Paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to buy lost LGPS pension
You will not build up pension during a period without pay (other than due to sickness or injury, ordinary or paid additional child related leave, or reserve forces service leave) or during a period without pay due to a trade dispute.
However, you can buy back the amount of pension ‘lost’ during that period by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs). You can do this regardless of whether you are in the main or 50/50 sections of the LGPS.
Buying back the whole of the lost pension, will ensure that the period of leave of absence without pay, or the period without pay due to a trade dispute, is included when calculating certain protections due under the Scheme if you were a member before 1 April 2014 e.g. if you are a member to whom the Underpin or Rule of 85 applies.
Any lost pension bought increases the pension payable to you when you draw your pension.
If you draw your pension before your Normal Pension Age (NPA) the lost pension that has been bought will, unless retirement is on the grounds of ill health, be subject to a reduction (because you are drawing it early) and if you draw your pension after your Normal Pension Age (NPA)it will be subject to an increase (because you are drawing it late).
In the event of your death, no extra pension benefits will be payable to your dependants in respect of the extra pension bought (as the APCs buy extra pension for you only).
Will my employer share any of the cost of buying lost pension?
Buying back lost pension following a trade dispute would be at full cost to you (unless your employer chooses to contribute towards the cost).
However, if you wish to buy back lost pension resulting from leave of absence (other than due to a trade dispute), your employer will meet 2/3rds of the cost provided you make an election to do so within 30 days of returning to work after the absence whilst still an active member (a Shared Cost APC or SCAPC).
If you make an election after 30 days you can still buy back the amount of lost pension but it will be at whole cost to you (unless your employer chooses to contribute towards the cost).
You can cover the lost pension for any period of absence but the maximum period for which an employer must meet 2/3rds of the cost, is a period of 36 months.
If you wish to buy pension lost during a trade dispute, please contact your employer for a quotation of the cost of paying Additional Pension Contributions for the period(s) of absence in question.