You can take early and flexible retirement, and tax-free cash.
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 draw your benefits from anywhere between age 55, right up to the eve of your 75th birthday.
You can choose to retire from 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 have been in the scheme for 2 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 wages / 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 draw your benefits. Your employer may, however, determine 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 require more information please contact your employer.
Once you have been in the scheme for 2 years, if 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 not less than 30 hours in each week for a period of not less than 12 months. The different levels of benefit are:
Please note that if you have previously received a Tier 1 ill health pension from the LGPS, or were awarded an LGPS ill health pension before 1 April 2008, then no enhancement can be added to your pension account if you are retired again for reasons of ill health.
If you have 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 are 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.
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 have been under the scheme as it applied before 1 April 2008. This protection would not apply if you have previously drawn benefits on taking flexible retirement.
For more information about ill health retirement please contact your employer.
Once set up, your pension is paid into your bank account on the 25th day of each month (or the working day immediately preceding the 25th if this is not a working day) and we will issue you with a P60 every April.
If you are entitled to a lump sum, or you have chosen to convert some of your annual pension into a lump sum, you will receive that after you have retired.
For more information on your specific benefits please contact us or to access your information (including your pay slip and P60) via secure logon please use this link.
It is possible to pay your pension in to most overseas bank accounts. Please contact us for more details and to request the appropriate form.
Each April your pension may be increased in line with any cost of living increases that have accrued and you will be notified of any relevant change 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 pay slip.
We will 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.
For more information on retirement and taking your benefits please contact us.