Pensions & Retirement


In October 2012 Government introduced changes to pension legislation, known as "automatic enrolment".  All UK employers have to "auto enrol" eligible employees who are not already in a pension scheme into a "qualifying pension scheme." Our qualifying pension scheme is the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).  Please click on the link above for more information about the LGPS.

New employees, who are eligible job holders and have a contract for at least 3 months, will be contractually enrolled immediately under the LGPS rules with the right to opt out.  An eligible job holder is someone who:

  • is aged between 22 and state pension age
  • has earnings in excess of £10,000 per annum

See the next section for information on opting out if this is of interest to you.

Opting Out & 50:50 Scheme

There are many reasons why you might choose to opt out of paying into our pension scheme.  Please ensure you have thought about this carefully.  You can also choose to pay into the 50:50 scheme instead which is when you and your employer pay 50% of the contributions.  Click on the links below for more information.

Please contact the pension office directly for the appropriate forms.

If new or current employees choose to opt out of the pension scheme, under automatic enrolment legislation you will be auto enrolled back into the LGPS again every three years. You will receive a letter when this is due to happen and will be given advice on how to opt out again if you wish to do so.

I would like to opt-in

If you have previously opted out of the pension scheme and would like to opt-in again before the 3 yearly autoenrolment, please send an email to detailing your name, SAP number and National Insurance number with the following statement:

"I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme"

Additional Pension Contributions

You can buy back lost pension through Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) if you have had a period of authorised unpaid leave.  Click on the link below for more information.

For the employer's contribution, you must submit the form within 30 days of your return to work (this does not apply for absence related to strike action, please see the next section for more information on this).


Information about strike action

Your pension will be affected by strike action.  However, you can buy lost pension by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) when you return to work.

There is information on these LGPS pages about APCs following strike action:

On the above pages you will find the link to the “Buy lost pension calculator”.  You will need to contact to find out the amount of pay you lost during your strike days. Once you’ve input the information, the calculator will tell you how much APC you should pay.  You can then click “apply for lost pension” which will provide a form for you to sign. 

Completed forms should then be sent to

Are you thinking about retiring?

This is not the end, it's the beginning of something new!

If you are thinking about retirement, please speak to your line manager about your intentions.

Please note that it can take up to 4 months to process your pension application forms.  You are required to give your contractual notice to Glasgow Life and so you can retire within those 4 months but please bear in mind that your pension may not be ready on time.

The pension forms that you are required to complete are specific to you.  Once you have submitted your notice and confirmed the date you wish to retire, your manager will contact the HR team to start the retirement process.

Pension Calculation

If you wish to access information about the benefits you may receive upon retirement, you can do this yourself by signing up and logging in to SPFOnline (see "Links to information about your pension" section above). You can run as many calculations as you like, with different dates, to discover what would be the best course of action for you.

If you have AVCs, please contact the Pension Office to discuss your calculation.  You will find their contact details on their website by clicking on the link above.


Normal Age Retirement

You can retire from the age of 55.  There may be a reduction in your benefits if you retire before your normal pension age.  You can find out more about your normal pension age on the SPFO website.

This document will give you a step by step guide for the normal retirement process:

Flexible Retirement

Flexible Retirement is when you draw your full pension benefits but remain as an employee of Glasgow Life by reducing your hours or grade.  Please read the policy and speak to your manager before filling in the form below.

Ill Health Retirement

Ill Health retirement is when you take early retirement due to ill health.  If you would like to explore the possibilities of Ill Health Retirement, please speak to your manager who will then contact HR.

Questions about the process

If the above sections don't answer your questions, please reach out to us at or your manager may be able to help.

Questions about your pension

A Customer Service Advisor at SPFO may be able to help you.  You will find out how to reach them by clicking on the SPFO Website link above.

If you need assistance with making decisions, we would always recommend that you consult an independent financial advisor. 

Additional support for managers

In this guide

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