Accrual rate

The formula used to describes the rate at which you build up pension benefits whilst a member of the LGPS (whether under the final salary or CARE elements of the scheme). It is expressed as a fraction (e.g. 1/60th, 1/80th, 1/49th). The lower the bottom  number, the better the pension benefit you will receive for an equivalent amount of pensionable service.

Automatic Enrolment

A new type of work-based pension requirement introduced by the Government from October 2012 onwards,. It is being introduced over a number of years, with larger employers required to meet the new requirements first and smaller employers phased in over the next few years. Workers can opt out at any time, but may be subject to re-enrolment every three years from the date the employer was first required to comply with the new rules. An employer cannot offer workers inducements (additional pay, holidays etc) or encourage workers not to join or opt out of a workplace pension.

Following the ending of contracting out from 6 April 2016 the LGPS has been certified as satisfying the Alternative Quality Test in relation to the jobholders employed by all participating employers who are relevant members of that scheme, as required by the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016.


Short for Additional Voluntary Contributions. One of the ways to increase your benefits.

Civil Partner

This means a person of the same sex who you have formed a civil partnership with.

Cohabiting partner

A long term partner you live with who satisfies the necessary criteria.

Deferred benefits

Your benefits are worked out when you leave the Scheme, based on the amount of membership you have built up and your pay when you leave, in the same way as for retirement.

They are then held in the Scheme where they increase in value every year in line with the cost of living, until they are put into payment.

Eligible dependent children

This includes your own children, adopted children, and certain other children who depend on you financially. They must normally be under 17, but can be as old as 23 if they carry on in full time education. It can even cover some adult children who cannot work because of a disability.

Final pay

Normally this means the pay you received in the last year up to leaving that you pay pension contributions on.

Gainful employment

Gainful employment is defined in the scheme rules as any type of paid work, for at least 30 hours a week over a period of at least 12 months.

Husband or wife

This means your legally married husband or wife. It does not include a 'common law' husband or wife or someone you are living with as husband or wife - but see Nominated cohabiting partner, below.


Membership is used to work out your benefits and is based on how long you have been a member of the Scheme, plus any extra membership, for example any you transfer in from another pension scheme.

Normal Pension Age

Normal Pension Age is the age from which you can retire and receive your pension in full. Your Normal Pension Age in the LGPS is linked to your State Pension Age (with a minimum of age 65).  You can check your Normal Pension age by looking up your current State Pension Age at

Part time

You are part time if you work anything less than the number of hours your employer classes as standard full time hours.


Pensionable pay is the amount of pay on which you pay contributions. From 1 April 2014 it includes non-contractual (as well as contractual) overtime and any additional hours worked in excess of your contractual hours.

Rule of 85

The Rule of 85 was abolished on 1st October 2006, although some scheme members contributing to the LGPS before that date may have some or all of their pension benefits protected under this rule.  It is satisfied if your age and scheme membership (in whole years) at the date you draw your benefits add up to 85 or more and is used, to determine the earliest point at which benefits could be taken voluntarily from the LGPS without suffering an early retirement reduction.

State pension age

The age you can draw your State pension. Traditionally this is 65 for men and 60 for women, although it is now later for some people.  You can check your state pension age here

Workplace pension reform

The workplace pension reforms came into effect in October 2012. Phased in over a number of years from that date employers will have to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme which meets certain criteria and make minimum contributions towards their retirement savings. This is popularly known as automatic-enrolment.

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