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Avon Pension Fund
Administered by Bath and North East Somerset Council
lGPS logo - www.lgps.org.ukBath and North East Somerset Council - Logo
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December 2014

Member newsletter out now!

The winter issue of Avon Pension News is now available to download from the website. Copies will also be posted to members during December. Read More

October 2014

Avon Pension Fund warns that pension scams are on the increase

Pension scams are on the increase in the UK and savers are urged to check the facts before making an irreversible decision, as a lifetime's savings can be lost in a moment.

Pension scams are enticing savers by claiming to help them access their pension before age 55 or that people can already take more than 25% of their pension as cash. For most people the offers will be bogus and victims will lose most, if not all, of their savings.

Only in rare cases – like terminal illness – can pension scheme members take their pension before age 55. It remains the law that pension scheme members can only take up to 25% of their pension savings as a cash lump sum. Although this may change in the future it's important that members aren't fooled into thinking that is the law today.

Pension scheme members who agree to transfer may lose all their savings and may still be subject to tax charges of over half their transfer value for taking an 'unauthorised payment'.

The scammers have a variety of tricks to catch people out: They may:

  • claim that you can access your pension pot before age 55
  • approach you out of the blue over the phone, via text message or in person door-to-door
  • entice you with upfront cash
  • offer a free ‘pension review’ or try to lure you in with so-called ‘one-off’ investment opportunities.

The scammers may even pretend that the Government has asked them to contact you. What they won’t tell you is that you’ll probably never see your pension pot again.

The Avon Pension Fund is endorsing a cross government initiative to warn people of the potential scams. It urges people never be rushed or pressured into making a decision and before you sign anything, call The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047.

If you have already accepted an offer, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Visit www.pension-scams.com to find out more.

October 2014

New starter packs available to download

If you’re thinking of joining the Local Government Pension Scheme, then download our starter pack with all the info and forms you’ll need.

 Read More

October 2014

Salary sacrifice and how does it affect my LGPS pension

What is salary sacrifice?

Salary sacrifice is a contractual arrangement where an employee gives up the right to receive part of their pay in return for the employer's agreement to provide some form of non-cash benefit.

Employers may set up salary sacrifice schemes for a number of different non-cash benefits, such as child care vouchers or provision for a car.

How does salary sacrifice affect my LGPS pension?

This depends on whether the salary sacrificed is deemed to be pensionable. Your employer should specify this in your contract of employment.

In some cases your employer may decide that salary sacrificed is pensionable, for instance where it is to provide child care vouchers. This means that you would pay pension contributions on the pay you receive before the salary sacrifice deduction and there would be no effect on your pension benefits.

However, in some instances the salary sacrificed is not pensionable, for example where the salary sacrificed is to lease a car. This means that you will only pay pension contributions on your reduced pay, but the pay used to work out your benefits will also be reduced which will affect your pension and any survivor’s pension, and may also affect your lump sum retirement grant and any lump sum death grant depending on circumstances.

One important point to note on salary sacrifice schemes for cars is that if you start an arrangement and subsequently stop it, the extra pay you receive will not be pensionable. This is because pay received in lieu of a car is not pensionable.

September 2014

Avon Pension Fund
Annual Report 2013/14

The Avon Pension Fund has published its Annual Report 2013/14. It provides information on the management and administration of the Avon Pension Fund during the year.The report includes a review of the year, audited accounts, the Actuarial Statement, investment performance, membership details and any changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme during the 2013/14 financial year.   Read More

September 2014

Pension issues for Scheme Employers considering outsourcing

If a Scheme Employer is considering outsourcing a function to a contractor and transferring staff under TUPE it is imperative that they consider their pension obligations before going out to tender. If this is not done at a very early stage of the exercise, problems can occur later which could delay the transfer. This document highlights the interim position under the LGPS 2014 scheme. Read More

August 2014

Member newsletter out now!

The summer issue of Avon Pension News is now available to download from the website. Copies will also be posted to members during August. Read More

April 2014

Actuarial Valuation report for Avon Pension Fund published

The funding report of the Actuarial Valuation as at 31 March 2013 is now available to download.

 Read More

April 2014

Opting for 50/50?

If you want to only pay half your contributions (and get half your pension) then you will need to opt for the 50 / 50 section of the scheme and complete a form. Download it and send it to your employer.

 Download the form

April 2014

Pensioner newsletter out now!

