Cost of living crisis

Many of us have money concerns following the pandemic and rise of living costs. The information below provides some help and guidance for managing your money.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is what’s called a ‘defined benefit’ pension. The benefits you receive are set out in the rules of the scheme and are determined by a set calculation. This means that your pension doesn’t rely on investment performance, so changes with the economy and investment returns will not impact your pension benefits. Your LGPS pension is a guaranteed income.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities oversee the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). As a Government backed pension scheme, it is one of the safest there is.

You can find out more about how pensions and the LGPS work, including a video, on our website page.

Can I reduce or stop my pension contributions?

If you need to reduce costs, did you know we offer a 50/50 section? In the 50/50 section, you pay contributions at half the rate of the main scheme and your pension also builds up at half the rate. However, you keep the same life and ill health cover as if you were in the main scheme. You can move back to the main section whenever you are ready.

You can find out more about the 50/50 section on our Joining, contributions, and transferring in your benefits page. You can also use the Contributions calculator on the LGPS website to check how joining the 50/50 section would affect your pay.

Your LGPS pension is a valuable benefit so please think carefully before deciding to opt out. Provided you earn enough to pay tax, you'll get tax relief on your pension contributions.

If you want to stop your pension contributions more information is available on our What are your options when opting out, leaving or transferring page, including the opt out form.

Could pension scams increase?

Please watch out for scams related to the cost of living. Scams may be about insurance, pension transfers, or high risk investments. Be aware of investments that appear too good to be true. You can read more about pension scams and what to look out for on our Pension scams page.

Is there further help available?

The pandemic and the rising cost of living have left lots of people with new money worries. MoneyHelper provides help and guidance about managing your money in uncertain times – this includes practical advice about living on a squeezed income and help if you’re struggling with bills and payments.

You can also get help from the Citizens Advice who provide information about what help is available from your local council, the Government and other forms of support. You can also check your local council website.

For pensioners there is a separate welfare benefit called Pension Credit. Pension credit provides extra income for people over State Pension age on lower incomes.

Visit gov.uk to use the online calculator to check if you are entitled to Pension Credit.

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