I'm 5 months preg and my employer (local authority) has given me a form which asks me to choose whether or not to make contributions to my pension while I'm on unpaid maternity leave. Does anyone know whether this is something I should do - ie. if I don't, does it mean a break which will result in less money at the end of the day? any advice welcome, thanks.
I was TUPE from the civil service pension scheme - 3/80th lum sum & 80th FS pension scheme - so similar to the LA one I think?
In our scheme you only accrue pensionable service when you are paying contributions (so for the 39wks of mat pay/SMP) so if you are off for the full year then you will not acrrue pensionable service for all of it. From what you have said sounds like yours is the same.
I worked out that I would effectively get the extra conts "back" in the increase it would give me in my lump sum & then the extra pension every year after that is "free", so for me it was a no brainer.
Do the sums both ways & see how yours pans out, but if you can afford it, it's probably worth doing.
You might be able to pay it back when you return to work - that's what I did in the NHS scheme. I had 5 or 6 months unpaid maternity leave and paid it back in installments on a monthly basis over about a 12 month period.
With my employer they will still make their contributuons, but my part that I pay will stop unless I ask to contribute. Guess it depends on how much you put in as to if you can afford to keep putting your bit in.