What happens if I am on maternity, adoption or paternity leave or shared parental leave?

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During any period of relevant child related leave the pensionable pay figure used to work out your pension is your assumed pensionable pay.

Using your assumed pensionable pay (where this is higher than your actual pensionable pay received), rather than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive when on relevant child related leave, means that you will continue to build up a pension in the section of the LGPS you are in, as if you were working normally and receiving pay.

You will continue to pay your basic LGPS contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off on relevant child related leave.

If you are in the 50/50 section and go onto no pay during ordinary maternity, paternity or adoption leave you will automatically be moved to the main section of the scheme from the beginning of the next pay period.

This means from that point forward you will build up full pension benefits in the LGPS even though you are not paying pension contributions.

However, any period of unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave or unpaid shared parental leave will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension 'lost' during that period of unpaid absence.  

The amount of pension lost is calculated as the appropriate fraction of your lost pensionable pay for that period of absence (i.e. 1/49th of your lost pensionable pay if you were in the main section of the Scheme or 1/98th if you were in the 50/50 section).

If you wish to purchase the amount of lost pension and make the election within 30 days of returning to work (or such longer period as your employer allows) then the cost of the APC is split between you and your employer. You will pay one-third of the cost and your employer will pay the rest. This is known as a Shared Cost Additional Pension Contract (SCAPC). You can pay these additional contributions in a one-off lump sum or through regular payments from your wages.

The maximum period of absence you can elect to buy back by a SCAPC is a period of 3 years.

If you have membership of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 you will have built up benefits in the final salary scheme. If you choose to pay for the lost pension in the scheme the amount you pay will go towards covering the protections associated with the pre 1 April 2014 membership.

To find out more, please see the section If you joined the LGPS before 1 April 2014.

If you have Keep in Touch (KIT) day(s) or Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) day(s) during a period of unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave or unpaid shared parental leave you will build up a pension (based on the section of the scheme you are in) for the day(s) you are paid.

You can contact the Fund on 0151 242 1396 for further information about paying Additional Pension Contributions.