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

Can I pay in more?

How you can boost your retirement income.

1 Overview

You can increase the amount you receive when you retire by paying extra into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) over your standard contributions.

Paying more into the LGPS means you benefit from tax relief on any extra contributions you choose to pay.

There are three ways in which you can pay in extra. These are:

  • additional pension contributions (APCs)
  • additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)
  • paying contributions to a stakeholder or personal pension scheme.

Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) limits the amount you pay into a pension scheme each year (the Annual Allowance), the amount you can build up over your lifetime (the Lifetime Allowance) and the amount you receive in tax relief. If you exceed these limits you will have to pay an additional tax charge.

Factsheets about the Annual and Lifetime allowances are available on the national LGPS website.

Additional information

2 Additional pension contributions (APCs)

You can choose to pay more every year to buy up to a total of £6,755 extra annual pension.

You may also buy additional pension to cover a period of unpaid absence as long as you haven’t used the full extra pension allowance of £6,755. If you apply to do this within 30 days of your return to work, your scheme employer will pay two thirds of the cost. Your employer may extend the 30-day limit subject to their written policy on discretions.

You can find out more and use the APC calculator on the national website to calculate and apply to purchase additional pension, whether it is to increase your pension or to buy lost pension following a period of unpaid absence.

If you wish to purchase extra pension, other than to buy lost pension, you will need to complete and return the form below, stating that you are able to continue working to your state pension age (or age 65 if later).

Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) limit the amount you pay into a pension scheme each year (the Annual Allowance), the amount you can build up over your lifetime (the Lifetime Allowance) and the amount you receive in tax relief. If you exceed these limits you will have to pay an additional tax charge.

Factsheets about the Annual and Lifetime allowances are available on the national LGPS website.

For more information about additional pension contributions, contact the Pensions Team.

3 Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)

You can contribute up to 100% of your pensionable earnings (less your standard contributions) each year as additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). You can choose how much you want to pay each month and this amount is deducted from your salary and invested for you in your own account with our in-house AVC provider, Standard Life.

When you retire, you may be able to take up to 100% of your AVC fund as a tax-free lump sum (providing the value of the AVC fund falls within certain limits), buy an annuity or top up your Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pension.

AVCs may be made to Standard Life from your pay receiving tax benefits as your contributions are deducted.

Any AVCs are taken from your pay and if you pay tax you receive tax relief automatically through the payroll. Deductions start from the next available pay after your election has been accepted and you may vary or cease payments at any time whilst you are paying into the LGPS.

If you are interested in this option, please complete the LGPS Standard Life AVC application form and return it to the address shown at the bottom of the form.

LGPS Standard Life AVCs have a wide range of investment options. The following leaflets provide information about your options and details of the investment funds offered:

You may also pay into a free standing AVC with another provider, but you will need to set this up and arrange the payments that you wish to make.

4 Paying contributions to a stakeholder or personal pension scheme

You also have the option to pay contributions into a pension scheme of your own choosing as well as being a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

You can, if you wish, pay up to 100% of your total taxable earnings in each tax year (or £3,600 if greater) into any number of concurrent pension arrangements of your choice and be eligible for tax relief on those contributions.

Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) limits the amount you pay into a pension scheme each year (the Annual Allowance), the amount you can build up over your lifetime (the Lifetime Allowance) and the amount you receive in tax relief. If you exceed either of these limits you will have to pay an additional tax charge.

Factsheets about the Annual and Lifetime allowances are available on the national LGPS website.

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