Latest news & announcements

Information for Members – Coronavirus

The situation surrounding Coronavirus is fast moving, however, we can assure you that we are monitoring this closely and doing everything we can to provide as full a service as possible whilst also adhering to the latest advice from the UK Government to manage any consequences for our members, staff and their families.

Following the announcement from the Government urging home working where possible, we can advise that with effect from Wednesday 18 March, the Avon Pension Fund will be operating a slightly restricted service which will enable staff to comply with this advice. 

Measures are in place to ensure that we can continue to pay pensions and administer the scheme when dealing with any significant event, such as death benefits and retirement benefits. However, by restricting access to our offices there will be a disruption to printing and postal services which is likely to result in a delay in us responding to any postal requests/queries and a further delay in correspondence being posted from us. 

We would ask that you consider only contacting us during this time if you are informing us of the death of a member or your enquiry is in relation to the payment of your retirement benefits, the answer to most queries in relation to your pension can be found by visiting our website www.avonpensionfund.org.uk.  If you do need to contact us we would recommend doing so as follows:-

  • use the ‘contact us’ section of the website, or send an email to: avonpensionfund@bathnes.gov.uk or, as a last resort
  • call us on 01225 395100 (please note that we are currently operating a limited telephone service available from 10am - 3pm).

We would also encourage you to register for my pension online, if you have not already done so, where you can carry out your own retirement estimate calculations, update your address and much more.  You can sign up to my pension online at: https://myaccount.avonpensionfund.org.uk/

Finally, there has been a lot of disturbing news lately about the fall in stock markets and the potential resultant impact on pensions, however, we would like to reassure you that your LGPS defined benefit pension is not linked to stock market performance and the benefits are instead set out in statute. Our members can therefore be assured that both their contributions and their pension, whether in payment or built up to date, will be unaffected.  Please note that this statement does not apply to any in-house AVC contributions you may be paying to our in-house provider Aviva which may be impacted by the fall in stock markets.

Please note the latest information and advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Government announces changes to Lifetime Allowance and Tapered Annual Allowance from 6 April 2020

The annual allowance is the most you can save in your pension schemes each year with the benefit of tax relief. Tapering of the annual allowance is applied depending on your income within the tax year and applies to all pension savings that you make or that are made on your behalf. 

At Budget 2020, the government announced increases to the threshold income and adjusted income limits that you use to work out your tapered annual allowance. From 6 April 2020, the adjusted income limit will rise to £240,000 (increased from £150,000) and the threshold income limit will rise to £200,000 (increased from £110,000).

How safe is my pension?

I’ve heard about the fall in global stock market values and wondered if my pension is safe.

Yes, your local government pension is safe

You may have seen many articles in the media about the fall in share prices around the world, as companies struggle to cope with the impact of the coronavirus and wondered just how secure your pension from the Avon Pension Fund is.

The Avon Pension Fund is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The LGPS is a statutory defined benefit scheme which means that your pension will continue to be worked out using a set formula and it is guaranteed by Government. LGPS is funded by pension contributions from members and scheme employers

The Avon Pension Fund reduces risk by spreading its investments across a wide number of different types of assets all over the world, including shares or equities, property, government bonds and company bonds. This means that if the value of one type of asset should fall (such as some equities in the current market), then the other investments will protect the Fund.

The Fund has experienced economic downturns in the past and a long-term view must be taken of investment returns.

Despite the uncertainty you may hear from the media concerning global markets, you should not be unduly concerned about your local government pension from Avon Pension Fund.

It is as secure a pension as it’s possible to have.

Pensions Increase

Adding money to a stack of coins

Government announces public service pensions which have been in payment for a year will be increased by 1.7% from 6 April 2020 in line with the September-to-September increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). 

Any pension which has been in payment for less than a year will be increased by a proportionate amount depending upon the number of months it has been in payment.

Preparing for retirement

Preparing for retirement

Affinity Connect pre-retirement workshops - cancelled until further notice

If you have booked to attend a workshop Affinity will be in contact to rearrange your booking.

A series of free pre-retirement workshops is available to assist members of the pension scheme when they begin to think about planning for retirement.

The workshops are aimed at anyone considering leaving employment on normal, early or ill health retirement, or taking flexible retirement within the next 18 months or so. Partners are encouraged and welcome to attend.

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