Southampton City Council is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) which is one of the largest public sector pension schemes. The LGPS is a statutory scheme with benefits set out in law making it very safe and secure.
Its regulations are issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The benefits you build up in the LGPS are guaranteed. What you receive is specified by the scheme regulations rather than the value of your investment in the financial markets - this means it is a "defined benefit" pension scheme. Every employer in the UK must enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are not already in one. This is known as automatic enrolment and is overseen by The Pensions Regulator.
As an employer, the council pays contributions of 16.8% of your pay towards your pension, a valuable benefit which you would not get if you had to arrange your own pension.
What are the scheme benefits?
- An annual pension on retirement based on the pension you build up
- A choice of a tax-free lump sum when you retire (subject to HM Revenue and Customs limits)
- The ability for you to pay 50% of your normal contributions for 50% of the normal pension benefits
- The ability to increase your pension by paying extra contributions
- Pension payable from your normal pension age (usually linked to State Pension Age)
- Voluntary retirement from age 55, normally your pension is reduced as it's being paid earlier
- An ill health pension from any age (subject to qualifying service for a period of two years)
- A death in service lump sum of three times your pensionable pay
- A spouse's, civil partner's or cohabiting partner's pension in the event of death
- Children's pensions for eligible children in the event of death
We also have a Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme, which provides an opportunity for you to increase your pension returns at retirement in the most cost-efficient way. They allow you to supplement your LGPS to build up an additional retirement fund.