If you are granted unpaid leave of absence, including jury service and parental leave, the period will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of absence. The amount of pension lost is calculated as the appropriate fraction of your assumed pensionable pay for that period of absence (i.e. 1/49th of your assumed pensionable pay if you were in the main section of the scheme or 1/98th if you were in the 50/50 section).
If you wish to purchase the amount of lost pension and make the election within 30 days of returning to work then the cost of the APC is split between you and your employer. You will pay one-third of the cost and your employer will pay the rest. This is known as a Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions (SCAPC). You can pay these additional contributions in a one-off lump sum or through regular payments from your wages.
The maximum period of absence you can elect to buy back by a SCAPC is a period of 3 years.
To make an election you will need to:
Know the amount of pay you lost due to absence. Your employer should provide this figure.
Decide how long you wish to pay over, or whether this will be by a one off lump sum.
Get a quote from the LGPS modeller at – Additional Pension Contributions – using the ‘Buy lost pension’ option.
Print off a copy of application form and return to your employer, this must be received within 30 days of your return to work. It is advisable to check that the application has been actioned, by your employer.
Further information on authorised leave and the LGPS can be found on our factsheet – Leave of Absence (PDF 206KB)