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Pension information - retired members


The information on this page relates to former active or deferred members who are in receipt of their retirement benefits from the Local Government pension scheme.

Are you a new pensioner?

The first payment of pension will be made on the first pay date following your retirement. If, on your retirement date the pay cut-off date has already passed, then any pension due will be paid together with your first pension payment the following month.

Tax code

Your annual pension is taxable income. When we set your record up on our payroll, we are instructed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to use emergency tax code 0T on a cumulative basis. We then send all your details electronically to HMRC who will inform us of the correct code once they have made their assessment. Any under or over payment of tax will be collected through the payroll if the correct code is received in the same tax year.

How will my pension be paid?

Your pension will be paid by credit transfer directly into your nominated bank or building society account. Pensions will be paid on the last working day of the month.

We will not send you a payslip every month. You will receive a payslip in April and May each year and at other times if your net pension has varied by more than £5 from the previous month.

Payment dates

Month

Year

Payment Date

Period

April

2019

30 April

1

May

2019

31 May

2

June

2019

28 June

3

July

2019

31 July

4

August

2019

30 August

5

September

2019

30 September

6

October

2019

31 October

7

November

2019

29 November

8

December

2019

31 December

9

January

2020

31 January

10

February

2020

28 February

11

March

2020

31 March

12

Pension increase

Pensions increase 2019

The Pension Increase (Review) Order, which is issued each year by central government, tells public sector pension schemes of the increase that must be applied to pension benefits. The increase is based on the rise in cost of living up to September 2018.

Pension Beginning

Pension Increase

9 April 2018 to 23 April 2018

2.40%

25 April 2018 to 23 May 2018

2.20%

24 May 2018 to 23 June 2018

2.00%

24 June 2018 to 23 July 2018

1.80%

24 July 2018 to 23 August 2018

1.60%

24 August 2018 to 23 September 2018

1.60%

24 September 2018 to 23 October 2018

1.20%

24 October 2018 to 23 November 2018

1.00%

24 November 2018 to 23 December 2018

0.80%

24 December 2018 to 23 January 2019

0.60%

24 January 2019 to 23 February 2019

0.40%

24 February 2019 to 23 March 2019

0.20%

Pensions increase after State Pension Age

If you retired after April 1978 and you have been notified of a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) by HMRC, the pension increase on the GMP amount will be paid with your State Pension. However,Durham County Council Pension Fund (DCCPF) will increase your GMP earned after 6 April 1988 by a maximum of 3% per annum and will pay this increase alongside your DCCPF pensions increase.

Who is eligible for an increase?

  • Members in receipt of a pension who are over 55
  • Members who left employment to retire on the grounds of ill health
  • Members who have received the payment of their preserved benefits on ill health grounds (incapable of any type of work)
  • Members receiving a spouse's or children's pension.

Who is not eligible for an increase?

  • Members who are below age 55, except those in receipt of ill health benefits
  • Member who are below age 55 and have received the payment of their preserved benefits on ill health grounds (not incapable of carrying out any type of work)

How is the increase worked out?

Pensions increase is calculated on the annual pension in payment at the end of March each year, less any Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) for anyone who has reached State Pension Age.

The GMP is a figure supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which ensures that you receive at least the value of benefits which the State would have provided had you not been contracted-out of the upper earnings-related tier of the State Scheme between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997.

The increase on your GMP is paid by the DWP as an addition to your State pension. The DWP refer to the GMP as a 'contracted out deduction' on their correspondence.

When will we notify you of your increase?

We will write to you to confirm details of the pension increase. You will also receive a payslip in April which will show details of the increase. For those eligible to an increase of more than £1 a month a further payslip will be sent in May to show the increased pension for a full month. You will not receive a payslip in any months other than April and May unless your net pension has changed by more than £2 from the previous month.

Death benefits

If I die in retirement, what happens to my pension?

Dependents' pensions are payable after you die. The benefits are different for retirements before and after 1 April 2008 and may be affected if you were married after your leaving date.

If you left the scheme before the 1 April 2008 but claim your benefits after this date, the regulations are applied as if you retired on or before 31 March 2008

For retirements on or after 1 April 2008:

  • If you die after retiring on pension, a widow's, a widower's, a civil partner's or a co-habiting partner's (subject to meeting certain criteria) pension and pensions for eligible children are payable.
  • A widow's or widower's pension is equal to 1/160th of your final pay times the total membership your pension is based on unless you marry after retirement in which case it could be less.
  • A civil partner's or an eligible  co-habiting partner's pension is equal to 1/160th of your final pay times your membership in the scheme after 5 April 1988.
  • A death grant is payable if less than 10 years pension has been paid and you are under age 75 at the date of death, in which case the balance of 10 years of pension is paid as a lump sum.

