If you disagree with Staffordshire County Council's decision as to the amount of benefit to which you are entitled, please contact us at once so that the decision can be confirmed or adjusted according to the circumstances.
Should you still remain dissatisfied you have a right of appeal through internal dispute resolution procedures. A copy of a leaflet entitled 'what to do if you have a complaint' will be sent to you on request.
Your retirement pension will be paid monthly in arrears, normally on the last day of each calendar month. If the last day of the month falls on a Saturday or Sunday, payment will be made on the Friday before. Each instalment of pension will be for that calendar month and will be one twelfth of the annual amount. After your first pay advice (i.e. the statement that sets out details of monthly pay and deductions, etc.) a further pay advice will be issued only if your net pay changes up or down by £1 or more.
Change of bank account
The instalments of pension will be paid directly to the bank or building society you name for this purpose. If you change your account number or other payment details, please notify us as quickly as possible.
This should either be:
- in writing with your signature beneath the details and should be received at least three weeks before the next pay day for the necessary adjustments to be actioned in that same month
Should your instalment of pension be returned to Staffordshire County Council by your bank or building society, payment of pension will be suspended until your whereabouts is known. Staffordshire County Council must be satisfied that the money which is intended for you is actually reaching you.
Change of address
If you change your address, please let us know. This should either be:
- in writing with your signature beneath the details
Alternatively, if you have already registered to use the My Pension Portal system, you can make changes to you address here (please do not attempt to register before changing your address in another way, as the registration process entails Staffordshire Pension Fund sending out an activation key to the home address we hold on our records).
If you fail to inform us of a change of address, your pension may be suspended.
For security reasons, a 'life certificate' may be sent to you from time to time. Any delay in its completion and return may cause a delay in the payment of subsequent pension instalments.
Payment of lump sum retirement grant Back to top
If you have membership before 1 April 2008, and/or plan to give up part of the pension you have built up from 1 April 2008, you will be entitled to a lump sum retirement grant. This will normally be paid to the same bank or building society account.
If your case is being processed in advance, we are unable to make the payment until the first one-off payment run after your due date (these take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).
The payment will take 3 working days to appear in your account. Otherwise, we aim to process the payment of the lump sum within 10 working days of receiving all neccessary information.
If, after retirement, you take up further employment with any employer where membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is open to you (even if you choose not to rejoin) you must:
- tell your new employer that you are receiving a LGPS pension
- inform Pension Services with full details of the new employment
Please note: this is a legal requirement.
Your basic rate of pension will be increased in line with Pensions Increase Acts and Orders and, if you have membership of the scheme after 1 April 2014, HM Treasury Orders.
For more information about Pensions Increase (especially the rates and how these apply), you can visit the Pensions Increase page on our website.
The LGPS retirement grant will be tax-free unless HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) limits are exceeded. Your pension, however, is taxable.
If you have a P45
If you are retiring from an employer and you have received a form P45, then you can send this into Staffordshire Pension Fund’s Pensions Payroll Team who will apply this tax code on a month 1 basis. If the Pensions Payroll Team has not received a P45 then the emergency tax code will be used on a month 1 basis.
The Pensions Payroll Team will inform HMRC of your new pension, your annual pension amount and the tax code that has been applied. This will prompt them to issue a correct tax code for you, at which point your tax will be adjusted accordingly.
If you are taking flexible retirement then the tax code on your salary will remain the same and your pension will be set up with the basic rate tax code on a month 1 basis.
Again, HMRC will be notified and will send correct codes for both incomes which will correct your tax situation. You will need to ensure that your tax codes have been adjusted accordingly by HMRC otherwise this could result in an underpayment of tax.
If you have paid too much or too little tax
We do not hold the full information used by HMRC to calculate a tax code (as we do not hold all the data on your full income from all sources) and we cannot change your tax code without a revised coding notice from HMRC, so if you have any query at all with your tax code, you should contact HMRC.
HM Revenue and Customs
PO Box 1970
Phone: 0300 200 3300
Staffordshire Pension Fund’s reference is 586/PENS. You may also be asked to quote your National Insurance number.
An explanation of tax codes can be found on HMRC’s website.
National Insurance and social security acts Back to top
You may be entitled to a state retirement pension in addition to your LGPS benefits. All enquiries regarding state benefits should be addressed to the Department for Work and Pensions.
There are certain requirements of social security legislation which must be complied with by Staffordshire County Council in relation to your LGPS benefits:
- the requirements of the National Insurance Scheme for those LGPS members who were contracted-out of the state graduated scheme between 3 April 1961 and 5 April 1975 are satisfied
- on 6 April 1978 the LGPS became contracted-out of the state earnings related pension scheme (SERPS). This was a second tier element of the state pension (i.e. paid in addition to the basic state retirement pension). As a result of this, all scheme members (except certain married women and widows who, prior to the mid 1970s, opted to pay reduced National Insurance contributions) have, up to 5 April 1997, been accruing a guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) which is a substitute for, and broadly equivalent to, the SERPS pension which would have been payable had the LGPS not been contracted-out. When you attain state pension age, Staffordshire County Council must ensure that your LGPS pension is at least as high as the GMP. Also, at that age the state scheme may take over partial responsibility for pensions increase on the GMP element of your LGPS pension
- on 6 April 2002, SERPS was replaced by the State Second Pension (S2P). The LGPS remained contracted-out of this second-tier element of state pension
- on 6 April 2016, the LGPS ceased to be a contracted out scheme, as the government introduced the new single tier state pension. Anyone who was a member of the LGPS before April 2016 will not receive the full new single tier state pension, but will see an adjustment (called contracted out pension equivalent or COPE) which will reduce the benefit to account for the lower National Insurance paid before 6 April 2016
Pension for surviving spouse or partner Back to top
If a pension for a surviving spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner* is shown on your statement of benefits this is payable only to the person with whom you were in a legal marriage or civil partnership, or who was your cohabiting partner, on your last day of service and at your date of death.
If, after retirement, you marry, re-marry, form a civil partnership or a subsequent civil partnership, or form a cohabiting partnership, benefits may be assessed on a different basis. We will help you if you need more information on this point.
A pension for a surviving spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner is payable for life. For further information, please see our notes on what is payable in the event of death.
* A cohabiting partner’s pension can only be paid if you have been an active member of the LGPS on or after 1 April 2008 and if your partner can provide the relevant information proving that you met the qualifying criteria after your death. Details of these criteria can be found in the “what is payable in the event of death” section of the website.
Reinvestment of lump sum retirement grant Back to top
HM Revenue and Custom's rules restrict reinvestment of your tax-free lump sum retirement grant into another tax approved pension arrangement. The rules governing this area of pension legislation are complex and you should consult an independent financial adviser (who may charge for this service) if you are intending to re-invest your retirement grant in this way.
The County Council are under a duty to protect the public funds they administer and to this end may use information relating to your pension payments within the authority for the prevention and detection of fraud. They may also share this information with other bodies administering public funds solely for these purposes. For more information see our privacy notice.
If you need any further information about the areas covered by these notes, please contact us.
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