Information for members of the LGPS and those with police, firefighter, teacher and NHS pensions
Last updated:
19 June 2017

What if I am absent without pay?

Types of absences and how they affect your contributions.

1 Illness or injury leave

You will pay contributions at your normal rate based on the pensionable pay you receive. However, you will build pension in line with your assumed pensionable pay. This is roughly equal to the pensionable pay that you would have received if you had not been on illness or injury leave.

If you enter unpaid illness or injury leave you will not pay contributions and you will no longer continue to build pension unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pension lost and will be based on the pensionable pay you received immediately before your pensionable pay stopped. These contributions can be paid by lump sum or monthly instalment as agreed with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority. You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

If you enter a period of reduced pay and you pay additional contributions to purchase additional pension you can choose to:

  • continue with the payment of these contributions - if you elected to pay a percentage of your pensionable pay the deduction would be taken ignoring the reduction to your pensionable pay (that is, at full rate); or
  • stop the payment of these contributions and elect within one month of the restriction to your pay being lifted make payment of the aggregate of the missing contributions.

3 Reserved Forces leave

If you are absent due to Reserve Forces leave, your employer will liaise with the Ministry of Defence to deduct and pay over the relevant contributions while you are being paid by them, ensuring you do not lose out.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional pension you can choose to:

  • continue with the payment of these contributions; or
  • stop the payment of these contributions and elect within one month of your return from reserve forces leave to make payment of the aggregate of the missing contributions.

Contact your employer if you are expecting to be called up for reserve forces duty.

4 Unpaid leave (including jury service)

If you are on authorised absence, your contributions will stop and you will not build any pension during the absence unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pension lost and will be based on assumed pensionable pay. You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due. These contributions can be paid by lump sum or monthly instalment as agreed with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional pension you can choose to:

  • continue with the payment of these contributions; or
  • stop the payment of these contributions and elect within one month of your return to work to make payment of the aggregate of the missing contributions.¬†

5 Strike absences

If you are on strike, your contributions will stop and you will not build any pension during the absence unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pension lost and will be based on assumed pensionable pay. You may also be required to pay the employer contribution due. These contributions can be paid by lump sum or monthly instalment as agreed with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority. You may also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional pension your contribution will be unaffected by the absence as the required deduction required will be taken in full.

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