Two hands shaking

Helping employers keep up to speed with the East Sussex Pension Fund

We are pleased to provide our latest newsletter. Tim Hillman (Employer Engagement Manager) has recorded a short introduction video - click in the link in the picture. All other articles In this bumper edition can be found on this web page.

  • Member contributions – 2023/24 Scheme year
  • Staff transfers
  • Employer Toolkit
  • i-Connect
  • Valuation update
  • Town and Parish Council cessations
  • Employer training
  • Authorised signatory forms
  • UK Stewardship Code 2020
  • Member self-service
  • Leavers process – a reminder
  • Holiday pay for term timeworkers
  • Managing employee complaints

Member contributions -2023/24 scheme year

Table 1 sets out employee contribution bands effective from 1 April 2023. These are calculated by increasing the 2022/23 employee contribution bands by the September 2022 CPI figure of 10.1 per cent and then rounding down the result to the nearest £100.

Table 1: Contribution table England and Wales 2023/24


Actual pensionable pay for an employment

Main section contribution rate for that employment

50/50 section contribution rate for that employment


Up to £16,500




£16,501 to £25,900




£25,901 to £42,100




£42,101 to £53,300




£53,301 to £74,700




£74,701 to £105,900




£105,901 to £124,800




£124,801 to £187,200




£187,201 or more



To calculate the gross contribution for a member, find the pensionable pay figure from employment in the table and multiply this by the % contribution rate shown. Pensionable pay is the amount of pay on which contributions are paid. It includes basic pay, plus some other extras such as bonus, shift allowances and voluntary overtime. It does not include things like mileage or expenses.

For example, assume pensionable pay was £30,000. The contribution rate for 2023/24 would be £30,000 x 6.50% = £1,950 per year or £162.50 per month (before tax).

What do these changes mean in practice?

  1. Members may not receive a rise or change to the contribution rate they pay if their annual pensionable pay remains the same or if the pay rise they have received keeps them within the same band.

  2. Some people may find they pay a lower contribution rate because of the banding changes.

Example 1

For example, let us look at someone with £50,000 pensionable pay (we have assumed this has not changed) and compare 2022/23 with 2023/24.

In the 2022/23 year £50,000 fell within band 5 (i.e. a contribution rate of 8.50%).

However, £50,000 in 2023/24 now falls in band 4 meaning a lower contribution rate of 6.80%.


Actual pensionable pay for an employment




Actual pensionable pay for an employment




Contribution rate

Gross annual contribution based on £50,000 pensionable pay



Gross annual contribution based on £50,000 pensionable pay




£38,301 to £48,500

£42,101 to £53,300



£3,400 per year


£48,501 to £67,900

£53,301 to £74,700


£4,250 per year



Example 2

Let us look at another example but for someone who had pensionable pay of £23,000 last year (i.e. they were in Band 2).

If their pensionable pay increased to £25,000, they would still be in band 2 this year (so still pay 5.80%)

By comparison if the bands remained at last year’s level, then they would have fallen into band 3 and pay 6.50%.


Actual pensionable pay for an employment




Actual pensionable pay for an employment




Contribution rate

Gross annual contribution based on £25,000 pensionable pay assuming bands hadn’t changed

Gross annual contribution based on £25,000 pensionable pay




£15,001 to £23,600

£16,501 to £25,900



£1,450 per year


£23,601 to £38,300

£25,901 to £42,100


£1,625 per year


Access more information on membership and contributions.

Contracting out/Tupe or restructuring?

picture of a lady with a laptop, calculator holding paper

If you are considering options for reshaping and/or reorganising your service delivery, such as outsourcing, please let us know at the earliest stage of your planning. Please speak to us before you go out for tender as you will need to include costs associated with the pension provision of effected staff in the procurement documents.

We would also recommend that your read our:

Guide to Outsourcing and Admission Agreements in the LGPS

This contains important information for employers when considering their obligations in regard to pension protection as part of any outsourcing process.

Employer Toolkit

A reminder about our new employer toolkit, designed to support your understanding of the main processes and procedures you are responsible for under the Local Government Pension Scheme.

There are 25 documents split into 6 distinct categories – absence, accounting, administration processes, contributions, employer responsibilities and retirement. The toolkit can be accessed via the employer page of the East Sussex Pension Fund website or directly via the link below.

We would encourage you to look at the Employer Toolkit in the first instance when you have a process query as this has been designed to cover information that employers often ask us.

Access Employer Toolkit


i-Connect is a cloud-based system designed to allow a flow of employee information from your payroll system to East Sussex Pension Fund’s administration platform (Altair). The software allows employers to provide payroll information in a secure manner and negates the need to provide end of year reporting. The monthly data uploads will inform the Fund of new Joiners and leavers, pay and contribution data and changes to members personal details or contact information.

We would be happy to assist all employers that are ready to be onboarded for year end. 109 employers have already done so. If you are a larger employer and you have a test file ready, contact us as soon as possible and provide the file to our i-Connect team.

The employer engagement team will continue to contact the remaining employers with details of the onboarding process and the specifications required. Please contact Paula Jenner if you would like to find out more or if you are ready to begin  onboarding.

