Currently most Council employees are contractually enrolled into either the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or the Scottish Teachers’ Superannunation Scheme (STSS).

Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme (STSS)

This is administered by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA).  Visit the SPPA website for further information.

Local Government Pension Scheme (non-teaching employees)

You are automatically taken into the Scheme if you have a permanent contract or fixed contract over 3 months.   If your contract is less than 3 months or are a casual employee you can opt to join the scheme.

You could also be auto-enrolled if you meet the criteria.

For further information and the benefits of being in the Local Government Pension Scheme visit http://www.nespf.org.uk/

For more information about Auto-enrolment please see the Workplace Pension Auto-enrolment FAQs

Pension Rates

The Local Government Pension Scheme has a tiered employee contribution rate structure, with tiers operating on a banding system. Every April you will receive a letter stating what your pension rate for the forthcoming financial year will be.  The current table of contribution rates is included with the employee’s pension contribution rate letter.

If you use YourHR you will be able to review the Pension Rates Table.  However, if you do not use YourHR, you can access further information at http://www.nespf.org.uk

If you consider that your pension contribution rate has been incorrectly identified, you must first contact the Payroll Section by telephone to ask how your pension contribution rate was identified, by asking what pensionable pay plus allowances figure was used to determine the rate. This must be done within 10 days of receipt of the letter confirming the pension contribution rate.

If following receipt of an answer in writing to your enquiry, you still consider your pension contribution rate has been incorrectly identified and the Payroll Section do not agree with your view, you have the right of appeal against the identified pension contribution rate within 10 days of being notified in writing by the Payroll Section.

Any error identified in the setting of an employee’s pension contribution rate will be appropriately corrected.

Please see the Pension Contribution Rate Appeals Procedure  and the Pension Contribution Rate Appeals Procedure: Guidance Note for full details on this procedure.

Certificate of Protection of Pension Benefits

This is a certificate issued to a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme who has suffered a reduction in their rate of pay such that it is likely the rate of their retirement pension will be adversely affected in circumstances beyond their control. A ‘Certificate of Protection of Pension Benefits’ is available under regulation 93 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2014.

The purpose of the certificate is to ensure that a member who has paid pension contributions, possibly for the major part of their career, on the pre-reduction rate of pay, receives commensurate benefits based on that pre-reduction rate of pay.

Please see the Certificate of Pension Protection Guidance and the Summary Change Certificate Protection Pension Benefits for further information. 

Rule of 85

The Rule of 85 can be applied where an employee wishes to request to draw their Local Government Pension Scheme benefits on or after age 55 and before age 60.

The Council’s policy position on applying the Rule of 85 for employer consent retirals is that it is ‘switched off’ but that a decision can be made on a case by case basis to ‘switch it on’ where it considers that it is in its financial and operational interests to do so. Each case would be considered on the merits of the financial and operational business case put forward and would require the approval of the Chief Executive or nominated deputy.

Please see the Process for Applying Rule of 85 guidance for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  I am in my early 50’s, if I leave the Council’s employment, when can I access my pension.

As the answer depends on how long you’ve been in the scheme and on other personal circumstances, the best thing to do is to contact Pensions direct by emailing pensions@nespf.org.uk; by calling the Helpdesk on 01224 264264; or by going to their offices in Marischal College on Broad Street, Aberdeen, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, where someone will be able to have a look into your pension and advise you.

Q.  I am in my early 50s.  Can I apply for early retirement and if so would I gain access to my pension?

Early retirement involves cost to the Council, it is not therefore a matter of routine nor a right.  The main reasons for granting early retirement or voluntary severance are usually around restructure and the need to reduce the number of posts in a service.  There is no corporate trawl for early retirement/ voluntary severance at this present time, so expectations of being granted early retirement should not be high.  Any requests for early retirement must be supported by your service so your route should be to discuss this in the first instance with your line manager.  Should your application be successful you would be given access to your pension without reduction

Q.  How can I become a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme?

You might also be interested in

Pension Discretion Policy Statement

Retirement

Flexible Retirement Scheme

Teachers’ Phased Retirement Scheme

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