If you married after your leaving date:

  • For a wife, their pension would be based on any pension built up from 6 April 1978
  • For a husband, their pension would be based on any pension built up from 6 April 1988 excluding additional membership you purchased or which was granted by your employer.

For retirements on or before 31 March 2008:

  • If you die after retiring on pension, a widow's, a widower's, a civil partner's pension and pensions for eligible children are payable. A lump sum death grant may be payable if you die in the first five years on pension.
  • A widow will receive a short-term pension for the three months after her husband's death, or six months if one or more eligible dependent children are in her care.
  • This will be equal to the pension that her husband was receiving, or would have received had it not been reduced as a result of early retirement or had it not been paid as a lump sum due to exceptional ill health.
  • After that she will receive a long-term pension generally equal to half her short-term pension.
  • A widower or civil partner will receive a short and long-term pension in the same way as a widow. However, the pension will be based on their wife's total membership after March 1972 only or civil partner's total membership after April 1988 only.
  • The lump sum death grant is the amount by which the annual pension multiplied by five exceeds the pension paid to the date of death.

If you married after your leaving date:

  • For a wife, their pension would be based on any pension built up from 6 April 1978
  • For a husband, their pension would be based on any pension built up from 6 April 1988 excluding additional membership you purchased or which was granted by your employer.
  • For a civil partner, their pension would be based on any pension built up from 6 April 1988.

Children's pensions

Children's pensions are payable for so long as your children remain eligible after your death. An eligible child is, at the date of your death:

Under 17 years old and are wholly or mainly dependent on you.

Over 17 years old but are under the age of 23 years old,  dependent on you and in full time education or undertaking vocational training (although a dependent child who commences full-time education or vocational training after the date of your death may still be treated as an eligible child up to age 23)

In some cases, a dependent child of any age who is disabled may be classed as an eligible child.

In all cases an eligible child must be born before or within a year of your death.

Please note, that a child pension may be reduced if your child is receiving pay whilst in full time training for a trade, profession or vocation.

How long are dependants pensions payable from?

A widow's / widower's / civil partner's pension is payable for life

A child's pension is payable to age the age of 18.

If the child is then in full time education / vocational training it is payable until that child leaves the education, completes training or attains age 23

A pension payable to a child who is disabled within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 is normally payable for life

Death Grant lump sum

A death grant may be paid if you die after retiring and are in receipt of your pension:

If you left the scheme after 31 March 2008, are under age 75 and have been receiving your pension for less than 10 years.

If you left the scheme between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2008, are under age 75 and have been receiving your pension for less than five years.

If you left the scheme before 1 April 1997 and your pension came into payment some time later, it is possible that a death grant will be payable.

However, you can use an "Expression of Wish" form to express your wish for any death grant to be paid to a person, persons or organisation (such as a charity). This form can be printed from our website.

The main advantage in expressing a wish is that the payment can be made directly to your chosen beneficiary, without forming part of your estate (i.e. it does not count for inheritance tax purposes).

For these tax advantages to apply, the County Council must retain absolute discretion as to the distribution of the death grant. For this reason, although the County Council will have the greatest regard to your wishes, it is not legally bound by them.

The expression of wish form only applies to the death grant lump sum; it does not affect the payment of any pension for any dependants on your death.

Tax queries

If you have a query with your tax code you should contact the tax office on 0300 200 3300, quoting reference 465/DD1.Please have your National Insurance number with you when you phone.

Change of details

How do I change my address and name?

Please contact us in writing with any changes to your address or name. Please quote your National Insurance number on all correspondence.

How do I change my bank details?

Please contact us to request a Change of Bank Details form. Once this has been completed and returned to us we will update your payroll record.

How do I change my beneficiaries?

Please contact us to request an Expression of Wish form. 

National Fraud Initiative

As in previous years we are participating in an exercise that promotes the proper spending of public money. Find out more about the National Fraud Initiative.

Contact us
Durham County Council Pension Fund
03000 264 322
Our address is:
  • Resources
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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