To support Employers, we have added three additional people to the i-Connect Team – Hayley Deeley, Joyee Lau and Julianne Lambert.

Please visit the i-Connect website page for more information including East Sussex Pension Fund specific guides to using the system.

Some reminders to current users of i-Connect

  • Continue to submit monthly LGPS31 forms

  • Please ensure year to date figures being submitted via i-Connect are accurate and ensure that all starters and leavers are up-to-date and being processed on i-Connect.

  • This is vitally important as the data we hold at year end (31 March) is used to produce Annual Benefit Statements for members.

  • You should not submit 5A starter forms, 5B notification of amendment forms or 8A leaver forms if onboarded onto i-Connect. This information should now be submitted via the i-Connect return and the final pay figure that would otherwise be provided on the 8A leaver form should be submitted within the full time equivalent pay field on i-Connect on the month of leaving

  • Contact us on [email protected] if you have any errors or suppressions

  • If you are thinking about changing payroll provider, please involve us as early as possible as this will affect i-Connect.

  • Now that i-Connect is more embedded into business as usual we will be collaborating with larger employers on fine-tuning processes and i-Connect data collection.

We will be looking to start some i-Connect drop-in clinics from April 2023 which will give a space for employers to come together raise any questions or concerns on the i-Connect system as well as picking up hints and tips from other employers.

Valuation update

Valuation image

The purpose of the triennial valuation is to review the financial position of the Fund and to set appropriate contribution rates for each employer in the Fund for the period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026 as required under Regulation 62 of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 (the Regulations).

The valuation shows an improvement in the whole Fund funding position (from 107% to 123%) primarily from strong investment performance. As a result of the positive results overall contribution rates for employers will be close to those set at the previous valuation in 2019 with some small reductions for some employers. The LGPS looks to provide consistent stable contribution rates rather than employers pension expenses moving with volatile markets. Despite the positive results from a solvency perspective, the whole fund primary rate of contribution is 20.2% compared to 18% at the previous valuation mainly due to the impact of high inflation on future benefit accrual.

All employers were sent the 2022 Funding Strategy Statement and were asked to provide any comments during the consultation period which ended on the 20th of January 2023, thank you for providing comments to this consultation. Changes in the strategy included the pooling of contributions for Academies and free schools.

The Fund issued individual reports to all employers where contribution rates are set through the valuation which summarised the Employer’s individual funding position and provided indicative contribution rates. 

What happens next?

  1. The Funding Strategy Statement will be approved by the Pensions Committee on the 22nd of February 2023.
  2. This will then be finalised by our Scheme Actuary Barnett Waddingham.
  3. A full valuation report will then follow by 31 March 2023, which will provide final details of the valuation method, assumptions, results of the valuation and finalised employer contribution levels.
  4. LGPS31 forms will be provided to employers with updated contribution rates.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us – [email protected].

Town and Parish Councils - cessations

If you are a Town and Parish Council and are aware that you will no longer have any active members in the LGPS, then you will need to let us know as soon as possible.

Town and Parish Councils are part of a pool for the purpose of setting contribution rates to keep your costs stable, however this means your employees experience may differ to that of the average employer in the pooled group. Your Council may have a deficit if the pensions the Fund must pay out are not covered by the contributions you have made under the pooled contribution rate.

In the case of no active members of the LGPS, you become a ceased employer. A cessation valuation will need to be completed to determine the level of any surplus or deficit in your share of the Fund as at the date the last employee leaves the Fund. A cessation valuation is calculated differently to a triennial funding valuation as under the valuation it is assumed there will be contributions paid for many years to come.

Pound coin over a graph going up and down

If as an employer you are contemplating leaving the fund due to rising costs, it may cause a sizeable deficit or surplus payable. You will also need to consider your employment law responsibilities to your employees and their right to be a member of the LGPS.

Any questions please contact the employer engagement team by emailing [email protected].

Training - East Sussex Pension Fund

As employers are you getting requests from your staff to know more about the LGPS or specific questions on retirements? If so, East Sussex Pension Fund are happy to work with employers to provide pensions training for any active or prospective members of the Local Government Pension Scheme. These sessions can cover:

  • Pension basics

  • Overview of the Local Government Pension Scheme

  • Understanding CARE (Career Average Revalued Earnings) & Final Salary schemes

  • Changing job roles and how it could affect your pension records

  • Tax benefits of Pension Schemes

  • Pension affordability including the 50/50 Scheme

  • Member self-service

  • Leaving the scheme

  • Topping up your pension

  • And more

A picture of a training session shot from above

As we head into 2023, we will continue to refine content and are happy to produce sessions that reflect the different ages and pension aspirations of employees. So, for example we could cater for:

  1. New joiners

  2. Members under 50 years of age

  3. Members over 50 years of age

  4. Leavers

  5. Preparing for or at retirement

If you are interested in arranging training for your employees, please email us at: [email protected].

Employer Training - Local Government Association

The Local Government Association run courses for employers based on the scheme rules for the LGPS in England and Wales. These are offered virtually or face to face.

