You can take early and flexible retirement as well as tax-free cash. Take a look at the different options below.
The Scheme’s normal retirement age is now linked to your State Pension Age for both men and women. The Scheme provides you the flexibility to retire and take your benefits from anywhere between age 55, right up to the eve of your 75th birthday.
You can choose to retire from age 55 without permission from your employer. If you choose to retire before your normal retirement age, your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced depends on how early you retire.
If you choose to carry on working after age 65 you will continue to pay into the Scheme, building up further benefits. You can receive your pension when you retire or when you reach the eve of your 75th birthday, whichever comes first.
Once you’ve been in the Scheme for two years, rather than continuing in your job until your normal retirement age or beyond, you may wish to consider the possibility of flexible retirement.
From age 55, if you reduce your hours or grade, and provided your employer agrees, you can draw some or all of the pension benefits you have built up – helping you ease into retirement.
You can still draw your pay/salary from your job on the reduced hours or grade and continue paying into the Scheme, building up further benefits.
If you take flexible retirement before your normal retirement age, your benefits will be reduced to take account of being paid for longer. How much your benefits are reduced depends on how early you take your benefits. Your employer may, however, decide not to apply all or part of any reduction. You must have your employer’s consent for the payment of your pension benefits under flexible retirement.
If you are interested in flexible retirement and need some extra help, please contact your employer.
Ill health retirement
Once you’ve been in the Scheme for two years, and you have to leave work due to illness, you may qualify for ill health benefits.
Ill health benefits can be paid at any age and are not reduced on account of early payment. There are graded levels of benefit based on how likely you are to be capable of gainful employment after you leave.
Gainful employment generally means paid employment for no less than 30 hours in each week for a period of no less than 12 months. The different levels of benefit are:
Tier 1 - if you’re unlikely to be capable of gainful employment before your normal retirement age. Ill health benefits are based on the pension you would have received if you continued to contribute to the Scheme until your normal retirement age.
Please note that if you’ve previously received a Tier 1 ill health pension from the LGPS or were awarded a Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) ill health pension before 1 April 2008, then no enhancement can be added to your pension account if you’re retired again for reasons of ill health.
Tier 2 - if you’re unlikely to be capable of gainful employment within three years of leaving but are likely to be capable of undertaking any employment before your normal retirement age. Ill health benefits are based on the pension you’ve already built up in your pension account at your date of leaving the Scheme plus 25% of the pension you would have built up had you continued to contribute to the Scheme until your normal retirement age.
If you’ve previously received a Tier 2 ill health pension from the LGPS, any enhancement due upon a subsequent ill health retirement is adjusted and capped. If, in respect of the subsequent ill health retirement you’re awarded a Tier 1 or Tier 2 pension, the enhancement cannot exceed three quarters of the number of years between the initial ill health retirement and your normal retirement age, less the number of years of active membership since the initial ill health retirement.
Tier 3 - if you’re likely to be capable of gainful employment within three years of leaving, or before your normal retirement age if earlier, ill health benefits are based on the pension you have already built up in your pension account at leaving. Payment of these benefits will be reviewed after 18 months in payment and will stop after three years, or earlier if you’re in gainful employment or become capable of such employment, provided you’ve not reached your normal retirement age by then. If the payment is stopped it’ll normally become payable again from your normal retirement age but there are provisions to allow it to be paid earlier.
If you were paying into the LGPS on 31 March 2008 and were aged 45 or over on that date and have been in continuous membership of the LGPS, then if you qualify for an ill health pension (where your benefits are based on enhanced membership) there is protection to ensure your ill health retirement benefits are no less than they would’ve been under the Scheme as it applied before 1 April 2008. This protection wouldn’t apply if you’ve previously drawn benefits on taking flexible retirement.
For more information about ill health retirement please contact your employer.
Receiving a pension
Once set up, your pension is paid into your bank account on the 20th day of each month (or the working day immediately preceding the 20th if this isn’t a working day) and we will send you a P60 every April.
If you’re entitled to a lump sum, or you’ve chosen to convert some of your annual pension into a lump sum, you’ll receive that after you’ve retired.
It’s possible to pay your pension in to most overseas bank accounts.
Cost of living increases
Also known as a pension increase. Each April your pension may be increased in line with any cost of living increases that have accrued, and you’ll be notified of any relevant changes by the end of April.
A P60 is a certificate showing the pension paid and tax deducted during the previous tax year. We will send you a P60 in May each year, but if you need the cumulative totals of your gross pension payments and any Income Tax deductions before then, you can find these on your payslip.
We’ll send you a pay advice in March and April every year, and then, only if your net pension varies by more than 50p when compared with the previous month.
Visit the Contact details page if you have any questions on retirement or taking your benefits.