From 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria has changed. The six district councils and Cumbria County Council have been replaced by two new unitary authorities. The two new councils are Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.
The decision was made to keep one LGPS Fund and the new Administering Authority is Westmorland and Furness Council, but this won't affect how anyone's pension is administered as the same team will continue to manage the Fund for its 60,000 members.
LGR - Further reading and information
LGR - Pension decisions and choices booklet (TUPE)
LGR Pension Decisions And Choices Booklet A4 16Page
LGR - Letter to Pensioners
March 2023 Cumbria LGR Letter Pensioners
LGR - Letter to Active Members (TUPE)
March 2023 Cumbria LGR Letter Active Members (TUPE)
LGR - Letter to Active non-TUPE and deferred
March 2023 Cumbria LGR Letter Active Non TUPE And Deferred
As a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme(LGPS), what will happen to my pension?
Under TUPE rules you will retain access to the LGPS, and your pensionable service will transfer.
Will I get a pension in my new authority?
From the 1 April 2023 you will now be working for Cumberland Council or Westmorland and Furness Council. As new employers they must automatically enrol any eligible staff into the Local Government Pension Scheme(LGPS).
If I have opted out of the LGPS or joined the 50/50 section of the scheme will that change?
You will be brought back into the main section of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from the 1 April 2023. You are able to re-elect to join the 50/50 scheme after this date. If you would like to opt out of or rejoin the 50/50 section, please fill in the relevant forms on the forms and publications section.
Due to Pension Regulations, to encourage pension uptake, your payroll team will be unable to accept your completed form before 1st of April.
Are councillors eligible to join the LGPS?
Changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations in England, from 1 April 2014, resulted in access to the LGPS being removed for councillors, elected mayors, the Mayor of London and members of the London Assembly. Those who were already members of the Scheme on 31 March 2014 were able to remain in the LGPS until the end of their term of office. They were not able to re-join the LGPS in any subsequent term of office.
I am retiring soon, at what date are my LGPS Pension benefits tested against Lifetime Allowance?
Your LGPS pension benefits are tested against the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) on the date of the Benefit Crystallisation event. This is the later of either the date the pension was payable from or the date the benefit payment was authorised. The benefit payment is authorised on the date the member agrees/elects for the lump sum payment.
The following examples explain how this works for members retiring just before or after 6 April 2023 when the LTA limits are effectively abolished. Although the LTA limit is removed there is still a restriction on the maximum lump sum that can be paid out and this is £268,275.00
Member A: Your LGPS benefits were payable from 31 March 2023. Your LGPS benefits were calculated and authorised on 22 March 2023. The benefits crystallisation date will be the payable date of 31 March 2023 so your benefits are tested against the LTA at that date and it may be that a tax charge is payable due to exceeding the lifetime allowance.
Member B: Your LGPS benefits were payable from 31 March 2023. Your LGPS benefits were calculated and authorised on 11 April 2023. The benefits crystallisation date will be the date the payment was authorised which was 11 April 2023 so your benefits are tested against the LTA at that date and no tax charge is payable due to the abolition of the lifetime allowance.
Member C: Your LGPS benefits were payable from 12 April 2023. Your LGPS benefits were calculated and authorised on 25 March 2023. The benefits crystallisation date will be the payable date of 12 April 2023 so your benefits are tested against the LTA at that date and no tax charge is payable due to the abolition of the lifetime allowance.
Please note that you are recommended to seek your own independent financial advice if you need support in understanding your tax position with regard to your pension.