The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a national pension scheme for people who work in local government or for other types of employers who participate in the scheme. It is administered locally in England and Wales through 89 local funds or sub-schemes.
LGPS is one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, with over 5 million members, it is also a ‘statutory’ public service pension scheme; this means that its regulations are laid down in law by Parliament. Changes to scheme rules are discussed at national level by employee and employer representatives, but can only be amended with the approval of Parliament.
Employees who pay into the scheme (sometimes called ‘active members’) pay contributions in to the LGPS. Your employer currently pays in the balance of the cost of providing your benefits after taking into account investment returns. Every 3 years, an independent actuary calculates how much your employer should contribute to the scheme. The amount will vary, but generally the present underlying assumption is that employees contribute approximately one third of the scheme's costs and the employer contributes the rest.
To ensure the long term sustainability of the scheme, the LGPS in England and Wales has a cost management process in place, which monitors the cost of the scheme to ensure it stays within agreed parameters as set by the Scheme Advisory Board and HM Treasury. Should costs increase outside those parameters future changes to the scheme design may be required.
The LGPS is a registered public service pension scheme under Chapter 2 of Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004. It achieved automatic registration by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 36 of that Act (because the scheme was, immediately before 6 April 2006, both a retirement benefits scheme approved under Chapter I of Part XIV of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and a relevant statutory scheme under section 611A of that Act). This means, for example, that you receive tax relief on your contributions. It complies with the relevant provisions of the Pension Schemes Act 1993, the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2004.
The LGPS meets the government's standards under the automatic enrolment provisions of the Pensions Act 2008.