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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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Latest News
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.