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The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is known as a defined benefit pension scheme. This is because your pension benefits are ‘defined’ when you join and your employer takes responsibility to pay in what they need to. Defined benefits are not based on investment performance, so you’re guaranteed to get the amount you’ve been promised.

The pension you get is based on how long you’ve been a part of the scheme and how much you earn.

It guarantees you a certain amount of money each year when you retire. After 31 March 2014 the amount you get is based on the average of your pay for each year you were a member of the scheme.

If you joined the scheme before 1 April 2014, you’ll have built up a pension based on whatever your final salary will be at the point of leaving, for each year you were a member.

The pension you build up pays you a secure income for life and is revalued each year in line with inflation.

For more details on ‘defined benefit schemes’ and other pension scheme types such as ‘defined contribution’, please visit

This is how we work out your pension based on when you joined:

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) changed from a final salary scheme to a career average revalued earnings (CARE) Scheme on 1 April 2014. This means that, if you were a contributing member of Scheme before 1 April 2014 and after 31 March 2014, you’ll have a mixture of both final salary and CARE benefits.

After 31 March 2014 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014  Up to 31 March 2008 
1/49 X pensionable pay
each year + inflation
= pension
1/60 X final salary X total service
= pension
1/80 X final salary X total service
= pension
Optional tax free lump sum Optional tax free lump sum  Automatic tax free lump of 3 X pension 
You can exchange £1 of pension for £12 tax free cash up to a maximum amount in line with HMRC guidelines


For more information and some examples, see our How is my pension worked out factsheet.

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