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The 50/50 section

There are two sections of the LGPS:

  1. the main section
  2. the 50/50 section.

When you join the scheme you are automatically placed in the main section. You pay normal pension contributions in return for normal pension build up.

The 50/50 section is intended as a short term measure in times of financial hardship. You pay in half your pension contributions and build up half your pension. You can opt in to the 50/50 section at any time. If you have more than one job, you can opt for the 50/50 section in one, some or all of your jobs.

Benefits of the 50/50 section

  • You pay in half your pension contributions and build up half your pension.
  • Whilst in the 50/50 section a full death grant lump sum is still payable if you die in service. It is 3 times your annual pensionable pay.
  • There is no impact on the value of any pension for your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner or eligible children.
  • You can opt in and out of the 50/50 section whenever you need to and as many times as you wish.
  • If you are retired on ill health at any age, you remain entitled to full ill health enhancement if applicable.

Opting in to the 50/50 section

Complete the opt in form (PDF, 96.4 KB) and return it to your employer.  The change in contributions will take effect from the next available pay period.

Contributions

The table shows the contributions you pay when in the main section and 50/50 section:

Actual pensionable pay for an employmentMain Section50/50 Section
Up to £14,6005.5%2.75%
£14,601 - £22,9005.8%2.90%
£22,901 - £37,2006.5%3.25%
£37,201 - £47,1006.8%3.40%
£47,101 - £65,9008.5%4.25%
£65,901 - £93,4009.9%4.95%
£93,401 - £110,00010.5%5.25%
£110,001 - £165,00011.4%5.70%
More than £165,00012.5%6.25%

Use the contribution calculator to find out your band and what you pay

Example of contributions and pension

Darshan earns £1,000 each month. He pays 5.5% of his pay, which is £55 each month.

His personal circumstances change and he is experiencing a period of financial difficulty. Darshan opts into the 50/50 section of the scheme. Darshan now pays 2.75% of his pay, which is £27.50 each month.

When Darshan was paying the full contribution he was building up a pension of £244.90 each year. Now he is paying half his contributions, he is building up a pension of £122.45 each year.

Moving back to the main section

You can opt in and out of the 50/50 section whenever you need to and as many times as you wish. You can rejoin the main section of the scheme at any time. If you have more than one job, you can opt in and out in one or more jobs. Complete the opt in form (PDF, 96.4 KB) and return it to your employer.

Impact on death benefits

Whilst in the 50/50 section a full death grant lump sum is still payable if you die in service. It is 3 times your annual pensionable pay.

There is no impact on the value of any pension for your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner or eligible children. Find out about death in service

Impact on ill health benefits

If you are retired on ill health at any age whilst in the 50/50 section, you remain entitled to full ill health enhancement if applicable. Find out about ill health retirement

Period of no pay

If you move into a period of no pay due to sickness, maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave whilst in the 50/50 section, you move into the main section of the scheme from your next pay period of no pay. Find out about absence from work

Being automatically moved back in to the main section

The government direct that, from time to time, your employer must automatically re-enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme. If you are in the 50/50 section at this date, you are automatically moved back into the main section of the scheme.

Your employer writes to you when this is going to happen. If you wish to remain in the 50/50 section at this time, you must complete the opt in form (PDF, 96.4 KB) again and send it to your employer.