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Helen’s 25 and the Environment Agency is her second job – she started 2 years ago. She works full time as a Field Operations Admin Officer and earns £22,000 a year. She’s renting her first house and has other financial priorities right now rather than saving for a pension.

Helen’s currently not a member of either pension scheme as she chose to opt out completely.

Helen hasn’t started thinking about her retirement yet, it feels confusing and she’s still 43 years away from her Normal Pension Age (NPA) in the Scheme.

Helen chose to opt out rather than pay into the Main Section scheme because she was concerned about the cost each month.

Helen won’t receive a pension if she continues to remain opted out of the scheme.

What does this mean for Helen?

Based on her circumstances, Helen may not be on track to receive the target level of retirement income (60% of her salary) that she might need. Right now, she’s more concerned with paying her rent and having money left over each month to socialise. Helen needs to take action and weigh up the pros and cons of having more money now against saving for a more comfortable life at retirement.

What can Helen do?

Helen could consider joining the 50:50 Section. This means she can pay half the ‘normal’ contribution each month and still receive a pension. Death in service and ill health benefits are also the same as under the Main scheme. Based on her salary, she would pay 3.25%; £60 per month. Before deciding, Helen could first check the contributions calculator on the LGPS site to see what her contributions would be once she receives tax relief.

More information is available to her in the contributing member hub. She should also sign up for the EAPF Online portal which gives online access to her personalised pension information. It also gives more details about the EAPF, the option to update her personal details or submit queries, together with an online mailbox.

Are you like Helen?

  1. Read the 'New Starter guide' for an overview of the benefits of saving in the Scheme 
  2. Watch our 'New starter explained' video to understand the basics of the Scheme
  3. Sign up or log in to the EAPF Online portal and view your annual pension statement

Important Note
These figures are intended for illustration only and the level of income you need will vary depending on your circumstances. You should take independent financial advice if you are unsure. Most people will qualify for a state pension in addition to any workplace or personal pension savings. The full state pension is currently worth around £8,800 per year. More information on the state pension can be found at

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