The spring issue of Avon Pensioner News is now available to download from the website. Copies will also be posted to pensioners during May. Read More

April 2014

2.7% increase to pensions from April 2014

The government has announced that a 2.7% increase will apply to pensions in April. This is based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) at the end of September 2013.

This comes into effect on 7 April. Therefore the April pension payment will get only a partial increase, and the first payment with the full increase will be in May.

In some cases your pension won’t increase by 2.7% in April:

  • If you retired part way through the year you’ll only receive a pro-rata increase in April.
  • If you retired before the age of 55 then, unless you were retired by your employer on the grounds of permanent ill health, your pension won’t increase until you reach the age of 55.

If you paid into the LGPS between 1978 and 1997 and have reached State Retirement Age, part of your pensions increase will be paid to you by Avon Pension Fund and the balance will be paid to you in your State Pension.

November 2013

The new LGPS 2014 website!

LGPS 2014 Website

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2014 Project has updated the dedicated new scheme member website www.lgps2014.org

The website inludes:

The website also inludes additional videos to the 'Overview of the LGPS 2014 Scheme' video released earlier this year:

October 2013

Avon Pension Fund
Annual Report 2012/13

The Avon Pension Fund has published its Annual Report 2012/13.
The report includes the accounts for the year, changes to the LGPS together with details of membership and changes to basic scheme details that have either taken place during the year or are proposed for the future. In addition, the report includes the Actuarial Statement applicable for the year and a report on Investments and Investment performance for the year.  Read More

June 2013

The LGPS is Changing from 1 April 2014

Avon Pension Fund Committee - Annual Report to Council 2011-12

Local Government Association leaflet highlighting the initial changes to the LGPS with effect from 1 April 2014.

The LGPS is Changing from 1 April 2014

June 2013

Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) Consultation – LGPS 2014

A third period of statutory consultation on regulations for the new LGPS from April 2014 commenced on the 20 June 2013. The consultation document can be viewed on DCLG's website The closing date for responses is 2 August 2013.

(DCLG) Consultation – LGPS 2014
June 2013

Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) Discussion Paper – New Governance Arrangements LGPS 2014

A discussion paper exploring the five specific sections of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 which impacts on the governance arrangements of the new LGPS was published 20 June 2013 by DCLG. The paper invites comments to a number of questions posed and the responses to these questions will allow DCLG to start work on the drafting of regulations on governance for consultation later this year. The discussion paper can be viewed on DCLG's website The closing date for responses to the paper is 30 August 2013.

(DCLG) Discussion Paper – New Governance Arrangements LGPS 2014
May 2013

LGPS 2014 – scheme changes video

The Local Government Association and the London Pensions Fund Authority have produced a short video to introduce members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) to the main changes which the government proposes to make to the LGPS from April 2014.

You can view the video on the LGPS 2014 website by clicking on the link:
Overview Video LGPS 2014

Further short topic-based videos on the LGPS 2014 are also planned to be available later this year.

March 2013

LGPS 2014: Further government consultation

The Department for Communities and Local Government have issued a further consultation on the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Details of the consultation can be found via the link: Final LGFSR PDF

The consultation comprises:

Main Consultation Paper Regulations Covered   Deadline for Comments
Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Proposals for Consultation
Annex A with draft SI Further proposals LGPS Regulations 2013 Main Benefit for the LGPS 2014 3 May 2013
Annex B Discussion of outstanding policy issues Main Regulations
Transitional Regulations
Areas of issued drafts where policy decisions are still to be made 3 May 2013

24 May 2013
Annex C with draft SI Proposals LGPS (Transitional Provisions and Savings) Regulations 2013 Setting out the protections for the old schemes going forward 24 May 2013
Annex D with draft SI Proposals LGPS (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 A few minor changes to the current scheme required before April 2014 24 May 2013

Avon Pension Fund will be considering the implications of this consultation and respond accordingly

Updates will appear here on any key findings, where appropriate.

January 2013

LGPS 2014 Project Board – update 17 January 2013

A Joint Statement has been issued by the LGPS 2014 Project Board on the progress to agree the design of a new Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in England & Wales from April 2014. The LGPS 2014 Project Board is a joint collaboration between the Local Government Association and the UNISON, Unite and GMB trade unions.

You can download the Joint Statement via the link: http://lgps2014.org/pdf/js17jan13.pdf

The January 17 statement includes an overview of the Statutory Consultation on LGPS 2014 which closes on Friday 8 February 2013: Local government pension scheme 2014: draft regulations on membership, contributions and benefits