Newsletter - May 2022
An update for pensioners of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
An update for pensioners of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
We are pleased to provide our latest newsletter to help you keep up to date with the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF).
In this bumper edition you will find articles on:
All of the individual articles can be found on this webpage.
We are always looking for ways to develop and engage with our members, so please contact me with any ideas or further support you require.
Paul Linfield - Pension Communication Manager
The East Sussex Pension Fund has been awarded the 2021 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Fund of the year (assets over £2.5 billion) in the Local Authorities Pension Fund Investments Awards. The Fund was also highly commended for 'Best climate change strategy' reflecting the work we've done to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into our investment processes.
The LAPF Investments Awards were established in 2015 and have come to be recognised as a mark of excellence in the field of pensions provision in the LGPS.
Note: The 2021 awards were only held on 29th March 2022 due to the pandemic.
Your pension at your fingertips
Did you know that we have an online Member Self-Service Portal where you can:
*Note: These are not currently printable from within Member Self-Service
If you require any help with Member Self-Service please contact the helpdesk on 0300 200 1027.
What to do
Registration is simple
Log in and remind yourself what the portal has to offer
Your pension payment dates from April 2022
* Pension increases took effect on the 11th April. The April payment was calculated to include 10 days at the previous rate of increase and 20 days at the new rate.
Increases in pension payments from April 2022
Public sector pensions use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous September to determine increases to pension payments. Your pension (assuming you fulfil the qualification criteria) increased from 11 April 2022.
Does my pension qualify for an increase?
Your pension will increase if it began on or before 26 March 2022 and:
(a) You are aged 55 years or more
or (b) Your pension is a dependant’s pension
or (c) Your pension is an ill health pension, and you qualify for pensions increase
How much will my pension increase by?
Your pension will increase by 3.1% if it began on or before 26 April 2021. 3.1% reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index in the 12 months to September 2021. The full 3.1% increase will apply to any pension built up in the career average scheme from 1 April 2014 (unless you were a councillor).
In certain circumstances your pension will not increase by 3.1%.
What to do if you have a tax query
If appropriate, income tax is deducted from your pension in accordance with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidelines. Any tax queries should be directed to HMRC.
Write: Pay As You Earn, H.M. Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS
Phone: 0300 200 3300
You should quote the ESCC Pensions reference of 334/EZ61724, your payroll reference number and National Insurance number (shown at the top of your pay advice slips).
Standard personal allowance limits and tax deductions
The Personal Allowance for the 2022/23 tax year is £12,570. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced in the 2021 Budget that various thresholds and tax allowances would remain at their current levels until April 2026. This includes the personal allowance.
If your total taxable income across all sources (local government pension, state pension and any other income) is less than the personal allowance then you won't pay any tax, although different rules apply if you earn over £100,000 per annum or claim marriage allowance or blind person's allowance.
Where you live in the UK (England, Scotland or Wales) will determine the rate of income tax you pay on your pension. Therefore it is important that you keep us HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and us informed if you move address.
If your total income takes you over £12,570 them the amount over this is taxed* as follows:
Basic rate - from £12,571 to £50,270
Higher rate - from £50,271 t0 £150,000
Additional rate - from £150,001
The basic rate and higher rate threshold will remain at these levels until April 2026.
The National Insurance Contributions Upper Earnings Limit and Upper Profits Limit will remain aligned to the higher rate threshold for these years.
Dealing with bereavement
We understand dealing with a bereavement can be difficult. This article explains the process which occurs following the death of an LGPS Scheme Member.
How to notify the Pension Team
To tell us about the death of a member, there is certain information the family or representative needs to provide. This includes the following information about the Member:
This information can be provided via email at [email protected], or you can contact us on 0300 200 1022.
Please also provide your full name and the details of the Member’s next of kin, personal representative, or executor - the person dealing with the Member’s estate. This includes their name, address, email address and telephone number.
If we are notified by the Tell Us Once service, they should inform us of all necessary information.
We will write to or email all relevant parties and enclose any necessary forms that need to be completed. These should be signed and returned by email or to our postal address.
Once the necessary forms have been returned to us, we will process benefits, if any, that are due and notify all relevant parties when this is complete.
Simple, Friendly, Confident
The Local Government Pension Scheme has recently transformed their brand and website to improve the user experience for members. There is so much great content to support members of the LGPS in England and Wales.
A great source of information for pensioners
The East Sussex Pension Fund also has its own website dedicated to supporting members, beneficiaries and employers of the pension scheme.
The website holds a comprehensive range of information to support you in your retirement. It’s certainly worth familiarising yourself with the site. We’ve recently added some video content and made some changes to the layout of the site following feedback from members to make the user journey as simplistic as possible.
Some areas to explore:
Pensioners – a whole section dedicated to pensioners of the scheme looking at areas such as pensions in payment, death in retirement and frequently asked questions.
Investment - it’s our job to invest member and employer contributions to help fund the pensions that we pay now and those that we will be paying in the future. This section explains how we do this.
Resources – you can access forms, guides to the scheme, policies, and other key resources.
A glossary of terms to help navigate the world of pensions
You can now get to grips with pensions and retirement jargon with our handy glossary of some of the most frequently used pension terms in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
How we use your personal data
We hold information (personal data) on you to administer the Pension Fund. Find out how we use your data by accessing the Full Privacy notice here.
We have recently added the following:
We do not use your personal data for marketing purposes and will not share this data with anyone for the purpose of marketing to you or any beneficiary. However, we may use your data to send surveys and other documents to you to help us improve the quality of service we provide.
We have also made changes to clarify the situation now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union.
No need to apply for the new underpin
When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2014,
protections for older scheme members were introduced - known as the underpin. The Court of Appeal ruled that younger members of the Judges’ and Firefighters’ Pension schemes have been discriminated against because the protections didn’t apply to them. The Government decided that the principles established to remove this discrimination will apply to all public sector pension schemes including the LGPS.
The proposed changes would mean that a revised underpin will apply to members, regardless of their age, who:
Were active on 31 March 2012.
Built up benefits in the 2014 Scheme (This is the current Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales which was introduced from April 2014)
Do not have a disqualifying break of more than 5 years.
As I have taken payment of my LGPS pension, will the changes apply to me?
If you qualify for protection and have membership in the LGPS after 31 March 2014 the changes will apply to you, even if you are receiving your pension from the LGPS.
Will these changes apply to those that are receiving a survivors pension?
The proposal includes applying Underpin protection to survivors pensions in cases where the member has died either while in service, in deferment or while the pension was in payment.
If you fit the qualifying criteria and your benefits would be better, the underpin will be automatically applied. You do not need to apply for this.
We are here to help you. If you'd like to get in touch by email or phone, please visit our contact us page on the website.
If you are looking for free guidance on Pensions please visit the MoneyHelper website.
MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help, MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.