Course overview:

  • Brief overview of the LGPS

  • Joining the LGPS

  • CARE vs Final Pay

  • Absences

  • Additional Contributions

  • All types of retirement

  • Early leavers

  • Other areas for consideration - including employer discretions, maximising tax-free cash, internal dispute resolution procedures (IDRP).

For whom is it suitable?

These workshops are aimed primarily at staff working for scheme employers in England and Wales who have operational responsibilities under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Delegates do not necessarily need a thorough working knowledge of the LGPS, but some experience of the scheme and its provisions would be useful.

Where can I find out more?

Please visit the LGA website for further information.

Authorised signatory forms

Our Pensions Administration Strategy sets out the roles, responsibilities, and administrative obligations for employers under the LGPS regulations. Part of these responsibilities are for employers to provide East Sussex Pension Fund with an Authorised signatory and contact form and keep the Fund updated with any changes. You may have recently received an email from us if you have not yet sent in a form.

This form is essential in providing the Fund with named employer contacts who we should communicate with regarding specific roles and responsibilities required through being an LGPS employer. The form should be completed by the Section 151 Officer or Chief Financial Officer, who is responsible for the payment of LGPS31 contributions (they can delegate this task to another person by providing their details on the form). We will cross-reference against this form to ensure that the current person signs any LGPS31 submissions (and return the form if incorrectly completed).

If you have not yet completed a form, please do so. We will be contacting all employers who have completed a form already in the first half of 2023 to check whether any contacts have changed.

Standard Authorised Signatory and contact form

Editable Authorised Signatory and contact form

Please return the form via email to:

[email protected] by the 28 February 2023.

ESPF awarded signatory to the UK Stewardship Code 2020

East Sussex Pension Fund are delighted that we will be listed as a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code 2020 by the Financial Reporting Council.


Stewardship is the responsible allocation, management, and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.

Read our Stewardship Report


McCloud judgement – Data requests

As you are aware we have been contacting employers to request part time and service break data. The majority of employers have now provided a response to this data request and we thank you for this.

For any employer who has yet to provide the requested data and not provided a reasonable response or timeline to when data will be provided, measures will be taken as outlined in previous communications.

It is imperative that data is provided asap as the data needs to be screened and uploaded to the administration system in time to meet the legislative deadline.

Note: The information requested is a legal requirement resulting from the McCloud ruling on Public Sector Pension reform. If not provided, East Sussex Pension Fund won’t be able to apply any adjustments to members pension records. This may result in your employees receiving a lower pension than they would otherwise be entitled to.

My Pension - member self-service portal

For decorative purpose only

Our 24-hour online Member Self Service Portal is a fantastic source of information for active scheme members.

Members can use it to:

  • View their current employment details associated with their pension

  • Update personal information such as their address or nomination details

  • View annual benefit statements

  • Calculate the value of their pension at normal pension age if they were to leave employment

  • Calculate the value of their pension if they were to voluntarily retire prior to normal pension age

  • Calculate the value of their pension if they were to die whilst in service.

There is a web page available which provides support for members on registration and logging in together with commonly asked questions and answers.

Access member self-service employee support

Leavers process – a reminder

The Fund have been receiving calls from members who have resigned from their roles telling them to contact us directly in relation to next steps. Unfortunately, we cannot help until we receive confirmation of leaving from the employer.

A person holding a box of office goods

For leavers who are not yet claiming or are not entitled to their pension please either submit via:

  • The monthly i-Connect submission (for those employers already onboarded), or

  • Via completion of the LGPS 8A form

Standard form

Editable form

For those who are eligible and would like to claim their pension benefits, please submit:

  • For those employers already onboarded onto iConnect - The leaver information on the monthly i-Connect submission, and an LGPS 9A form.

  • For non i-Connect employers – Please complete the LGPS 9a form.

Standard form

Editable form

Holiday pay for term time workers

The Supreme Court recently ruled that holiday entitlement should be 5.6 weeks per year and holiday pay should be based on an average over 52 weeks in which the employee has undertaken work, ignoring any weeks of zero pay.

This does not just cover term time only employees but also encompasses those employed on zero hours, variable hours, or casual hours contracts.

In a recent meeting, the Local Government Association (LGA) highlighted that following this ruling, where employees on either zero, variable or casual hours contracts are left open ended, those employees may be entitled to death in service benefits but will also be accruing holiday pay.

Employers should be aware of this and may decide to remove the members from the pension scheme if the employee has not undertaken any work for some time, for example within the last two years.

Find out more about holiday pay for term time workers.

Managing employee complaints

Employers that take part in the LGPS will make many decisions about employees and their membership. Employers make decisions about employees' eligibility for the scheme, their pay and contribution rates and possible ill health retirements, to name just a few examples.

A folder with the words 'Complaints' on it

If a member of the scheme does not agree with:

  • A decision that their employer has made about their LGPS pension, or
  • A decision made by East Sussex County Council as the administering authority of the Pension Fund about their LGPS pension

The member has a right to raise a complaint under the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure (IDRP).

Access the IDRP via the link.

Contact us. We are here to help.

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