A picture of the East Sussex Pension Fund square logo with the letters ESPF

Pensioner newsletter

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:

  • Member Self-Service – a system which provides 24 hour online access to your pension.
  • Pensioner survey – Are we getting things right?
  • Pension pay dates – the dates you’ll receive your pension for the 2022/23 scheme year.
  • Annual adjustments to pensions in payment – information on cost of living increases.
  • Tax queries – what to do if you have a tax query relating to your pension.
  • Tax thresholds – the new tax thresholds that apply from the 2022/23 tax year.
  • Notifying the fund about a death – dealing with bereavement.
  • LGPS new website – new brand, new website.
  • New ESPF website – a great source of information for members of the LGPS.
  • Glossary – ever been confused by pensions jargon…let us help.
  • Privacy notice - Find out how we use your personal data.
  • McCloud judgement – An update.
  • Getting in touch – A reminder of how to contact us for support.

All of the individual articles can be found on this webpage.

If you'd rather download the newsletter in full click here.

Or, to download a text-only version click here.

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.

Best wishes

Paul Linfield - Pension Communication Manager

East Sussex Pension Fund - LGPS Fund of the year

Picture of an award trophy

The East Sussex Pension Fund have 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.

Find out more here

Member self-service

Your pension at your fingertips

For decorative purpose only

Did you know that we have an online Member Self-Service Portal where you can:

  • Update personal information such as your address or bank details
  • View payslips and your annual P60* – keeping you up to date with the pension benefits you’ve received
  • Death in service - calculate how much your pension would be worth if you were to die whilst in receipt of your pension
  • Pension details – shows the commencement date of your pension, the amount plus any spouses/dependent’s pension payable

*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.

 

Registration is simple

 

Follow these steps

 

Existing users

 

Log in and remind yourself what the portal has to offer

Pension payment dates

Your pension payment dates from April 2022

Month

Pay day

 

Month

Pay Day

April*

Friday 29th

 

October

Monday 31st

May

Tuesday 31st

 

November

Wednesday 30th

June

Thursday 30th

 

December

Friday 23rd

July

Friday 29th

 

January 2023

Tuesday 31st

August

Wednesday 31st

 

February 2023

Tuesday 28th

September

Friday 30th

 

March 2023

Friday 31st

* 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.

Annual adjustment to pensions in payment

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%.

  1. If you reached State Pension Age before 6 April 2016 and your pension includes any Guaranteed Minimum Pension accrued before 6 April 1988, this element of your pension will not increase. The increase on this part of your pension will be paid with your state pension.
  2. Pension increases are capped at 3% for any Guaranteed Minimum Pension accrued from 6 April 1988 to 5 April 1997 (often known as POST 88 GMP).
  3. If your pension began on or after 27 April 2021 a smaller, part-year increase will apply. Your pension began the day after the end of the period of scheme membership in which the pension was built up. If you are a retired employee, your pension began the day after your scheme membership ended. If you are in receipt of a dependant’s pension, the pension began on the day after the last day of scheme membership of your late partner or parent.
  4. In exceptional cases a pension may have been based on pensionable pay for a period ending on a date earlier than the last day of scheme membership. If this is the case, the date your pension ‘began’ will be an earlier date. If you are in receipt of two or more pensions, each pension may have a different beginning date.

Tax queries for pensions in payment

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).

Tax thresholds

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.

Tax rates

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

*UK rate

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.

Notifying the fund about a death

Dealing with bereavement

 We understand when a bereavement occurs if can be a difficult time. 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:

  • Full name
  • National Insurance Number
  • Address
  • Date of death

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.

New LGPS member Website launch

Simple, Friendly, Confident

Picture of LGPS website

The Local Government Pension Scheme have 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.

Visit the website

The ESPF Website

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. 

Decorative use only

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.

ESPF main website address

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.

Pension terminology…explained

A picture of a number of cubes spelling the word glossary

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).

Access glossary here

Privacy notice - updated

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.

McCloud judgement

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’ve 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.

Contact the Fund

A picture of 3 dice with @, an envelope and a telephone symbolWe 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.

Contact us. We are here to help.

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