You won't pay any pension contributions if you take unpaid time off work. As a result, you won't build up any pension during this time.

Examples of unpaid absences are:

  • authorised unpaid leave
  • additional child related leave
  • strike action

You can choose to buy back any pension that you lose by being on unpaid leave. In some cases your employer can pay two-thirds of the cost if you apply to do this as soon as you return to work.

This is known as an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) to buy 'lost' pension.

Get a quote

To find out how much an APC might cost, you'll need to know how much pay you lost during your unpaid absence. Your employer's payroll or HR department can tell you this.

Absences due to illness or injury

If you're absent from work due to illness or injury, there's no need to buy an APC. Your pension still builds up as if you were at work. Your employer will still pay into your pension through assumed pensionable pay.

Shared cost APC

If your absence is authorised in writing by your employer, they can agree to pay two-thirds of the cost of the lost pension. They must receive your application within 30 days of when you return to work.

Unauthorised absences

You’re responsible for the full cost of buying your lost pension if your absence is unauthorised (such as strike action), or if you apply after the 30-day deadline.

Buy lost pension calculator

Once you know your lost pensionable pay, you can get a quote on the national LGPS Member website.

In most cases you can pay by instalments or a one-off lump sum payment from your salary.

Apply for lost pension

If you want to go ahead after getting a quote, you can print your application form directly from the calculator.

Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions, then send your printed form to your employer.


Go to the buy lost pension calculator