worked out differently. The pension fund compares the benefits built up after March 2015 against the benefits the councillor would have built up in the earlier career average scheme had it not changed on 1 April 2015.
- Assumed pensionable pay does not apply while a councillor is away on leave.
- Councillors are not able to take flexible retirement.
- The rules on LGPS benefits being paid immediately on redundancy or business efficiency from 55 do not apply to councillors.
- Local authorities may not award councillors additional pension or pay into their shared-cost AVC.
- Local authorities may not share the cost of paying Additional Pension Contributions for councillors.
- Deferred benefits for membership as a councillor can only be joined to active pension accounts for membership as a councillor. Deferred benefits for membership as an employee can only be joined to active pension accounts for membership as an employee.
Pensionable pay for councillors
Pensionable pay is the pay used to work out your pension. In most cases, it is also the pay from which your contributions are deducted.
The meaning of pensionable pay for councillors is different than for employees.
Pensionable pay for councillors means the pay your local authority pays you as a leader of the council, civic head, senior councillor or councillor. This includes payment for functions as convenor or vice-convenor of a joint board.
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How benefits before 1 April 2015 are worked out
If you joined before April 2015, your benefits for membership before then were built up in the earlier career average scheme. They were not built up in the final salary section of the LGPS.
For membership before 1 April 2009, you receive a pension of 1/80th of your career average pay plus an automatic tax-free lump sum of three times your pension.
For membership built up between 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2015, you receive a pension of 1/60th of your career average pay as a pension.
Career average pay is the average of your pensionable pay over your period of LGPS membership. When calculating this, the pensionable pay for all years (1 April to 31 March), other than for the year in which you leave, is revalued to take into account the cost of living (as measured by the Retail Prices Index).
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