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For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in Scotland

Paying less

The LGPS provides valuable benefits and protections for you and your family. You can pay lower contributions and build up your pension more slowly when times are financially tough.

Overview

The LGPS offers you the flexibility to pay half your normal contribution rate and build up half your normal pension. This is called the 50/50 section of the LGPS. You keep full life and ill-health cover if you join the 50/50 section.


Looking after your pension 01:47

How much you pay and how you can increase or decrease your payments.

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The 50/50 section is designed to help members stay in the Scheme, building up valuable pensions benefits during times of financial hardship. You can use the Contributions calculator to see how joining the 50/50 section would affect your take-home pay. The table below shows the current tiered contribution rates in the main and 50/50 sections of the Scheme. Your contributions are based on how much of your pay falls into each tier.

Your actual pensionable payMain section contribution rate50/50 section contribution rate
On earnings up to and including £23,0005.50%2.75%
On earnings above £23,001 and up to £28,1007.25%3.625%
On earnings above £28,101 and up to £38,6008.50%4.25%
On earnings above £38,601 and up to £51,4009.5%4.75%
On earnings above £51,40112%6%
Employee contribution rates from 1 April 2022
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How to move to the 50/50 section

The LGPS offers you the flexibility to pay half your normal contribution rate and build up half your normal pension. When you join the LGPS you will be put into the main section of the LGPS. In the main section, you pay the normal contribution rate in return for normal pension build up. Once you are a member of the main section you can elect in writing to move to the 50/50 section.

You can ask your employer for a 50/50 election form, or you can Contact your pension fund. If you elect to join the 50/50 section, you will start paying reduced contributions from the next available pay period.

There is no limit to the number of times you can elect to move from the main section to the 50/50 section and back again.

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Leaving the 50/50 section

After you have joined the 50/50 section, you can choose to move to the main section of the LGPS at any time. You will need to let your employer know in writing. If you want to move to the main section, ask your employer for an election form or Contact your pension fund.

The 50/50 section is designed to be a short-term option. Your employer must move you back into the main section of the Scheme roughly every three years.

If you are in the 50/50 section and your pay is reduced to zero because of long term sickness, your employer will move you back into the main section of the Scheme from the next pay period. If you start receiving pay again before the next pay period begins, you will stay in the 50/50 section. Your employer will also move you to the main section if your pay reduces to zero during a period of ordinary maternity or adoption leave (generally the first 26 weeks) or statutory paternity leave.

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Paying extra in the 50/50 section

If you move to the 50/50 section and you are buying extra pension in the LGPS by paying Additional Pension Contributions, the contract must stop. If your employer is contributing to the cost of buying the extra pension, the contract must stop. You are not allowed to start a new contract to buy extra pension if you are in the 50/50 section.

You can pay extra contributions to buy back the pension ‘lost’ during a period of authorised unpaid leave or industrial action. Your employer will generally share the cost of buying the lost pension if the unpaid period was authorised. If you are paying extra contributions to buy pension ‘lost’ in an unpaid period and you join the 50/50 section, the contract can continue. This is the case whether or not the employer is paying part of the cost. You can also start a new contract to buy lost pension if you are in the 50/50 section.

If you are paying any other type of additional contributions in the LGPS, these can continue if you move to the 50/50 section.

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