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FAQs

    Will I still get my pension paid on time?

  • Yes. We have robust processes in place to ensure that pensions will still get paid now that our office is working at a reduced capacity. We have implemented additional measures to ensure that normal service is not affected.

  • Will the retirement process be affected?

  • No. We continue to actively monitor the situation and are implementing additional measures to ensure that the retirement process isn't affected.

  • The value of your benefits

  • There has been a lot of disturbing news lately about the fall in stock markets and the potential resultant impact on defined contribution pensions.

    Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) defined benefit pensions aren't linked to stock market performance and are set out in statute. Although short term investment values may vary, the LGPS as a long-term investor is securely managed to address any longer-term impacts.

    Please rest assured that both your contributions and pension, whether in payment or built up to date, will be unaffected by the stock market.

    The only exception to this Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). If you have an AVC, it is possible the value may have reduced - this will depend on the funds you have chosen to invest in. You should contact your AVC provider for more information about this.

  • Reduced pay or unpaid leave

  • Can I reduce my pension contributions?

    You could think about joining the 50/50 section where you pay half contributions for half your normal pension. Regardless of the section you're in, you get full life assurance cover and ill health benefits.

    If my pay is reduced, what impact will this have on my pension?

    This will depend on the reason for the reduction:

    If I'm on sick leave?

    • If you're off work due to sickness or injury a notional pay figure is used to make sure your pension is not affected. You'll continue to pay contributions on any pay you receive while you're off sick. If you're on unpaid sick leave, you'll not pay any contributions.

    If I'm granted a period of authorised unpaid leave? 

    • If you take unpaid leave, the period won't count towards your pension unless you choose to buy back the lost pension lost during your absence. You can find more information and an online calculator at www.scotlgps2015.org/apc If you choose purchase the lost pension through APCs within 30 days of returning to work (or a longer period if your employer allows it), the cost will be split between you and your employer.

    If you're on maternity, adoption, or paternity leave, or shared parental leave

    During child related leave your pension is worked out using your assumed pensionable pay (where this is higher than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive to make sure your pension is not affected by the reduction in pay.  If you're in the 50/50 section and go onto no pay during ordinary maternity & adoption leave (usually the first 26 weeks) or paternity leave you will be moved to the main section at the next pay period. Any period of unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave (normally from weeks 39-52) 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.

     

  • Furlough and how it affects your pension

  • Members will continue to build up CARE pension based on the actual pay they receive. If the furlough pay is less than their normal pay (because the employer chooses not to top up pay to 100%), the pension they build up will also be less. They can choose to buy additional 'extra' pension to make up for the pension lost during this period. The employer is not obliged to split the cost with the member but can choose to.

    Final salary benefits are usually calculated using the pensionable pay earned in the year before leaving the scheme; however, one of the two previous years' pay is used, if higher. This should prevent final salary benefits from being detrimentally affected if the member's pay is reduced due to being on furlough.

    A certificate of protection will not apply because the reduction is temporary.

  • Getting further help and advice

  • Help in the community

    The Ready Scotland has good advice for citizens.

    Age Concern has information on Covid19 and money advice on its website.

    Benefits and employment

    Advice about benefits and employment rights is on Citizens Advice Scotland.

    The Find Business Support website gives the latest information and advice for the self-employed.

    Information and links to the benefits available, benefits calculators and how to claim can be found at gov.uk.

    Links for information on scams

    The Pension Regulator has lots of up-to-date and useful information on the latest pension scams. They also have a helpful leaflet.

    The FCA has the Scamsmart campaign with specific advice on scams around Covid19.

    Scams can be reported to Action Fraud.

  • Contacting us

  • We encourage members to use our online service SPFOnline which allows members to:

    • Change your bank account or contact details or nomination record
    • View their membership record
    • View annual statements and updates
    • Carry out calculations to help with financial planning

    This is the quickest way to communicate with us, so if you're not already registered, you can do at https://www.spfonline.org.uk/

    Information for members

    Our FAQs section of our website contains information and links that members may find of use.